Discerning the Call of God


Discerning the Call of God

In the gospel today, we hear that Jesus surprised those in the synagogue with his “new” teaching. Why would they have had this reaction? Let’s put into context what happened when Jesus showed up at the synagogue and started to teach, as this would have been considered very unusual. Jesus was a carpenter’s son, and during this time in history, he would have had a certain status and place within the community; much different than that of the scribes that had been educated to teach. While we don’t hear about what Jesus was teaching, we do know that he was teaching without the authority of a rabbi, yet he was very confident in what he was sharing. This would have likely been because he was God’s son, he did not need any more authority than that. But what had brought Jesus to this point of such clarity and assurance?

In the Gospel of Luke, the story is told that as a young boy Jesus had been lost and his parents found him sitting in a temple among the teachers, learning and asking questions. We see that Jesus was living his faith from early on, yet we don’t hear much about him again until his ministry begins. What was happening with him for all of those years? Were there other occasions of learning or even sharing his ideas with those around him, others such as other young Jewish men and teachers alike? Is it possible that during this time as he was growing to understand his place within the community, particularly his faith community? Was this a time of discernment for him? Was Jesus trying to figure out how he would best serve his community? We aren’t really sure at what point Jesus knew he was the son of God. Was this something he had always known, or was it something that he realized through much prayer and searching? If this is the case, then isn’t this a similar journey to the one we are all on? Through much prayer and discernment, we begin to realize our importance to God. We learn about his unconditional love for us, and of his desire for us to become the best versions of ourselves. And only then, can we begin to understand how we fit in; where we are called to serve others.

Was it because Jesus had taken the time to really listen, that he had an understanding of what God wanted for him; that he understood his vocational call? This is the ultimate achievement for  Christians. What can be more important than getting to the point where we have discerned what God is wanting for us, and of what we are being called to? This is our goal; nothing will be more fulfilling than this. I pray that we will find the place that God wants us to be, where we can serve each other, be in right relationship with our brothers and sisters and with God himself. Then we will be able to go out with confidence and serve our community and share the Good News.

By Serena Shaw
Oblate Associate