I’ve been thinking a lot about vocations lately. I live in northern Mississippi (this Chicago girl never thought she’d be living in the South) and we are in mission territory. Two weeks ago our pastor announced that he was being transferred to work in the provincial office and the parish isn’t getting a new priest. Our parish will join a cluster of parishes that is served by four priests. It’s been a shock to the system, but it is further evidence of the shrinking priesthood in the Catholic Church.
Yesterday’s first reading was the Call of Samuel (1Samuel 3:1-10, 19-20). God calls to Samuel repeatedly in the night, but Samuel thinks it is Eli the priest calling him. After Eli is awoken by the precocious Samuel three times it is then that Eli realizes that it is God calling to Samuel. Eli tells the young boy to respond, “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.” Once again God calls to the young boy and he responds as Eli instructed.
I call my son all day long and most of the time he doesn’t listen to me because it’s his job to ignore me; he’s two. There are times when he has to listen, especially in dangerous situations, and I’m able to get his attention. Most of the time he’s very good about listening to other people, but will he know when God calls to him?
My vocation is the same thing as God’s call. I’ve been called to be a Divinity Diva, a wife, and a mother. Part of my vocation as a mom is to be like Eli. I am to listen with my son for God’s call. Eli was a “vocations director” and that is an important job for every Catholic parent. The future of the Church depends upon it.