In Ephesians 4: 1-4, Paul exhorts us to “lead a life worthy of your vocation.” And in today’s first reading, Ephesians 4: 9-13, he says to us: “…we are all to come to unity in our faith and in our knowledge of the Son of God until we become the perfect person, fully mature with the fullness of Christ himself.”
In considering one’s choice of a vocation in life—marriage, religious life, priesthood or the single life—in which do you believe you will more likely grow “fully mature with the fullness of Christ Himself”? Would that be with a partner as in marriage, “falling in love,” giving one’s life selflessly to one another, bearing with one another’s burdens charitably, in “gentleness and patience,” striving to “preserve the unity of the Spirit by the peace that binds” married couples together (cf Eph 4: 1-4).? Would it be as a single person, charitably sharing your talents and energy selflessly, in gentleness and patience through your chosen career and through parish involvement? Or would it be as a woman/man religious, building the Kingdom through the three vows of poverty, chastity and obedience and being involved in ministries of a religious community wherever and to whomever you are sent and in living charitably, gently, patiently in community with other persons? Or would it be as a diocesan priest, living selflessly for the sake of your parishioners?
As you read this, did you hear a little voice within you say: “Oh, no. I could never do that?” Or did you feel the Spirit nudging you: “This is the vocation to which I am being called!” Or, “yes, that is where I believe I will truly grow in maturity in Christ Jesus.” Or did a small voice within you say: “Yes, I need a partner throughout life to whom I give my all and who gives his/her all to me unreservedly until death do us part.” Or did you hear: “Yes, I want to be a priest.” “Yes, I want to live in community; I want to vow poverty, chastity, and obedience.” “Yes, I believe I can live in community with other women (if male, with other men) and grow to maturity by the demands of community living, being sent on mission, being obedient to a religious leader, living a vow of poverty and chastity.”
Pay attention to your inner voice!