We dined together again this past weekend, as is only appropriate on such a feast day. Probably like you, I was secretly afraid he’d order locusts, but he didn’t. His shirt was more linen than camel-hair, but he did decline the fine red wine. As the rest of us took our first sips, he asked us all a sobering question: “What is your vocation?”
If indeed, as the liturgy’s Psalm 139 asserts, we are wonderfully made by God – not cloned but individually created and loved by name, then we are each given a vocation: a distinct and overriding holy theme for our lives, one particular facet of God Himself that we are meant to showcase and celebrate for the benefit of The Kingdom.
John’s primary vocation is to be a herald of the Lamb, a voice in the wilderness announcing the Christ. As he grows to know Christ more and more, his vocation blossoms into Becoming Less – of decreasing so that the Lord may increase – both in John’s own heart and in the world at large.
What about the rest of us around the holy table? Do we know? Hmmm… Well, some of us have the vocation of tender healing, some joyful loving, some grateful stewardship, some raising up new prophets, some teaching mercy. But – ah – some of us don’t know. We’ve been asking and asking, but not heard the answer!
“That’s OK,” said John, explaining that sometimes we are on a need-to-know basis and need to move forward in obedient faith. “But,” he chuckled as he poured wild honey into his espresso, “sometimes we need to stop talking so much and listen. Decrease. So He may increase.”
Parish Catechetical Leader