The Young Man at the Tomb Holding Fast to Each Other Amen to What We Are The Lord, Our Justice Claiming Our True Name What We Expect The Comma Keeping the Demons Quiet The Dove in the Heavens Thankfulness and Generosity Speaking to Jesus A Promise to Simeon and Us A Sign for You The Voice in the Wilderness How Annunciations Work The Least, the Lost, and the Last Waiting for Christ’s Return Attire for the Kingdom The Cross in a Violent World Come to the Banquet Today Anointing of the Sick Finding the Eternal Change and Continuity Paying Attention The First and the Last Using Bad Consequences How to Talk to God Ready to Forgive Facing the Serpent Priority and Mutuality Three Meals a Day Searching for Pearls The Power of Service Why Walk on Water? The Day Jesus Was Wrong The Promise of the New Name The Two Feet of Love Facing the Hour Looking Backwards Touching the Leper Touching the Leper Misunderstanding God Doing It Poorly God’s Midwife A Name for the Holy Spirit The Coffin So We Do Not Have to Touch Being Better to Each Other Earthquakes and Galilee Lazarus as a Disciple Seeing More Learning from Peter Imitating God’s Holiness Weekly Bulletin 3/2/14 Imitating God’s Holiness Weekly Bulletin 3/9/14 Choosing a Master Goodness in Temptation A Pinch of Salt Teaching the Commandments The Freedom of the Baptist Christ’s Broken Body Faith Is More than Looking The Twelve Days of Christmas God’s Timing Resurrection and Transformation The Good That Is Gone Zacchaeus Moments God in the Smallest Things Trust and Community When God’s Commands Do Not Fit The Faith of Honeybees Choosing Hell Following the Dishonest Steward The Ninety-Nine The Freedom to Let Go Beyond Politics The Balance of Humility Not Fearing Fire The Beauty Remains To Welcome as a Samaritan A Moveable Peace Bring On the Women! The Two Sides of Bread Waiting for the Ticket The Groove of the Spirit Jesus Is Not Like Congress A Divine Partnership What Kind of Love Is This? Boston Bombings and God Fishing and Forgiveness A New Kind of Joy Letting Christ Out The Sign of Inversion Our Doodling God A Parable of Love and Jealousy Not Enough Time The Ordinary and the Transcendent The Battle with the Devil God Is Not Kidding The Power of Love We Are the Body of Christ The Arc of Life Waiting for the Final Gift Displacement at Christmas Incarnating God Presenting the Mess Red Cake and Lima Beans A Call to Serve Beyond Asking Jesus’ Commandment Being Ready to Take God in the Foxhole God Is Still Working Adjusting What Is Necessary Learning from the Prophet Amos About Jesus’ Brothers The Most Popular Miracle The Importance of Hunger Eternal Life Influencing Others Finding the Right Proportion Do What You Love Stopping for the Least To Love Irritating People Marriage, Divorce, and Children Asking for More Drinking the Cup Terror in Paris God Will Come Boundaries, Security, and Generosity Feeling Movements of Life A Place to Learn God Uses Small Things Signs of Life When God Says No Christian Optimism From Transition to Call The Long Struggle The Gate of Heaven Common Sense or Hope The Spoiled Son An Oasis for Everyone Jesus’ Last Meal The Curious Omission Finding a Pony Anointing of the Sick A New Commandment After the Ascension Sin and Love The Cross and Joy The Call to Follow A Call for Humility Violence in America Two Thoughts on Prayer Live Today with Thanksgiving An Examined Life The Narrow Gate Serving Ourselves Losing Sheep Using Dishonest Wealth The Door and the Chasm Faith and Duty Distance and More Not Growing Weary Making a Difference Inadequacies and Grace Finding God Facing Turmoil Jesus, Remember Me The Lion and the Lamb Wild Like John Let Go in Love A Wider Christmas The Last Six Miles God’s Big Plan The Remnant The Salt of the Earth Beyond the Ten Commandments Love Your Enemy Focusing Our Worry How Evil Works Our Transfiguration Re-membering Our Lives Our Story If Only The Time for Hope A Second Greeting of Peace The Eucharist and Welcoming Practicing Non-Violence The Work of Forgiveness Why Are You Looking Up at the Sky? The Mystery of Salvation Being Thankful How Is a Burden Light? The Problem with Sparrows Eternal Creation Patient Vigilance Buried Treasure Thinking Again Where You Do Not Want to Go The Courage to Speak Humility and Truth Do Something Good Knowing the Song Acting Against Evil God Will Come What We Can Say Senseless Violence Invitation as a Threat What Belongs to God Two Commands, Side by Side Burdens We May Not See Foolish or Wise Accepting the Consequences Serving the Least Watching for Jesus Camels and Gnats Becoming Smaller The Christmas Barber The Ring of the Kings The Freedom and Faith of John the Baptist Zebedee The Opioid Crisis Approaching, Grasping, Lifting Up What God Intends The Battle with Satan Following Elijah and Moses Standing in Truth A God of Love or Condemnation When Life Turns Not Fully Prepared The Wounds We Carry Selling Onions Son of Encouragement To Love as God Loves Engagement with the World Doubting Disciples Sabbath Avoiding the Diabolical Persistent Hope Speaking the Word Within Us “And Also With You” Capital Punishment

A Call to Serve

April 26, 2015 Click on the left end of the black bar to play/pause

April 26, 2015
John 10:11-18
Fr. George Smiga

Some of you may remember that this last February a young 26-year-old American woman was killed while being held captive by the Islamic State. Her name was Kayla Mueller, and she was in Syria providing humanitarian aid to the refuges of the Syrian crisis. What you might not know about Kayla is that the work she did was motivated by a deep religious conviction. She worked among the refuges because that is where she saw God. She wrote in a letter to her parents, “I find God in the suffering eyes reflected in mine. And so, dear Lord, if this is where you are revealed to me, this is where I will forever seek you.”

Working among the suffering people around her was what God was calling Kayla to do. It was her vocation. Christians have always believed that God calls each of us to a particular vocation, to a particular path in life. And here is the truth about vocations. When you find what God is calling you to do, when you find where, in Kayla’s words, “You can find God,” you will be happy. Kayla’s parents report that her letters from prison were remarkably positive and joyful. They were this way because her imprisonment flowed from her vocation, from who she was, and who she was called to be. Jesus reflects this kind of freedom in today’s Gospel. He says the he willingly, freely, lays down his life for his sheep. He can do this because he understands that his vocation is to be the shepherd, that God is calling him to care for the people that have been entrusted to him.

When we find our vocation, we will have freedom and joy. This is why it is so important for us to discern what God is calling us to do. If we base our life on how much money we can make, how much influence we can have, how much popularity we can accrue, we might in time be wealthy, powerful, and popular. But we might not be happy. This is why we should ask over and again, “What is God calling me to?” That answer can be different in our 20’s, in our 40’s, or in our 60’s.

God calls no one to everything. We cannot walk multiple paths at the same time. That is why it is important for each of us to find our own path and follow it. For some it will be a dedicated life of service as a single person. For many it will be the partnership of marriage, loving our spouse, our children, and our grandchildren. But we also believe that God is calling people to the priesthood and religious life as brothers and sisters. It is a priestly vocation that I discern as mine. I have no regrets in choosing it. Over the last forty years I have been blessed time and again by the people with whom I have worked and the people I have had the privileged to serve. The religious vocation is not as popular as it was fifty years ago. But the church still needs healthy and generous men and women to serve as priests, deacons, sisters, and brothers to bring about God’s Kingdom in our world.

So do not be influenced by people who say, “I could never be a priest or a brother or a sister.” They say this because it is not their vocation. The question is: “Is it yours?” If it is, follow it.  It will provide you with the opportunity to lay down your life for something that is good. It will allow you to serve others. And, because it will be the place where you find God, it will make you happy.

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