R. Alleluia, alleluia. A great prophet has arisen in our midst and God has visited his people. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
How few of us have seen or heard a call from God, a divine vocation, in the humdrum activities of our daily lives, and yet these ordinary daily tasks are the road to heaven that God has mapped out for us. These are the “vocations” he has given us.
We may say that we ourselves chose our careers in life, we decided what occupation we should follow, but behind our free decisions the wise providence of God, working through parents, neighbors, circumstances of time and place, has so arranged our earthly journey that it would end for us in heaven.
Many of us grumble at our role in life. We think our lot is so inferior and demanding when compared with the life others lead, and even go so far as to say that God could have no part in such a bad arrangement.
Yet, God is in charge of his world. He chooses each individual for the role he is to carry to its successful conclusion. And let’s not forget that although we may have responded to God’s call to our specific “vocation” in life, above all we are called to be Holy. We are called to be Evangelizers!
Click here to learn about the annual Bishop Perry’s Catholic Chicago Men’s Forum held on the Saturday after Easter each year. All men from around the Archdiocese of Chicago and beyond are invited to attend.
1Samuel 3:3b-10,19 1Corinthians 6:13c-15a,17-20 John 1:35-42
“God is good! … All the time! All the time! …God is good!”
Let us examine these selected scripture verses for our instruction and inspiration that focus on God’s call – and our proper response.
From the time of Adam and Eve, down through the ages the Scriptures are filled with radical calls: the Samaritan woman, Moses, Jonah, Martha and Mary, Zacchaeus, Samuel, to name just a few. Today in this New Year God is calling you. Are you listening?
God’s ways are surely wonderful! He could govern and regulate this world and all its inhabitants most correctly and successfully all by himself. However, he has decided to give man a chance of co-operating with him in the running of the material and spiritual affairs of his world. Perhaps they are more often a hindrance rather than a help to the Lord. Yet, he not only allows them but he calls them, selects them for various roles in the government of his world.
This is true in the running of the temporal affairs as well as the government of the spiritual life of men on earth. The exercise of power over a nation or community of people is not from man but from God, thus the obligation on subjects to obey the just laws of their rulers. God it is who delegates his authority to earthly rulers.
During the first eight hundred years of God’s dealings with his Chosen People, both the temporal and spiritual leadership of the people always resided in one and the same individual. The Patriarchs, Moses, Joshua, the Judges down to the appointment of kings (1030 B.C.), were individually called by God to administer both the temporal and spiritual affairs of the community. Today’s lesson tells us how Samuel the prophet got his call to fulfill this double task of temporal and spiritual leadership of God’s people. Because God was with him in all his doings he carried it out very successfully for about twenty years.
All men and women have a vocation – a call – from God in this life. Each individual has duties to perform which, if faithfully carried out, will earn for them the place God has planned for them in the eternal kingdom. A few are called to be the leaders of their fellowman. The vast majority of us are called to follow our leaders by loyally obeying the laws enacted for their just government. Each one of us has a call from God, a part to play in the temporal and spiritual affairs of this life. The future status of each one of us will be determined by the manner in which we carried out our role – responded to the call on earth.
Samuel didn’t have the faintest idea that it was God who was speaking to him when he first got his call, his vocation, in the shrine at Shiloh. But when he eventually realized the truth (thanks to Eli’s wise counsel) he immediately offered his humble service to the Lord, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
How few of us have seen or heard a call from God, a divine vocation, in the humdrum activities of our daily lives, and yet these ordinary daily tasks are the road to heaven that God has mapped out for us. These are the “vocations” he has given us. We may say that we ourselves chose our careers in life, we decided what occupation we should follow, but behind our free decisions the wise providence of God, working through parents, neighbors, circumstances of time and place, has so arranged our earthly journey that it would end for us in heaven. Many of us grumble at our role in life. We think our lot is so inferior and demanding when compared with the life others lead, and even go so far as to say that God could have no part in such a bad arrangement. Yet, God is in charge of his world. He chooses each individual for the role he is to carry to its successful conclusion. And let’s not forget that although we may have responded to God’s call to our specific “vocation” in life, above all we are called to be Holy. We are called to be Evangelizers!
“There is a divinity that shapes our ends, rough-hew them as we will,” Shakespeare tells us. God has a master plan for the human race and to each one of us he has given a little niche in that plan. If we play the part he has given us, though it be noble or humble in the eyes of this world, we will make a success of God’s master-plan, of this great human drama. Our own eternal success will be assured. With Samuel today, let us accept our vocation and humbly submit ourselves to his divine will: “Speak Lord for thy servant is listening”.
Only God knows the good that can come about by reading one good Catholic book.”
St. John Bosco
Hero: Being the Strong Father Your Children Need
Author: Dr. Meg Meeker
Whether you know it or not, if you’re a dad, you’re a hero— that’s the message of bestselling author and pediatrician Meg Meeker. Even if you’re struggling with all the demands of fatherhood, let Dr. Meeker reassure you: every man has it within him to be the hero father his children need. With simple step-by-step instructions and drawing on long experience—including her work with the NFL’s Fatherhood Initiative—Dr. Meeker shows you how to be the father you want to be and your children need you to be.
Man to Man, Dad to Dad: Catholic Faith and Fatherhood
Author: Brian Caufeld
“Despite our best efforts, these are still difficult days for men and for fathers,” writes Brian Caulfield, editor of a newly published collection of essays titled “Man to Man, Dad to Dad.” Caulfield believes “the joys of fatherhood are many.” At the same time, he points out that “many questions and uncertainties” surround a father’s role today. The “identity and duties” of men and of fathers “have been in flux for decades, and it is time for us to start building something new and better from the shifting sands of our culture,” he says.
Each hour of each day you are forming habits that shape your character and will determine where you will spend eternity. When your earthly life ends, it will be too late to change your destiny. In the midst of the hectic demands, busy schedules, and countless interruptions of every day, this book gives you the surefire, divinely instituted “apps” for becoming the man God wants you to be. Use them! Your family is counting on you.
Former NFL all-pro wide receiver and coach, Crossing the Goal is a non-profit ministry whose mission is to call, equip and empower Catholic men to become and stay spiritually fit in their faith through the utilization of Spiritual Fitness Workouts.
Men are rediscovering the importance of the spiritual life. And Father Larry Richards is helping them do it. While some writers apply a one-size-fits-all approach to the Christian life, Father Richards draws on his many years of ministry and his own experience as a man to inspire other men as men.
“Good reading is food for the soul. The Daughters of St. Paul offer a healthy menu of reading material for any Catholic wishing to fill in the time that’s on our hands, find tips from the lives of the saints, feed meditation and keep us abreast soberly with issues affecting the Church and the Christian lifestyle today.”
We hear a lot these days about “intentional discipleship” from preachers, motivational speakers and writers about what it takes to be real Christians in these times. These speakers highlight for us the increasing secularism of American life, namely, that the modern mind-set is intent on pushing away a religious tone to life as evident in state and federal legislation that advances freedoms beyond that which the scriptures would countenance, or the lifestyles of people we know and love, matched with decreasing numbers attending church or synagogue or mosque. We Americans believe in God to large percentage even though our actions may not always clearly represent that belief.
We are aware, as strident Christians have always been aware these two thousand years, that the popular culture presses up against us in ways religious belief and lifestyle cannot endorse. We are faced daily with choices and decisions none too easy to make. Political and religious leadership sometimes don’t help to model us citizens with their decisions and law making and lifestyles. Even our children and grandchildren make choices opposite the way we have reared them. What to do? Pray fervently and daily, certainly. In the meantime:
Intentional discipleship means that we take the message of Jesus Christ seriously and apply it to our lives to the best of our ability without equivocation while encouraging others to do the same. This is evangelization. We stake our lives on the gospel vision of life. We have lived the gospel all our lives and find consolation in its truth. We are so convinced of this we had our children baptized in this faith. We practice this faith day-in-and-day-out. The vision and message of Christ shows itself in our homes, the way we live, the way we spend our money and give some of it away, the way we assess and comment on current events some indeed tragic. Gospel truth shows itself in our devotion to our spouses and children, our charity and forgiveness of others, our managerial relationship with others, our choices at the ballot box and the counsel we give others.
Indeed, nothing is worthwhile unless we do it intentionally and with fervor as upright Christians. This is the manner in which Jesus lived and died for us. It is the only way his disciples can live authentically his legacy. Bishop Joseph N. Perry
In only two years, Pope Francis has changed the face of Catholicism by radically reimagining how it presents itself to the world. From the moment he stepped out on the balcony of St. Peter’s, he has presented a different style of being pope and a new set of priorities for the church.