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Archives Vocations week: ‘I have called you by name’

November 3, 2021

By Sister Mary Eamon Lyng, SSJ
Diocesan Vocations Coordinator

“I Have called You by Name.” Is God knocking in your heart to serve Him in a special way as a priest, a deacon, a consecrated religious? We have seen pictures of Jesus knocking on the door with no latch on the outside. Jesus waits for the person on the other side of the door to open it. He calls each of us by name to love and to serve Him in a special way. He says, “You are mine.”

God has a history of calling people by name to carry forward a special mission, for example Abraham, Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, John the Baptist, Mary, Joseph, Jesus, Peter, Paul. If we read these “Call Stories” in the Old and New Testament, we can identify with their questions, resistance, and struggle as they pondered God’s summons to accept the call. Only with the promise of God found in Isaiah 43: 1-5, do we hear: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine.” It was a call to a deeper love of God for God for the sake of some mission. And so, too for each of us.

How do we “let God in the door of our hearts” so that we can do more for Him? God is never static. God’s gift of His Son and the Spirit constantly stirs deep within each of us His grace to flourish and to grow. Our relationship with God is a love affair, and God desires our hearts to love Him in a special way that no one else can be or do. In the very depth of our hearts, the tabernacle, that holy place where God dwells, let us consider and reflect on these questions: What activity of God is stirring in your life and in your world? How is God’s work being done in and around you in the world? How are you contributing to God’s work in your home, workplace, or parish? Is there more that you can do?

Jesus, the Good Shepherd, challenged Peter with the questions: “Do you love Me?” three times. Each time, Peter answered, “You know, Lord, that I love you.” And each time, Jesus said, “Then feed my lambs,” “Feed my sheep,” “Follow me” (John 21:15-21).

“The harvest is great, but the laborers are few” (Luke 10:2). By our baptism, all of us are are called and commissioned to go out to proclaim the Gospel message. Some are being called by the Good Shepherd to labor in the vineyard as priests, deacons or as consecrated religious priests, brothers or sisters. Can you hear and recognize the voice of the Shepherd calling you? Will you open the door and let the Shepherd in to the call “Follow Me?”

In your prayer, ask, seek, and knock on the door of Jesus’ heart to know His love and His will for you to serve Him well. He has called you by name to continue the mission of the Church, to build up His kingdom of love, justice, peace and righteousness. In our persevering prayer, we receive, find and the door is opened. It is an act of faith and trust that the “Father Knows Best,” what is good for each one of us.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, then I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me”(Revelation 3:20).

Prayer – Hymn – “At the Lamb’s High Feast We Sing”
Take my life, and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to thee;
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands,
and let them move
At the impulse of thy love;
Take my heart, it is thine own;
It shall be thy royal throne.
Take my voice, and let me sing
Always my intellect, and use
Every power as thou shalt choose.
Take my will, and make it thine;
It shall be no longer mine.
Take myself, and I will be
Ever only all for thee.

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