16 August, Monday — Our Individual Vocations

Aug 16 – Memorial for St. Stephen of Hungary

When he succeeded his father as chief of a group of people, Stephen adopted a policy of Christianisation in Hungary for both political and religious reasons. He suppressed a series of revolts by pagan nobles and welded the Magyars into a strong national group. As king, Stephen established a system of tithes to support churches and pastors and to relieve the poor. Out of every 10 towns, one had to build a church and support a priest. He abolished pagan customs with a certain amount of violence, and commanded all to marry, except clergy and religious. He was easily accessible to all, especially the poor.

  • Patron Saint Index

Jgs 2:11-19
Mt 19:16-22

“What more do I need to do?”

I admit that I have watched and read so many materials on how to know which vocation God is calling me to. We know that if we live our lives according to our vocations, that would be the easiest path for us to become a saint, and to be joyful and content in this world. Why wouldn’t I be interested if this was the proposition?

One of the basic pointers in discerning vocations is that God will never ask us to do something that’s against what He taught through the Catholic Church. It is the same as what Jesus did in today’s readings. He was letting the man know that he has to fulfill the very basic and universal criteria on what a good man must do – and that is to follow the commandments. And we all know that for all of us, there is something more than this universal call. We all have a specific vocation where God calls us to. And for that man, it was to give up his riches. For you and me, it might be different, but it could also be equally difficult.

What more do I need to do? The answer would be to choose God above everything and everyone. For some of us, our ‘treasures’ might be our career, for some, a certain relationship, for some, a certain dream. It may not always be easy to give these up. For some of us, there will be struggles and negotiations with God. Some of us may take a long time to give these up. God will patiently wait for us to give these up – he knows when we will be ready.

Brothers and sisters, I’d like to take this opportunity to invite you all to a short imaginative prayer. Let us hold out our hand and make a fist. Then, before we open our fists, let’s ask God to show us what we’re holding on too tightly to, which is preventing us from choosing him above all. Slowly, let’s open our hand and see what we’re holding on to. Let us imagine Jesus right in front of us with his hands open, waiting for us to give him whatever it is that we are holding on tightly to.

With this, I leave you to continue that conversation with him.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Stephanie Villa)

Prayer: Dearest Father, help me let go of the things that keep me away from you, and from the vocation you have in mind for me.

Thanksgiving: Thank you, Lord, for preparing something even greater than what I’m holding on to now.

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