Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Vocation of Christ

Above: Behind the great baptismal font at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles is a set of five tapestries, created by John Nava, with a central depiction of Jesus being baptized by John the Baptist in the River Jordan. Now keep in mind that each of the five tapestry panels is forty seven and a half feet high and seven feet wide.

Below: In this detail from the central tapestry, note how the soles of Jesus' feet evidence his walking barefoot or sandal shod.
This Sunday we will remember the Baptism of Jesus. It also begins the celebration of Vocation Awareness Week. Christ's Baptism is the moment when He was affirmed and confirmed in His own mission. From His Baptism, He began His ministry. At His baptism, He understood how beloved He was by God.

In the first reading this Sunday, the prophet Isaiah speaks about the servant whom God upheld. The servant will bring forth justice to the nations and will have God’s spirit. Saint Peter, in the second reading, teaches the people that Jesus came to preach peace. Jesus was anointed by God with the Holy Spirit, and did wonderful things for God.

What does this all say about vocation? If we want peace and God’s love to reign here and now, then we are invited to do what Jesus did: to love, to find opportunities to love, to be compassionate. We are challenged to show mercy as God shows mercy.

So what is God doing in you? What difference is the message of the parables, teachings, words of Jesus doing in your life right now? What are the experiences in your life that you and God can look at together and see a deeper meaning that can in turn have an impact for your future?

God has not given up on us….. on you… or on me. At this point in our lives, in the life of our church and of our community here, God is asking us all to be open; to be open to the gifts that have been given to us in Baptism; to be open to the deeper message of our life experiences; to be open to the quiet and gentle stirrings in our hearts that move us closer to understanding what God is calling us to in our life.

In the end, we are called to be open – open to the whisper of God’s gentle Spirit stirring us into action, and open to the voice of God calling us through the people we are called to serve.