Readings at Mass: 1 Kings 19:16. 19-21
Psalm: 15:1-2, 5, 7-11
Galatians 5:1, 13-18
Vocation is a mystery, as is clear from today’s readings, and the call to follow God comes in strange ways. Elijah throws his cloak over Elisha, both Elijah and Jesus demand instant response – no room here for procrastination; yet at the same time Jesus sounds weary as he says that the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head. His own vocation requires single-mindedness – he resolutely takes the road for Jerusalem. Another translation has ‘he set his face for Jerusalem’. There is nothing cosy about this. It all sounds quite harsh and very demanding.
Yet, in the psalm, it is in God we can take refuge, our portion and cup. The psalm is so encouraging, full of happiness and rejoicing. In the second reading Paul reminds us that Christ freed us and meant us to remain free. St Dominic has been described as “stupefyingly free”.
Perhaps what makes sense of the apparent contradictions is the actual living out of the call to follow Christ. A vocation is not a one-off call or invitation. It is a daily, free, life-long response, mostly made up of apparently insignificant encounters, incidents, opportunities. Like marriage, the response. the statement of commitment, is only the beginning in all vocations, and, for Christians, baptism is where it all starts. We are all called to “serve one another, rather, in works of love, since the whole Law is summed up in a single command: Love your neighbour as yourself”. (Second Reading). The response to our call to live the Christian life is both free and joyful, not cosy, but totally life-giving.
Sr Lucina Montague O.P.