“Not as man sees does God see, because he sees the appearance but the LORD looks into the heart”. This Word of God through prophet Samuel (1 Samuel 16:7) to Jesse, the father of David is to explain the God’s choice of David – the least among his brothers – as King of Israel. Every Biblical call story, for that matter, reveals real people in ordinary situation being summoned into extraordinary vocation of doing God’s Will. What is evident in all these stories is that God does not look at outward religiosity but inward reality.
This weekend’s gospel passage is one such story. Andrew, Peter, James and John are called to carry forward the “revolution” he has just ignited. Again, it’s a call difficult to understand, difficult explain. Of course Jesus knows what he is doing. What’s in the mind of these fishermen who are called? An early Church Father Eusebius says: “The disciples might reasonably have asked ’But how can we do it? How can we preach to Romans? How can we argue with Egyptians? We are brought up to use the Aramaic language only. What language shall we speak to Greeks? How shall we speak to Persians, Armenians, Chaldeans, Scythians, Indians and other scattered nations…?’” Another apologist Origen answers: “There can be no doubt that it is not by human strength or resources that the word of Christ comes to prevail.”
It’s the same with and for us. God will not ask us to do anything that he will not help us to do. He empowers the powerless. He enables the inabled. The ‘Yes’ Andrew, Peter, James and John say is once and for all. Nonetheless, it’s beginning of a journey with Christ. This one time ‘Yes’ entails innumerable subordinate ‘Yes’s. This is what we call vocations within vocation.
Our vocation to be grandparents, parents, children, teachers, students, doctors, nurses, carers, curers, engineers, scientist, technicians, priests – you name it – have other vocations within. Discovering, saying yes and living them on a daily basis are how we do God’s Will; grow in the love of God and in our discipleship. God calls us from where we are and in what we do.
He is hiring now. He is hiring men and women for incredibly important life changing challenge. They will be inconvenienced, asked to go beyond their comfort zone, carry many crosses. But it’s going to be fun and the retirement benefits are great in heaven.