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Vocation: A Prophetic Call Contributed by Sr. Anitha Flavia Lobo A call is something you receive from God. A call is not a career. A career is something you do for yourself; a call is something you do for God. A career promises status, money or power. A call generally promises difficulty, suffering, and the opportunity to be used by God. A career may end with retirement. A call isn't over until the day you die. A career can be disrupted by any number of events; but when God calls you he enables you to fulfill your calling even in the most difficult circumstances. God calls each of us personally, by name. since God calls us by name, our response can only be from the unique individuals that we are, we respond with our own talents and abilities, our own shortcomings and limitations. As Abraham was different from Moses, Peter from Paul, Mary from Martha, so each of us is different and so is our response. We respond to God in a way that is not better or worse than others, but just uniquely different. Every call is a call to live in faith. Therefore, with faith in our loving God let us surrender our life to him. Scripture Reading: Ex 3:4-8, 10-12:4:1-5. Reflection:- when God called Moses, one of the questions he asked him was, "what is that in your hand? Moses held his shepherd's staff. It represented his livelihood: it's what he was good at. It represented his income: his flock was his wealth and his family's security. God asked him to be willing to lay it down. Today God asks us, "What is that in your hand? What has been given to you? It could be our gifts and talents, our wealth, our experience, our relationships, our education. God has given us some special human qualities called our strengths. It might include abilities like curiosity, love for learning, sound judgment, and social intelligence. It can be our capacity for kindness and the expression of mercy or the ability to bring about fairness and leadership. Or else qualities like self-control, prudence, humility, the appreciation for beauty, the expression of gratitude, the ability to hope, and the capacity for joy. We all have the capacity for each of these strengths, but a few resonate more deeply in us. They are called "signature strengths". We need to identify these, and begin to understand our calling. Sometimes we think God couldn't or wouldn't use us because of our weaknesses. No, the opposite is true. Listen to what St. Paul says, "Consider your own calling, brothers. Not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, and not many were of noble birth. Rather, God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise, and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong, and God chose the lowly and despised of the world, those who count for nothing, to reduce to nothing those who are something, so that no human being might boast before God". For Paul, his weakness was never a hindrance in proclaiming Jesus, he writes to the Corinthian community, "I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me". Every call has a goal and a purpose. Our call is often connected to what troubles us deeply. For Moses it was the oppression of his people. So God used that, and called Moses to lead his people to freedom. For Dr Martin Luther king Jr. It was the injustice of a society that enslaved and oppressed African-Americans. If we want to discover our call, begin praying about what troubles us deeply. Usually we try to avoid unpleasantness, but if we have a sense that our call involves helping the poor, spend time around those in poverty. Allow our heart to be moved, carry within us the conviction that things must change, and keep praying, Lord, and make me a changed person. "Our call means God believes in us. Short pause for personal reflection: Intercessory Prayer Response: Lord, make us faithful and loyal disciples. - God has a plan for each of us. He has built in us tremendous potentials to realize this plan. May we surrender all are unique qualities and abilities at the disposal of the Lord to be used for his purpose. Resp. - All those called by God were constantly in touch with the Lord. Their deep intimacy with the Lord helped them to be faithful to their call. May all the committed youth be deeply rooted in God, and may God be their constant companion in all the events and happenings of their life. Resp. - When Jesus called his disciples, so prompt was their response that they left everything and followed him. When we know that God is inviting us for a particular task, may we too have the disposition to follow him with generosity and promptness? Resp. - Lord Jesus, we beg you to make us worthy disciples, may we faithfully follow your teaching and inspiration. In moments of weakness strengthen us. Resp. Concluding prayer: Heavenly Father, you anointed and sent your only son Jesus into the world to proclaim the good news of salvation to the people of our time. Through the ages you continue to choose and send out men and women of goodwill to carry out the same mission. May all those who are called respond generously to your invitation, modeling their life on the life of Jesus, and be true to their calling even at the cost of great sacrifice. We make this prayer through Christ Our Lord. Amen. Reference: from the book of 'Come Let us Worship' by Miriam N fsp