The most difficult times can produce the greatest spiritual blessings. God truly knows just what we need at every moment!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

4th Sunday of Easter – Good Shepard Sunday – Vocation Sunday

Jesus said:

My sheep hear my voice;

I know them, and they follow me.

I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.

No one can take them out of my hand.

My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all,

and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand.

The Father and I are one.”


How to talk today about vocations? How to talk in the present situation of constant attacks against the Pope and priests about priestly vocations? It seems that priesthood becomes the least desirable “job”, one of the most dangerous and the most loathed and despised vocation.

I think we have to realise that there is one principal and fundamental vocation we forgot for so many years. It is the first and the most basic vocation, the first even in a chronological sense. When God created humanity, He created it as man and woman and gave them an order: “"Be fertile and multiply”. I put into your hands a creative power. You are my co-workers in the task of creation.

And it doesn’t means only in creating human body but in creating the human being in his totality, the human personality, human attitude, human morality. Parents have an opportunity to model the lives of their children, to really and deeply form them. Is this a guarantee that their lives will be problem free ... of course not. It is a guarantee that the children will always have God in their lives ... to help them through hard times. But, it’s up to the parents to form the human’s values in their children, and it is parents’ primary vocation, the most fundamental and the most indispensable vocation, to create the human, the fully mature and responsible person.

We can even say that the school and the church, even the seminary is not able to correct or to supplant what was distorted in the family life.

And the enemy of God know this perfectly, and this is the reason that he is attacking so furiously just the family life. Fathers who have never time for their children, because they are so busy, mothers pursuing their goals and zeal, and children being form by TV.

Few days ago I got from one of our parishioners an interesting story:

A few years after I was born, my Dad met a stranger who was new to our small Texas town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around from then on.

As I grew up, I never questioned his place in my family. In my young mind, he had a special niche. My parents were only complementary instructors: Mom taught me good from evil, and Dad taught me to obey. But the stranger...he was our storyteller. He would keep us spellbound for hours on end with adventures, mysteries and comedies.

If I wanted to know anything about politics, history or science, he always knew the answers about the past, understood the present and even seemed able to predict the future! He took my family to the first major league ball game. He made me laugh, and he made me cry. The stranger never stopped talking, but Dad didn't seem to mind.

Sometimes, Mom would get up quietly while the rest of us were shushing each other to listen to what he had to say, and she would go to the kitchen for peace and quiet. (I wonder now if she ever prayed for the stranger to leave.)

Dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions, but the stranger never felt obligated to honour them. Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our home... Not from us, our friends or any visitors. Our long-time visitor, however, got away with four-letter words that burned my ears and made my dad squirm and my mother blush. My Dad didn't permit the liberal use of alcohol. But the stranger encouraged us to try it on a regular basis. He made cigarettes look cool, cigars manly and pipes distinguished. He talked freely (much too freely!) about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing.

I now know that my early concepts about relationships were influenced strongly by the stranger. Time after time, he opposed the values of my parents, yet he was seldom rebuked... And NEVER asked to leave.

More than fifty years have passed since the stranger moved in with our family. He has blended right in and is not nearly as fascinating as he was at first. Still, if you could walk into my parents' den today, you would still find him sitting over in his corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures.

His name? ....

We just call him 'TV.'

He has a wife now....We call her 'Computer.'
Their first child is "Cell Phone".

Second child "IPod"

We have to be aware of the responsibility, parents’ responsibility and vocation. If we have problem with priestly vocation, if we have problem with our entire life … is it not due to the fact the the formation of our children we left to the stranger, whose name is TV?

If Jesus is telling us in today’s Gospel: “My sheep hear my voice, I know them, and they follow me”, we have to ask ourselves a serious question: whom are we listening to, whose voice is forming our children, who has the bigger influence in our families?

September 11, 2001, the Pentagon was slammed by a hijacked airliner. People were trapped in the flaming building. A police officer ran inside and kept repeating in the darkness, "Follow my voice." Six people did. They owe their lives to that voice.

Who is my shepherd? Whose voice do I listen to and follow?

Do I follow the voice which is telling me the kind and nice things or rather the voice telling me the truth even if it's not kind and sometimes difficult and disturbing?

Where this voice is guiding me? To freedom or to slavery?

Who is my shepherd? Whose voice do I listen to and follow?

No comments: