Sunday, March 14, 2010

St. Joseph's Day: Vocation - March 19, 2010

Friday is the feast of St. Joseph. It is a day strong in the Catholic tradition of fidelity to vocation. Strong points need to be made:

1) The universal vocation to holiness in Christ is, as St. Paul says, a “predestination” before the creation of the world. Paul says: “Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blemish in his sight in love. He predestined us to be adopted through Jesus Christ as his sons, according to the purpose of his will, unto the praise of the glory of his grace, with which he has favored us in his beloved Son” (Ephesians 1, 4-6).

2) If that “predestination” took place before the creation of the world, it means that we have not been called because we have these or those qualities or virtues, but rather the other way around. We have these qualities and virtues because we have been called. Everything about us is in function of that call: born of these parents, in that place, with this kind of education, with these friends, those intellectual and emotional qualities, etc.

3) Which raises the critical question: what are we doing with our talents and virtues in the light of the vocation for which they were given to us? This is the examination we should undergo in the few days preceding the feast of St. Joseph. Christ approached the fig tree looking for fruit. He found nothing but leaves.

“Now in the morning, as he returned to the city, he was hungry.
Seeing a fig tree by the road, he came to it, and found nothing on it but leaves.
He said to it,
"Let there be no fruit from you forever!"
Immediately the fig tree withered away” (Matt 21:18-22)

4) Christ lives. The dynamic of conversion to the radicality of the call for all of us is the fact that Christ lives now. We are not dealing with an historical figure or a memory of a past Person or event. We are dealing with a living Christ. The eschatology is not simply the Parousia. It is the living Christ Who stands before us.

The mind and spirit of St. Josemaria Escriva is the following: “Jesus lives, with flesh like mine, but glorified; with a heart of flesh like mine. Scio enim quod Redemptor meus vivit, ‘I know that my Redeemer lives’ (Job 19, 25). My Redeemer, my Friend, my Father, my King, my God, my Love, lives! He watches over me. He loves me even more than does that blessed woman (my mother), who brough me into the world… It’s enough: let the fellows draw the practical consequences. How often this simple, trite consideration has sparked off a roaring blaze of Faith and Love in a manly heart!”[1]

[1] Pedro Rodriguez, “The Way,” “Critical-Historical Edition,” Scepter (UK) Ltd. 2009, 753.

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