MANILA, September 28, 2014—A Catholic lawyer-preacher recently discussed the meaning of vocation, and how each faithful is called to “a life centered on Jesus”.
Addressing catechists, religious educators, and students in a catechetical conference organized by the Company of Saint Dominic (CSD), a secular institute under the Archdiocese of Manila (RCAM), held September 13 at Santa Catalina College-Legarda, Dominican lawyer-preacher Marwil N. Llasos said a vocation always starts with Christ’s loving invitation.
“Nobody chooses Christ. Christ chooses us,” he shared, stressing that everyone has a vocation in life.
Citing Matthew 16:24, Matthew 19:21, Mark 8:34, Luke 9:23, and Luke 18:22, Llasos said it is significant that Jesus often prefaced his invitation to discipleship with the sentence “Come, follow me” and sometimes with “Come and see” ( John 1:39).
According to him, Christ’s call has “rest” as its ultimate goal.
Matthew 11:28 reads, “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.”
“But what kind of rest?” asked Llasos.
Quoting St. Augustine of Hippo, one of the greatest theologians the Catholic Church has produced, he said, “Our hearts are made for thee. My heart is restless until it rests in Thee.”
Llasos explained it is to Jesus alone that the faithful should seek, because only He can satisfy the longing of their hearts.
Most powerful word ‘yes’
“Jesus continues to invite us to a fellowship with Him. He invites us as friends and He breaks bread with us. That bread is His own Body, the Eucharist,” he said.
Sharing Revelation 3:20, the lawyer-preacher said, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, [then] I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me.
“The Lord invites us to the banquet of His love,” explained Llasos, emphasizing that Christ’s call presupposes living the life He has.
“Jesus is our example. Always look at Jesus and follow the way of life He has,” said the lawyer-preacher.
Llasos added that vocation is a “call to mission”, the response to which is always a “yes”.
“For every vocation there is a mission. Our mission starts with a call, an invitation. But more so it is a challenge,” he shared.
“Are we responding to God’s invitation? Are we taking on the challenge? If your answer is yes, then you have chosen to be brave. And so we make our fiat. Like Mary, we say “Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done to me according to your Word” [Luke 1:38],” he continued.
“Yes is the most powerful yes in any language. It is also the most sought-after. Why? It is with a yes that a relationship starts,” said Llasos. (Raymond A. Sebastián)