Branches of Vocations
In Catholicism, we learn about the importance of vocations and how they can help us come closer to God. There is the religious life, being a priest or sister ad marrying yourself to Christ, to the service of the Church. There is the married life, growing with your spouse and helping each other to become 'Saint-like' through the graces given in marriage and baring children. The last is the celibate or single life, seeking God in other areas of work through giving oneself to the world as a single person and serving society. We discover our path, the plan God has for us, through seeking out a vocation, through constant prayer and discernment. In doing this, we work towards becoming the best of ourselves as people of faith and dedication to living out lives of faith.
Today's Gospel states:'"I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already made clean by the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples' (John 15:1-8).
Jesus uses this metaphor of the vine and the branches to show us how ultimately we are all connected and created as one with God, as people filled with God's love and the Holy Spirit. However, if we lose our way and move away from the path of vocations, of a life of faith, we wither and start to become, in some senses, barren. We cannot bare fruit, or live a fulfilling and happy life. God helps us to find happiness and fulfill our desire for more, for true love, true happiness. We must then be aware of the ways we can be fruit-bearers in life and live in a life of faith and so not to wither.
Today's prayer comes from 'Catholic Bishops' a prayer for knowing one's vocation:
Lord, my God and my loving Father, you have made me to know you, to love you, to serve you, and thereby to find and to fulfill my deepest longings. I know that you are in all things, and that every path can lead me to you. But of them all, there is one especially by which you want me to come to you. Since I will do what you want of me, I pray you, send your Holy Spirit to me: into my mind, to show me what you want of me; into my heart, to give me the determination to do it, and to do it with all my love, with all my mind, and with all of my strength right to the end. Jesus, I trust in you. Amen