June 4, 2020
by Luis Rodriguez, S.J.
Creighton University Jesuit Community
click here for photo and information about the writer

Thursday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 356

2 Timothy 2:8-15
Psalms 25:4-5ab, 8-9, 10 and 141
Mark 12:28-34

Celebrating Easter

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

The words quoted by Jesus in today’s gospel reading are those of the Shemá Israel (hear, Israel) [Dt. 6: 4-5] engraved in the heart of every faithful Israelite. Those words were recited every morning upon waking up and Jesus must have also recited them. The core message was one of wholeheartedness: with all your heart... Those words were addressed to all Israelites, but they remain valid for any believer. There is no such thing as a call to half-heartedness. Sometimes the diversity of callings is misread as a diversity of expected response, as if priests, nuns, religious... were called to wholeheartedness, while the rest of the baptized were called to muddle through as best they can.

Surely, there is a diversity of vocations among the baptized. However that diversity lies not on the side of the expected response, but on the side of the calling itself, on the side of what we already desire to respond to wholeheartedly. Baptism is a calling to the wholeheartedness of the Shemá. But through prayerful reflection on our life experience we try to recognize the path the Lord is inviting us to follow and then our response, which we already desired to be wholehearted, leads us to marriage, priesthood, religious life... medicine, law, nursing, teaching...

The difference among vocations lies not on the side of the expected response, but the side of the diverse calling we are expected to respond to wholeheartedly.

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