Prayer and the call to Stewardship: Prayer and Your Vocation
Today’s Gospel offers us an interesting opportunity to reflect on the two great commandments in light of prayer and stewardship.
Last week I spent some time making a distinction between work and a job, noting that work is always something that we have even though jobs may come and go. Work is oriented towards stewardship and caring for the world God gave us, a job is something that we do as part of that but is usually not the main goal of our life. One of the ways we can understand this more clearly is by looking at the Catholic notion of a vocation. Every person in the Church is called to follow Jesus Christ and be His disciple; one could say this is our fundamental vocation. However, we usually choose to live this vocation in one of four ways: By getting sacramentally married, becoming a priest, entering religious life, or by choosing to remain single. It is important to note that the vocation is not a job, but rather a particular way God chooses us to live out our call to care for the world he gave us.
Seeing life in terms of a vocation can be much more exciting and gives our actions and thoughts meaning and purpose. A vocation reminds us that we don’t live for ourselves we live for God and others, that we offer ourselves not for our own gain but to make the world more like the Kingdom of God. Every vocation involves this active and public choice to serve God and others instead of ourselves. This is also important in stewardship because an awareness of vocation reminds us of the primary purpose of our lives to use our gifts and talents to love God and to love others. A prayerful embracing of vocation reminds us that our lives are rooted offering love towards others and God. Living for ourselves and our own pleasure has to be set aside for the larger goal of doing the work of loving God and others.
Offering our lives for God and others is yet another fundamental principle of Stewardship that is rooted in love. It also reminds us that if we all could live this way, the world we live in could be a quite beautiful one filled with love, mercy, and peace.