What is a Vocation?

What Shall I do, Lord?

‘What shall I do, Lord?’(Acts 22,10) asked St. Paul in regard of his future mission. ‘What shall I do?’ – is the most important question each one of us ought to raise to the Lord. What is the goal of my life? Why am I here on earth? What is my vocation? To what am I called: To marriage? To the consecrated life as a religious? To the priesthood?

What is a vocation? What is the goal of my life? Why am I here on earth?

In raising these question we are seeking happiness, fulfillment and meaning for our lives. The common denominator of these three is true love. Anything less than love can never fulfill our hearts, make us happy or be meaningful. Presenting these questions to God demands faith and trust! He created us in view of happiness, with a purpose that would truly fulfill us. Paradoxically, it sounds very risky. If we would ask Him, then He would share His dream for us. How often, though, are we afraid that it will not coincide with our own dream?

Such was the drama of the rich young man. Upon hearing Christ’s call to follow Him, after putting aside his wealth, “he was overcome with sadness, for he was very rich” (Lk 18,23). Yes, he went away sad. Somewhere, though, St. John Paul II says that the story of the rich young man is not ended definitively at that point in the Gospel. How many souls like him, after many hard struggles return and give themselves unconditionally to Our Lord!

After all, love always demands a gift, the gift of self, our greatest treasure! The choice of our deepest love always demands the renunciation of many other cherished goods! Material wealth is really the least of our riches! Our true treasure is our very life, which we have to give away in order to be truly happy, to be truly alive!

These are essential questions, for they regard our entire life and future. Clearly, the more we are in tune with God’s plan, the greater will be our interior peace and happiness. Above all, we should ask God this question: ‘What is my vocation?’ He is Our Father, He has plans for your welfare (Jer 29:11).

Benedict XVI encouraged the youth at the World Youth Day in Madrid (2011) to think about their vocation: “Christ calls others to follow Him more closely in the priesthood or in consecrated life. It is hard to put into words the happiness you feel when you know that Jesus seeks you, trusts in you, and with His unmistakable voice also says to you: “Follow me!” (cf. Mk 2:14).

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