Vocation, or vacation?
The story is told about a taxi driver who wanted to get rid of three drunken men who fell asleep as soon as they boarded his cab. He started the engine, and after some moments announced that they had arrived at the men’s destination. As he was alighting, the first man gave him money. The second man gave him a hurried pat on the back. And the third man gave him a punch, for driving too fast!
Today is Good Shepherd Sunday. In today’s Gospel (Jn. 10: 11-18), Jesus teaches us that a good shepherd is one who sacrifices and goes out of his way for his sheep. On the other hand, a hireling has no commitment or sacrifice for the sheep at all. We ask ourselves today: Am I a good shepherd or a hireling? We also ask ourselves: Am I a good or a bad sheep?
Today is also World Day of Prayer for Vocations Sunday. Let us pray for more generous men and women who are willing to answer God’s call to become good shepherds for His flock. The number of vocations for the priestly and religious life is dwindling. Let us continue to pray for more vocations to the priestly and religious life.
Let us earnestly pray for priests and religious who heed the call, not for the money or for the show, but who are ready to go wherever they are sent, and who are willing to do whatever mission they are called to do. Yes, let us pray for prayerful, humble, kind and joyful servant leaders—good shepherds.
Life is a mission. Let us focus on life as a vocation, not a vacation. We are not in this world just to have a good time or to be comfortable. Let us live not only successful but also meaningful lives.
Public servants are supposed to be good shepherds, committed to serve and protect the people. Sad to say, many of them are arrogant and selfish hirelings, who serve for a fee and who give nothing for free, or if ever, calculatingly. Their life motto seems to be: “One for you, two for me.”
Think about this: “Everyone gives joy to this world, some when they enter, and some when they finally leave.”
“You missed your chance.” This is the saddest statement to hear when we finally meet our Creator. If you have been given money, power, and talents, please make sure you don’t waste them on yourself. Put them at the service of other people, and to give glory to God. To whom much is given, much is also required… And please, don’t leave behind your dirt, your trash, your mess when you leave this world.
Sharing with you “The 5Ps for the rest of my life” written by 77-year-old Noel Trinidad (Inquirer Lifestyle, 4/15/18): 1. I will be positive. 2. I will be productive. 3. I will be patient. 4. I will be pleasant. 5. I will be prayerful. Note that what will make our sunset years meaningful is not so much about DOING as BEING—being positive, being productive, being patient, being pleasant, and being prayerful.
Summer is here, and so is the heat. Elections, too, are here, and so are the “trying-hards” and the “wannabes.” It is our choice: to elect good shepherds or hirelings. Let us choose leaders who have a strong sense of vocation, and not those who see life as one big fun summer vacation.
Sharing with you this beautiful prayer: “Lord, remind us that what worries us today may just be a bit of information that will not even merit a line when our life story is written. Help us to magnify You, not our concerns and problems. You are a BIG GOD, far bigger than our biggest problems. Help us to trust You more, and worry less. Help us not to be afraid. Amen.”
Bantay Matanda invites you to a lay forum on “Summer-related Diseases” at Tuklong ni San Jose in Christ the King Seminary, E. Rodriguez Sr. Blvd., Quezon City, on April 28, Saturday, 9 a.m.–12 noon. For inquiries, please call 373-22-62/998-25-48/0917-4167849.
A moment with the Lord:
Lord, remind us that life is a mission, a vocation, and not a vacation. Amen!
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