We hear in the Gospel today, the call of Levi; Matthew, the tax collector – a notoriously and publicly condemned man, but a man whom Jesus invites to “follow me”. I think Levi or Matthew’s story is one which should appeal especially to our older vocations out there because there are many who can look to him for a certain amount of assurance and strength in their vocational discernment. Jesus calls us all, and we are often the ones left perplexed at why he would call us in the midst of our sins or sinfulness and not only seek us out to “repent and live for the Gospel”, but also to live as disciples and in this case as an Apostle.
What I can tell you from a Vocation Director’s perspective is that it’s a sad day, indeed when the men whom I work with to explore their vocational calling turn or run away from their calling because they see themselves as great sinners, as men beyond redemption – when these men have been honest (and it’s an absolute requirement they are honest with me about their challenges, struggles and where they tend to sin) and I see the Lord calling them; they have to believe. They have to have faith in the Lord and in themselves and face their challenges. I make this point of exception because there are circumstances where men & women are not called to religious vocation but when it comes to vocational discernment we have to remember that it’s the Lord calling and we must trust in Him.