3rd Friday of Lent: Three Necessary Ingredients for our Vocation: God first, then Others, then Us!

Loving God, then others, then making time for ourselves; in this order.  This is the “rule of life” for a Christian and this is why we stand opposed to the world and are so unappealing to the worldly.  This is the answer given by Jesus to the question, “what is the most important rule in life”.  We place God first, and to so many this seems contrary to what an intelligent person ought to do.  Placing our unseen God before things seen?  There are many who have felt the presence of God and would otherwise accept Him, but reject even the notion because of fear of being seen as lacking in intelligence or independence.  But placing God first and seeking to live by His rule has brought peace, harmony, balance and a well-lived life to millions throughout human history.  Intelligent people have peacefully died a martyr’s death for this “rule of life”.  Loving others must follow.  When we love God, we must love others, and again that can be so hard because people let us down, and we are often repelled by others, so causing us to resist this tenet.  But if we are going to be truly Christian, Jesus tells us that we MUST see Him in other people, even when they act in ways that are opposed to our ways.  Having to be kind in the face of unkindness, peaceful when under attack, positive in the face of negativity and to live without revenge or retribution in our hearts.  This is radically opposed to how many people live in the world and so it’s often rejected.  But it’s the Christian rule, a rule that has been given to us by God.  We weren’t made for ourselves; we were made for God and for others and we’re not “hardwired” to be alone, so too are we not “hardwired” to be selfish.  And finally ourselves; what do we owe ourselves?  In order to grow closer to God, we must come to know and see ourselves in the manner in which God sees us.  We might never complete this project, but as we grow in this self-awareness, we come to see the great gifts God has given each of us and the ways in which we can share those gifts with others.  This leads to where our hearts are open to our vocation; whether it’s priesthood, consecrated religious life or marriage.  Loving God first, loving others and a call to service and a deep respect and self-awareness are three necessary ingredients for a holy vocation.

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