4th Wednesday of Lent: Surrender is the Way to Grow in Vocation Awareness

[This is my homily for the Morning Mass, St. Michael’s Cathedral]   One of the hardest things for any of us to do as Christians is to surrender.  In today’s Gospel we hear Jesus speak of His total and complete surrender to the Father.  His surrender is one grounded and founded in love.  While the religious leaders look at this confession of surrender as an opportunity to kill Him, Jesus confesses His total and complete obedience, reliance and surrender to the Father.  As Director of Vocations, I meet daily with men discerning priesthood here in the Archdiocese of Toronto and I spend a lot of my time in dialogue working with men who prepare themselves for their vocational discernment; and one of the hardest things to get them to do – is to surrender.  Often times I share with them some of my own struggles; but what I tell them is the first step is often the hardest one; after that it doesn’t necessarily become easier – but once we begin to surrender, we know that we need to work throughout our lives to surrender in more and more ways.  Don’t I know it; despite this role I have, I too have had a hard time surrendering my will to God the Father.  I have had a hard time letting go of rationales and reasoning that has allowed me not to fully live my faith – I think many of us have.  I begin by thinking of this Lent; Lent this year has taught me that I have a long way to go in basic tasks of surrender for me as a Catholic as I’ve struggled to stay committed to what I’ve given up for Lent.  But my friends, we live in hope.  I live in hope!  I know that what Lent has taught me is that I must continue to work on this; we are all works in progress in this way.  We all need to try harder, we need to pick up and keep going.  Although as a Vocation Director, I truly appreciate today’s Gospel as one which speaks directly on the topic of religious vocational discernment; I think it speaks to all of our hearts, because our faith will grow and flourish when we commit ourselves to surrendering more and more to the will and love of the Father.  My brothers and sisters in Christ, let us pause for a moment and think of the ways and areas of our own lives where we have not yet surrendered to God and may we receive the grace that we might more fully give ourselves to the will of God.  May God bless you.

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