In Sunday Mass, we often hear the call to “Pray for Vocations.” This almost totally references priestly vocations. But vocations are more than just for the ordained or religious men and women. Lay men and women, whether serving as volunteers or lay ecclesial ministers, can have their own vocation of serviing God through the Church. Dictionary.com defines vocations as such:
- a particular occupation, business, or profession; calling.
- a strong impulse or inclination to follow a particular activity or career.
- a divine call to God’s service or to the Christian life
- a function or station in life to which one is called by God: the religious vocation/ the vocation of marriage.
When I was young and chose my profession of nursing, I thought that was my vocation. But it didn’t have the necessary element of urgency or compulsion in my heart. I found my true vocation in the RCIA. It happened like this:
A little “v” vocation is called engagement in the leadership world: the amount of emotional attachment an employee (or disciple) has to the mission and the organization. Everyone is asking how our employees are engaged in their jobs. That means do they put discretionary time to the work? Is their work focused on the vision and mission of that team/department/organization? Engaged employees will increase productivity and income for the organization. In Church language, that means they will increase their efforts to bring the Kingdom of heaven on earth as Jesus told His disciples to pray for. Evangelization efforts will increase.
Engagement is more than people liking where they work or being satisfied with their pay and responsibilities. It is a real emotional attachment to the work that the organization say is theirs to do.
Ecclesial leadership calls for fostering the vocations of all your people. Pray for Vocations, but also pray for vocations.