We may not always be able to see where God is calling us, but we can usually see the people in our lives that we are called to serve. Service to others is a key to vocational discernment–especially in times of darkness.
British citizen Chris Jewell, one of the best cave divers in the world, was called to take part in the rescue of the Thai soccer team trapped in the Tam Luang cave in July 2018. He said that diving conditions “were extremely challenging. There was poor visibility and responsibility for another human being’s life.” He could have been speaking about any of our personal vocations.
The Letter to the Hebrews reminds us that “He is able to deal patiently with the ignorant and erring, for he himself is beset by weakness” (Heb 5:2). Even while we have poor visibility and are beset by weakness, the responsibility for another person’s life remains.
In the economy of salvation, God uses mediators to communicate and fulfill the divine will—not only His project for the salvation of the world (Israel’s mediation), but also the divine project of each life. Each of us has a responsibility to cultivate the personal vocations of others as sharers in Christ’s three-fold ministry of priest, prophet, and king.
As sharers in Christ’s priestly ministry, we are able to offer prayer and sacrifices on behalf of others that they may undertake a good vocational discernment to discover, embrace, and live out their unique, personal vocation. Sometimes, the biggest sacrifice is letting go of our own ideas about who a person is and surrendering to God’s.
As sharers in Christ’s prophetic ministry, we have a responsibility to proclaim the truth to others about human life. We must proclaim the Gospel in word and in the way that we live our lives. As Pope Paul VI once wrote, “Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses.”
As sharers in Christ’s kingly ministry, we are called to displace the kingdom of sin and properly order our lives toward the truth. Practically speaking, this means that an entrepreneur or business leader should structure a business in such a way that every stakeholder is able to respond to the call of God and to give of themselves, participate freely according to their unique personal vocation, and ultimately establish communion with one another and with God. The same idea is true of parents, lawyers, doctors, and teachers—in short, all of those who exercise dominion over some part of the world that they are called to sanctify.
As we witness the erosion of some of our country’s traditional mediating institutions— churches, schools, fraternal organizations, professional associations, clubs—how much more important it is for each one of us to be mediators of God’s love so that others can live out their personal calling.