2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
The Vocation to Love
By St. Joseph Sr. Mary M. McGlone serves on the congregational leadership team of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet.
I used to love hearing my mom tell the story of how she and Dad met and fell in love. Mom's stepmother arranged for them to go on a blind date — which Mom figured was a setup with something between minimal and no chance at all of having a good outcome. Dad was urged to do it by an athlete friend who happened to be the brother of said stepmother. Dad, a newly minted physician who had rarely dated, was more shy than suspicious. One date was enough for both to realize that the relationship had "til-death-do-us-part" potential. They cultivated that potential for the next 68 years.
Some vocation stories are like that: love at first sight, or, "I always knew I wanted to be a ..." Others may be more like Samuel's. Samuel, the equivalent of a live-in altar boy when God called, thought his boss was summoning him. It was only on the third awakening that he and Eli realized he should respond as if it were a call from God. With that, Samuel's childhood service blossomed into a vocation as the last of Israel's judges, the one who would anoint Israel's first two kings.
The key to Samuel's story, the prayer that would provide the melody line for the rest of his life, was, "Speak, Lord, your servant is listening." Today's psalm echoes that with its "Here am I, Lord, I come to do your will."