To become the best version of yourself, discover and live your vocation.
“It is what God calls you out from and what God calls you to. To be called out from, is to be called by God for a special purpose.”
Archbishop Jason Gordon preached this message last Sunday morning at a Mass to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Couples for Christ (CFC) in Trinidad and Tobago, and the wider Caribbean. CFC is an international Catholic lay ecclesial movement.
Archbishop Gordon told CFC members and its other family ministries that at the heart of the Gospel (Mark 1:14–20) was vocation. He emphasised that everyone has a vocation in life and no one else can fulfil that vocation. “Only you. It is the essence of your human living… that’s how you become the best version of yourself; that’s how you find true happiness; that’s how you find the path to sanctity.”
If left undone, he warned, it will be left undone for eternity.
“…Once we have this division in our mind between what we do and our religious life, we’re going to have a strange way of living, like schizophrenics.”
The archbishop believed that the notion of being Catholic is to live a “second-class life, a lesser life” is the greatest lie that has been sown in the lives of Christians. “We have bought it hook, line and sinker,” he said.
He added that buying into this lie “undermines the very fabric of Christianity, the fabric of our soul… and ultimately undermines our vocation.”
Commenting on some of CFC’s ministries in the context of vocation, he said in married life (CFC) both the husband and wife find the path to holiness through and with each other. Children (Kids for Christ) have the whole world in front of them, and youth (Youth for Christ) can consider deeply what God is calling them to and prepare themselves.
Archbishop Gordon said being single (Singles for Christ) “has been looked down on for a long time” but the Church understands that singles have more time, energy and disposable income to be able to contribute to the good of the whole and to commit to things that married couples can’t. “Live it proudly, live it fully, and give yourself completely to Christ,” he said. Mature men (Servants of the Lord) have wisdom and can help bring the generations together.
Drawing reference to the First Reading (Jonah 3:1–5, 10), the archbishop used an analogy of a glass filled with water needing to be filled with “the most precious fluid in the world”.
This, he explained is the spiritual dynamic—to be filled, one must first be empty. “When we are filled with ourselves we have no space for God. To be able to receive our vocation, we first have to empty ourselves of foolishness, pride, arrogance, and the ideas of what true happiness is.”
Earlier in the homily Archbishop Gordon said the apostles had been disillusioned by the arrest of John the Baptist and were “trying to hide in their earthly father’s business as opposed to being missionaries in their heavenly father’s business”.
He then challenged CFC members to “leave all the comfortable ways you’re escaping from being missionaries for Jesus Christ, leave them behind today, and come follow me. Drop your nets.”
CFC spiritual director Bishop Emeritus Malcolm Galt CSSp concelebrated the Mass at the Holy Name Convent auditorium.
Before giving the final blessing, Archbishop Gordon congratulated CFC on making 20 years. “What you do is important for families, for parishes, for the Church, and the nation” as family life was under attack, he remarked.
Gift hampers were presented to Archbishop Gordon, Bishop Galt and Sr Therese Dookeran OP, for her involvement in introducing CFC in the archdiocese. A breakfast followed with artistic presentations from the various ministries.
CFC’s next major event will be its July 13–15 Caribbean Conference themed Rekindle the Gift… Fulfil the Ministry. – Raymond Syms, Editor