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What would make God’s call easier to hear and follow? Pope explains



A handout photo released by the Osservatore Romano shows Pope Francis (C) posing for a selfie during a meeting with members of the Eucharistic Youth Movement (EYM) in the Paul VI hall at the Vatican on August 7, 2015. AFP PHOTO/ OSSERVATORE ROMANO -- RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / OSSERVATORE ROMANO" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS -- / AFP PHOTO / OSSERVATORE ROMANO / - | Horizontal

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 01/19/21

There are 3 main calls that God makes to each of us, but he calls always, and behind every call is love, says Pope Francis.

Pope Francis pointed out three calls that God makes to each person, assuring that every call of God is always a call of love, and that it reaches us in many ways.

The pope reflected on January 17 about the Gospel of the day, which recounted when John and Andrew leave John the Baptist to follow Jesus, because John has indicated Jesus, saying, “Behold the Lamb of God.”

One thing that catches our attention: 60 years later, or maybe more, one of them would write in his Gospel: “it was about four in the afternoon” – he wrote the time. And this is one thing that makes us think: every authentic encounter with Jesus remains alive in the memory, it is never forgotten. You forget many encounters, but a true encounter with Jesus remains forever. And many years later, those two even remembered the time, they had not forgotten that encounter that was so happy, so complete, that it changed their lives.

The Holy Father noted that the consequence of that life-changing afternoon was that these new apostles sought to share the joy they had found.

that joy, that light overflows from their hearts like a raging river. One of the two, Andrew, says to his brother, Simon – whom Jesus will call Peter when He will meet him – “We have found the Messiah” (v. 41). They left sure that Jesus was the Messiah, certain.

The pope then invited us to reflect on the experience of meeting Christ, “who calls us to remain with Him.”

Always his initiative

He noted, “Each one of God’s calls is an initiative of His love. He is the one who always takes the initiative. He calls you.”

Then the pope considered three main calls that God makes to all: “God calls to life, He calls to faith, and He calls to a particular state in life: ‘I want you here.'”

God’s first call is to life, through which He makes us persons; it is an individual call because God does not make things in series. — Then God calls us to faith and to become part of His family as children of God. — Lastly, God calls us to a particular state in life: to give of ourselves on the path of matrimony, or that of the priesthood or the consecrated life. These are different ways of realizing God’s design that He has for each one of us that is always a design of love. But God calls always. And the greatest joy for every believer is to respond to that call, offering one’s entire being to the service of God and our brothers and sisters.

The call of God, the pope said, “reaches us in a thousand ways – through others, happy or sad events.”

Discover the love in each call

Pope Francis urged an openness to the Lord’s call, not to reject it or be afraid of it.

Rejection because it seems to be in contrast to our aspirations; and even fear because we believe it is too demanding and uncomfortable: “Oh no, I will never be able to do it, better not to, a calmer life is better… God over there, me over here.” But God’s call is always love: we need to try to discover the love behind each call, and it should be responded to only with love. This is the language: the response to a call that comes out of love, only love.

Returning to the experience of John and Andrew, the pope noted that at the beginning of each call is “an encounter, or rather, there is the encounter with Jesus who speaks to us of His Father, He makes His love known to us.

And then the spontaneous desire will arise even in us to communicate it to the people that we love: “I met Love,” “I met the Messiah,” “I met Jesus,” “I found the meaning of my life.” In a word: “I found God.”

Read more:
7 Tips for discerning your vocation from a former beauty queen who entered the convent

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