“The Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them out ahead of him, in pairs, to all the towns and places he himself was to visit.” (Lk 10:1)
Years of priestly and religious vocation promotion have given us the impression that the workers God is looking for are priests and religious; and if I don’t find myself called to either, then it really doesn’t concern me. Yet a closer look at this Gospel reading reminds me that God is also looking for lay workers to be sent to “all the towns and places he himself was to visit.” This would most certainly include villages and marketplaces, or in today’s context, our workplaces and city landscapes.
Sherry Weddell, author of ‘Forming Intentional Disciples’, made a point that if all our Catholics were so busy serving in our church ministries, then who’s really out there in the marketplaces proclaiming Christ to the world? Would there not be a need for laborers to go to places where priests and religious aren’t normally found?
Recently, as I embrace this new season of exploring the lay vocation and re-entering the secular world, I have begun to see many opportunities and platforms where the harvest is plentiful outside the confines of our Church setting. I have been exposed to corporate movements that try to bring the heart back into the workforce; to shift the focus from tasks and Key Performance Indicators to people and their human needs for recognition, autonomy, and basic human respect. I have met people initiating movements to increase awareness of environmental or social issues and bring about behavioral changes in people, all of which are very much congruent with Christ’s teachings and values.
I think it is high time that those not called to the priestly or religious life realize that they too are called to an equally holy and life-giving vocation in a personal and unique way. I think before we even consider which state of life we are called to, we must first learn to discover and live out the unique and unrepeatable way we are called to be a laborer for Christ, even if we find ourselves in corporate spaces or secular platforms, for that is where Jesus would most surely wish to visit as well.
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