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(Editor’s note: Following is the fifth in a series featuring the winners of the 2009 Indianapolis Serra Club Vocations Essay Contest.)
“For your part, you will exercise the sacred duty of teaching in the name of Christ the Teacher… . Meditating on the law of the Lord, see that you believe what you read, that you teach what you believe, and that you practice what you teach.”
This quotation, taken from the ordination rite of priests, clearly represents their vocation to be a living example of Jesus Christ in everything they do.
Just as priests, deacons, and religious brothers and sisters are called to do God’s will, each person is called by him to a unique vocation through which he or she will spend his or her life as a testimony to God’s love and grace.
One of the goals of priests, deacons, and religious brothers and sisters is to aid us in discerning what God’s plan is for us. Through both their words and their deeds, they help us to perceive what God wills.
In order to hear God’s call, we must first learn to be still so that we can listen to what he is saying.
Priests, deacons, and religious brothers and sisters verbally teach us about God and how to listen to him. Through listening to their words and examining their meaning, we learn to listen to God and develop a closer relationship with him.
As we nurture this relationship by receiving the sacraments and through daily prayer, we develop a better understanding of what our vocation is and how to live it out throughout our life.
While forming our relationship with God through hearing his word is important, performing acts of charity is another major part of the Catholic faith.
Priests, deacons, and religious brothers and sisters lead by example. By following their model of selflessness, we realize the importance of service to the Church, to the poor, and to all those in need.
Through this service to others, we draw closer to God. This will aid us in discovering God’s mission for us and the role we are called to play in his world.
Priests, deacons, and religious brothers and sisters learn to nurture their belief in God through studying our faith and the Church and her mission to all of humanity.
In a similar way, we must come to fully understand our faith so that we can realize our call from God.
Priests, deacons, and religious brothers and sisters are equipped to teach us so that we come to know that in living God’s call we will find true happiness.
(Kevin and his parents, Tony and Jean Zander, are members of St. Luke the Evangelist Parish in Indianapolis. He completed the 11th grade at Bishop Chatard High School in Indianapolis last spring, and is the 11th-grade division winner in the 2009 Indianapolis Serra Club Vocations Essay Contest.) †