July 4, 2014

Serra Club vocations essay

Priests, deacons and religious love God in word and deed

(Editor’s note: Following is the first in a series featuring the winners of the Indianapolis Serra Club’s 2014 John D. Kelley Vocations Essay Contest.)

By Wesley Kochell (Special to The Criterion)

Wesley KochellGod is love. Everyone has a calling to love God in baptism just as Jesus taught us. Priests, men and women religious and permanent deacons, in their lives and ministry, respond to their calling to love throughout their everyday lives.

Love is not only caring, but being available, being forgiving, being able to accept people for who they are.

The work of priests, men and women religious and permanent deacons does not stop after Mass. Their love continues on by the power of God. The love of religious workers involves working with people in the community, giving company to people in the community and spreading love to people in the community.

While some may have the vocation to the married life, some might have the vocation to the single life and some might have the vocation to holy orders, all are called by God to love and serve him in order to go to heaven. Love works for everyone in different ways, but has the same purpose for all.

As it says in 1 John, “Let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth or action” (1 Jn 3:18). Priests, men and women religious and permanent deacons’ lives correspond to this verse. They love not just by speaking the word of God and talking to others, but also by loving God and their neighbor.

Visiting the sick in the hospital and helping with food drives allows religious workers the ability to fulfill their duty to God. A teacher of God or soldier of Christ takes his love for all and puts it into action to show that he is loyal to his vocation and will always answer to God.

God is love and in the lives of his soldiers his love is shown. “If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but I don’t have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal” (1 Cor 13: 1). Love is our connection to God. Through sanctifying grace, holy workers respond to God’s love toward us and their love for all through truth and action.

God knows what is best for us and through his gifts to us of actual grace, priests, men and women religious and permanent deacons not only spread the word of God but live it. “Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude” (1 Cor 13: 4). God’s chosen people live their ministry along these lines, putting love into all their actions while answering to their vocation of serving God.

In conclusion, God is love, and priests, men and women religious and permanent deacons live their lives and respond to their calling of love to everyone. Their lives are to be loyal to God and help others through their actions, not only in their words.

(Wesley and his parents, Doug and Anne Kochell, are members of St. Christopher Parish in Indianapolis. He completed the seventh grade at Cardinal Ritter Jr./Sr. High School in Indianapolis last spring, and is the seventh-grade division winner in the Indianapolis Serra Club’s 2014 John D. Kelley Vocations Essay Contest.)


Related: Read more vocations stories from our archives

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