The Edmundites' mid-week reflection series kicked off last week with Father Lino Oropeza’s discussion on “Vocations: Beginning with Baptism and Our Call to Holiness” at Saint Anne’s Shrine in Isle La Motte. These special hour-long talks will continue through August.
It began with 11:15 Mass in the outside Chapel at The Shrine. Father Lino’s homily focused on who we commonly refer to as “Doubting Thomas.” It was Saint Thomas the Apostle’s Feast Day on July 3. Rather than focusing on doubt, Father Lino carefully led us to the more important point in this part of the resurrection story, the confession of faith, when Saint Thomas said, "My Lord and my God," on seeing Jesus' crucifixion wounds.
“If you are willing to engage, God will not let you go.” ~Father Lino Oropeza, S.S.E.
In his talk about vocations that followed, Father Lino graciously spoke of his own doubts and urged us to embrace ours, because ultimately this leads us to understand the profound faith of St. Thomas. Religious and lay people alike are called to a vocation, Father Lino said. He ran through the Old Testament, aided by a Power Point slideshow, that pointed to just how God calls simple people to extraordinary tasks like those of Noah, Moses and Abraham. Father Lino said, “If you are willing to engage, God will not let you go.”
We are all called to be Followers
That is the first part of discerning our vocation, to realize we are all followers whether we have chosen to be married, single, or belong to a religious community like the Edmundites. We need to engage and follow as Jesus teaches us in The New Testament, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
We are all called to share the Good News
Father Lino’s second point was found in John 13: 14-15. “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” It is here that Jesus gives us a model to focus on to help us decide how we want to share the Good News through our daily activities.
We are all called to be Holy
Father Lino said, “It’s like Jesus is telling us, you have to go low to do what I do. God is calling us all to be Saints, to be Holy. It’s a universal vocation. We are all called.”
“We are all supposed to be joyful players in His Grace. We need to shake off fear. God will never impose an all-consuming ultimatum on us.” ~Father Lino Oropeza, S.S.E.
The beauty of life is we are all called to do different things so we can work together like a beautiful symphony. We are not slaves in something called “God’s plan.” It’s more like we are all supposed to be joyful players in His Grace. We need to shake off fear. God will never impose an all-consuming ultimatum on us, Father Lino explained.
It is important to point out this process begins at our baptism. “For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.” (1 Corinthians 12:13)
Our vocation is an important part of the song in our hearts that starts with a few chords and becomes better and richer with time. It is a give and take. It is a dialog. It is also a process that comes and goes, Father Lino said. In times when we think God is being silent, we need to even follow that lead and pray and spend a little more time in solitude and silence to discern our true place. “We all have a place,” Father Lino said. “We can’t all be an eye. We need hands too.”
Next Wednesday, July 10, please come to Saint Anne’s Shrine for Father David Cray’s talk on “What Does it Mean to be a Disciple?” See you at the Chapel at 11:15. For more information, call the Shrine at (802) 928-3362 or email at email@example.com.
The heart of the Society of Saint Edmund’s mission is serving where the need is greatest, a credo that has led us to four core ministries: Social Justice, Education, Spiritual Renewal and Pastoral Ministry. It is through these core ministries that we live out a faith-based life of service and make a real difference in people’s lives by bringing them closer to God.