Meditation for Monday of the 4th Week of Easter

(Acts 11: 1-18; Jn 10:1-10)

Discerning God’s call and discovering one’s vocation in life is not usually easy and straight forward. Being close to God or living a righteous life does not automatically imply one can be flawless in interpreting God’s call. If it is so for the righteous, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner? (Cf. 1 Pet 4:18). Some people have taken up ministries, marriages, etc, only to discover along the way that they did not interpret the ‘signals’ properly. This issue is far from being solved since there is no one perfect method to unlock all vocations. Nevertheless, though each call has its unique identity and approach, considering the person and the circumstances involved, the readings of today lay down some principles that can guide one to discern God’s call properly.

The first reading tells us how God called Peter to minister to the Gentiles and dine with them. While at Joppa, he saw a vision where a voice asked him to eat animals, reptiles, etc that Jews ordinarily would not eat. Peter tried to resist but the voice said to him, “What God has cleansed you must not call common.” Coincidentally, three men appeared at that very moment from Caesarea. This was a PHYSICAL manifestation that God was calling Peter to preach to the Gentiles in that town. Deep within him, he perceived at once that the spirit was URGING him to follow those men.

Having a dream or vision is strictly a private experience; it is not enough for one to conclude and act on the message therein as God’s will. Apart from the physical manifestation and the strong urge, Peter had another signal: Cornelius’ vision was in line with that of Peter. This helped the apostle to discern in favor of the vision since the experience is now more than a private issue. He discovered that God was calling him out of his myopic understanding of salvation. God’s call always takes us out of ourselves; it is never selfish. Having discerned in favor of God’s will, Peter began to preach to the Gentiles. However, he continued to discern even in process of his ministry.

Peter saw the hand of God at work as he carried out his vocation. He said, “As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them just as on us at the beginning.” This was the final signal that convinced him that he was on the right path. Peter described his work as cooperating with God, and allowing God’s grace to flow through him. So, in discerning our vocation, we think in favor of God’s will, His glory and Kingdom. And the will of God comes alive in Jesus Christ.

Therefore, our vocation becomes our way of following Jesus, the Good Shepherd. Jesus said, “I am the door of the sheep…if any one enters by me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture…I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” The choices we make to fulfil our destiny in life should be weighed through the righteousness of Christ, and be carried out in favor of His glory. Then, we shall find fulfillment and be fed in greener pastures. Amen.

Fr Jude Chinwenwa Nwachukwu, C.Ss.R

Saints Peter & Paul Catholic Church,

Tedi-Muwo, Lagos.

Monday May 9th, 2022.


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