In today's Gospel reading we hear:
As he passed by the Sea of Galilee,
he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets into the sea;
they were fishermen.
Jesus said to them,
“Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
Then they left their nets and followed him.
He walked along a little farther
and saw James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John.

They too were in a boat mending their nets.
Then he called them.
So they left their father Zebedee in the boat
along with the hired men and followed him.
This reading always reminds me of a talk I watched on video a few years ago by Timothy Radcliffe, OP. I think he was talking to the National Vocation Conference, if I'm not mistaken. Radliffe talked about how a call to a religious vocation isn't really a break from who you are at the moment you hear the call, but rather an invitation into a further transformation into who God is calling you to be. The transformation builds upon everything that has happened to you so far. For example, Andrew & Simon (fishermen) were transformed by Jesus into fishers of people. St. Francis was transformed from a troubadour of love songs to a troubadour for God. St. Ignatius was transformed from a soldier to a soldier for God.

I remember my heart stopping as I sat on my couch watching the video. Did that mean God was calling me - at the time a bureaucrat - to be a bureaucrat for God?? All my grand romantic ideas of a religious vocation went briefly out the window! It's now almost two and a half years since I first watched that video, and yet that thought keeps coming back to me - especially so as I begin to more seriously discern what types of ministry I am being called to consider after temporary profession.

As much as I joke about being "God's bureaucrat," I think there's a lot of truth to that. God is calling me, with all my administrative and red tape cutting/creating skills, to follow along on this wonderful crazy journey. At this point I don't really know where the path is leading me. Chances are it will include some administrative work at some point - bureaucracy is in my genes after all. Hopefully it will also include some other new and more exciting things, not to mention to other sides of me (like justice organizing and writing). But the point to remember I think is that God is doing the calling, and God knows what God is doing. My job - in a spirit of prayer an discernment - is to look to my heart and answer accordingly.

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