The Primary Vocation of all Believers is to Live the Resurrection Now.
This was the theme of the Vocations Ireland conference at the Emmaus Retreat and Conference Centre on 21st May, The keynote speaker, Megan McKenna, an internationally known theologian, storyteller and lecturer and author of over 40 books, said that resurrection life begins at baptism and the rest of our lives is the living out of this mystery.
She spoke of the four traditional vocations prior to Vatican I, n ie. marriage, single life, community living (in the Irish Church tradition these communities were composed of men and women) and monasticism. These vocations formed an inverted triangle with the largest groups of people ie. Married and single being the norm for holiness and the usual way of living in the world. The smaller groups leading or witnessing to the world but based more organisationally in the structures of the Church. It is only in, comparatively speaking, recent centuries that the triangle has become uninverted and the smaller angle has become the focus of the Church and vocation.
Megan McKenna stressed the importance of community, every Christian is part of and responsible and accountable to the community of which they are a part. Individualism is very much a part of present day society but must not be a part of the Christian or religious life. Communities must base their lives on the Scriptures and they must be studied, reflected on and shared, not for information or learning, but for personal and communal conversion.
She went on to say that in Acts the touchstone of Christianity “see these Christians, how they love one another” is often quoted, but the second part is often omitted “there is no poor among them”. As a Christian our faith cannot only be about personal relationship with Christ, it must also be about genuine love, care and sharing with those on the margins.
Speaking of the future of vocations, Megan said that in this time of flux and transition it is more important than ever to listen to the voice of the Spirit. We cannot revert back to the past, but we are invited in this time of crisis to cross over and enter into the unknown and what is yet to be. Perhaps it is time for new vocations … but are we listening?