Will you answer when I come a calling?
In this day and age, many churches, especially the catholic churches, are seeing less and less people joining them as clergy. Will you answer if called? Many would not. Not with having to take a vow of poverty, chastity and obedience. Many are simply too consumed with consumerism, and the me, I and NOW. And with smaller families, many with only one or two children, many parents are also unwilling to give their blessings should their child choose thus, for fear of the family name not being carried on.
I have a younger cousin, whom since he was 3, everyone in the family somehow thought he would end up a religious. And lo and behold! We were right!! This very same cousin, now in his mid 30s answered the call. He has been with the major seminary here for the past 8 years with 2 years spent in the Philippines for faith formation.
He made his Solemn Profession last Saturday and is now a full fledged religious. All praise and thanksgiving to the Lord!
And I thought maybe it was co-incidental that last Sunday's 1st reading in Church was from Samuel: Sm 3:3b-10, 19:
Samuel was sleeping in the temple of the LORD
where the ark of God was.
The LORD called to Samuel, who answered, "Here I am."
Samuel ran to Eli and said, "Here I am. You called me."
"I did not call you, " Eli said. "Go back to sleep."
So he went back to sleep.
Again the LORD called Samuel, who rose and went to Eli.
"Here I am, " he said. "You called me."
But Eli answered, "I did not call you, my son. Go back to sleep."
At that time Samuel was not familiar with the LORD,
because the LORD had not revealed anything to him as yet.
The LORD called Samuel again, for the third time.
Getting up and going to Eli, he said, "Here I am. You called me."
Then Eli understood that the LORD was calling the youth.
So he said to Samuel, "Go to sleep, and if you are called, reply,
Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening."
When Samuel went to sleep in his place,
the LORD came and revealed his presence,
calling out as before, "Samuel, Samuel!"
Samuel answered, "Speak, for your servant is listening."
Samuel grew up, and the LORD was with him,
not permitting any word of his to be without.