Fifteenth Sunday Ordinary Time
July 11, 2021 •
(Please continue to listen at the end to Father's additional words which he gave at the close of Mass)
The first of all vocations is holy matrimony. ...It's not a supernatural calling, but a natural one. Why? Because God made our nature that way: In the Beginning He made them male and female, and He said "Be fruitful and multiply." Marriage was part of God's design built into our bodies, our nature. What sets it apart as a vocation is that Jesus takes this natural vocation which He as God designed, and He sacramentalizes it. Now it is something supernatural which it could never have been before. There is no reason for God to "call" someone to marriage. You're designed for it.... We're taught by the Saints that every single human being is called to marriage. ... If it wasn't a vocation your job would just be to have some kids to continue the species. The vocation - for the purpose of Christ and His kingdom - is the salvation of souls. So when you enter in to the sacrament of marriage, your responsibility first and foremost is to get yourself to Heaven. Your second responsibility is to get your spouse to Heaven. Your third responsibility, to do everything in your power to get your children to Heaven. As a married couple, you're the living embodiment of the sacrament. ... your sacramental bond is the means by which you love the Lord.
The second is actually the highest of all vocations, a religious vocation. When one chooses to give up a personal spouse and give their life solely to Christ. Instead of giving themselves to Christ through their spouse, their offering is a direct offering. ... In this way the religious man or woman actually embodies the life of the Church. That's why it's the highest vocation. ... In heaven, there is no giving and taking in marriage. ... There's only one marriage in Heaven and it's the Marriage of the Lamb. Christ is the Lamb and His bride is His Church.... These religious men and women who devote their lives to Christ even now in the world, are beginning to live that heavenly reality. Instead of participating in marriage, they forsake that for the heavenly lifestyle, even now.... Clearly, this is the highest of all possible vocations because it makes the most Saints.... Saint Paul, in speaking about this vocation, says, "I invite you to live as I live, in celibacy, devoting your life to Christ." Paul's language - which is the language of the Holy Spirit - is an invitation. All of you - especially you young men and women who aren't married - are being invited by the Holy Spirit to consider a vocation to the religious life. Every single one of you. If you can receive this invitation and follow my example, says Paul, then come and follow Christ in this way. ...
The third vocation is of course, holy orders, ordination, the priesthood. According to the Scriptures, this is the only vocation that is actually "a calling", in part because it is the most unnatural of the three. The most supernatural, the most set apart from the other two. Marriage is natural, we're designed for it. A religious vocation - while it may seem extreme - is how we'll live forever in Heaven. ... The purpose of this "calling" that a young man receives is to serve the body of Christ - the Bride of Christ - in the person of Christ, as Christ, in this life. What will be (in heaven), we don't know.... What's unique about this calling is that God does put it on your heart. When you're a peace, especially in prayer, this hunger, this desire, begins to build in you.... When a young man is called - as long as he doesn't do anything irrevocable to prevent his being ordained - the call never stops. I remember my mother saying to me when I was young, "If you do God's will, you'll be happy." And this is absolutely true. ...
It's one of the lies of the evil one to think you'll be happier in this vocation or that one. No. You'll be happy in the vocation that God has designed for you. ... Regardless of which you choose, all of them are in service to Christ and His Gospel and for the salvation of our souls. ... In our prayer and discernment, and this is especially for you young men and women, you need to approach your vocation from the standpoint of "Lord, what do You want of me? What will make me happiest? What did you make me to do for You?"
Am 7:12-15; Ps 85:9-14; Eph 1:3-14; Mk 6:7-13
Homily begins at 13:43