National Vocation Awareness Week reminds Sister of two valuable lessons
I was getting very excited; it was the beginning of a new school year and I was going to be teaching a seventh grade religion class. However, my enthusiasm was quickly deflated when, on the evening of our open house, a boy indicated that he was not looking forward to being in my class. After some prodding from his mother, he accepted the little gift that I had bought for each student. When he entered the room for our first class, he immediately went to the farthest table and sat down in the last chair. We spent time during the first few classes reviewing the Old Testament and then learning how the four Gospels came to be written. He spent time distracting the other students and I had to encourage him several times to get busy with the written activities.
A few weeks into the school year, the religious education coordinator wanted to speak with me. She informed me that a mother had stopped by her office and was telling her how much her son was enjoying religion class and how much he was learning. We checked out the name. You guessed it!
This week, the Church celebrates National Vocation Awareness Week. We focus on the various ways in which men and women are called to live out their Baptismal commitment. My experience with that seventh grade boy taught me two valuable things. When engaged in the discernment process with myself or anyone else, maybe I need to abandon my preconceived agendas. God doesn’t always call the most cooperative, most involved, most outgoing person to serve in the Church. And secondly, I must never underestimate the power of the Sacred Story to draw a person into the mystery of God’s love and to elicit a response.
Something touched that boy, and something touched his teacher. As I drove home that night, I felt a strong sense of gratitude in my heart. I was grateful that God had called me to be a Sister and a teacher, to simply be of service in the Church.