Growing in Service

The final loop in our spiral addresses discipleship. It addresses growing in service.

Jesus said to the chief priests and the scribes. “What is your opinion? A man had two sons. He came to the first and said, ‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’ He said in reply, ‘I will not,’ but afterwards he changed his mind and went. The man came to the other son and gave the same order. He said in reply, ‘Yes, sir,’ but did not go. Which of the two did his father’s Will?”1

As we grow in faith, it's important to apply what we have learned and become. For our growth to have it's maximum benefit, our knowledge needs to be coupled with experience. The transformation we have experienced is magnified and solidified only when it is applied to real-world circumstances.

In each transformation, in our ongoing conversion, we form a new identity – a new identity as a disciple of Christ. In the Letter of James we read, “For just as a body without a spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead”2 We may be called to work in the garden, or to a vocation of prayer. We may be called to utilize our known talents and abilities, or it may be we are called to something entirely new and even very foreign to us.

One element of discernment, that I have experienced, is that many who say they are called feel they are called to something they want to do. That may, or may not, be from God. It is a case where we must discern if we are acting in God's Will or our own.

Another case is when you feel called to something that you've never thought of, or even something you don't want to do. Like Jonah, who didn't want to go to Nineveh, that call is likely from God. I'm sure St. Paul never thought he would preach the gospel to most of the middle-eastern world. I'm sure St. Peter never imagined himself as the first Pope of the Catholic Church. It is God Who chooses where and how we may serve. Our duty is to be open to His call, and ready to respond.

Jesus said, “To the one who has, more will be given; from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away”3 . No one is called by God to be idle. Jesus also said, “The measure with which you measure will be measured out to you,”4 The importance of this verse cannot be ignored. I'll close this portion of my talk with this question. Do you want God to do great things for you? If so, then do great things for God: fulfill your vocation, become the disciple you were meant to be, and do all things in great love. And trust completely in Jesus' promise, “I am with you always.”5