A reflection from Father Tudgay for the Second Sunday of Ordinary Time.
If you’re reading this bulletin column, presumably you’re a Catholic (or interested in becoming one) and probably attend mass regularly. You’ve checked the box. You’re here. I’m here. I’ve also checked the box. We’re doing what we’re supposed to do. Is that enough? You tell me. What does it mean to be a “practicing Catholic” these days?
This weekend presents us with an opportunity to focus on the vocational call to discipleship. What do I mean by that? The Scriptures this weekend illustrate individuals who follow God and whose choice to do so resulted in dramatic consequences for their lives. Here we see discipleship lived in something intentional that goes beyond the ordinary practice of the Catholic Faith and enters into the realm of the unknown, of what’s unpredictable. Following Christ in an intentional way always brings an element of unpredictability! The witness of the lives of the saints in our tradition demonstrates that.
Vocational Discipleship…The Catholic Church throughout the world and here in the Diocese of Scranton are at a moment where the “status quo” of checking the box and simply showing up are long in the past. If our understanding of the Catholic Church is built on what I long to predict or if my relationship with the Catholic Church is in any way jeopardized by an inconvenience resulting from change, then our future is doomed because we’ve lost the sense of adventure!
Vocational Discipleship is the disposition of heart that allows us to remain open to the adventure of following Jesus Christ, who leads his Church forward into the undiscovered places where his transformative seeks to be received. The result? Christ’s transformative love is carried into the hearts of those who seek to reform our world through Christian Virtue. And how is this mission carried forward? (Hint: The status quo of predictability won’t cut it.)
The adventure of vocational discipleship – responding to the personal call to follow Jesus Christ – is the only way this happens. Ordained and Consecrated Life as a priest or religious capture a radical expression of the vocational discipleship adventure. Finding the particular love of the Messiah and following him and responding to his promptings and where he leads throughout his Church is the absolute adventure of a lifetime! Get. Moving.