Last Sunday’s Gospel (the story of the rich young man, Mk ch 10) is a very rich one for vocation discernment. Every vocation grows from an awareness that, just as He did with the young man in the Gospel, Jesus is looking at me with love and saying, “come, follow me”. It is also important to see that a religious vocation is given to those who “lack” something – a religious vocation is not given to one who is holy but to one whom God wishes to make holy. Jesus looks at each one, just as we are, and loves us and calls us to follow him. It is out of that deep love that he says, “there is one thing you lack” – he loves us so much that he wants us to be complete and whole, loving God and our neighbour with our whole being. And so he calls us and says, “there is one thing you lack … come follow me”. Jesus is not saying we must be perfect to be called to religious life but He is calling us to religious life because He knows that this is the best way for us.

A vocation is not so much what we do for God as what God is doing for us. The particular vocation to which Jesus calls each one of us is intended to help us to overcome what we are ‘lacking’. Many people speak of the ‘feeling that something was missing’ in their everyday life before they discerned their vocation. For me personally I experienced this sense that something was ‘lacking’ during my discernment regarding where the Lord was leading me and which Order I should to enter. As I searched I kept feeling that there was something missing until I discovered this community of Dominican Nuns.

Jesus continues to guide us and to say, “there is one thing you lack”. We must be willing to listen to Jesus speaking in the depths of our hearts, helping us to see what we lack. And as we grow and become more open to God’s loving action in our lives we will see more clearly what Jesus is telling us and correct it with His help, until at last, in heaven, we will lack nothing.