I remember as if it were yesterday the first time I entered the Church of St. Louis of the French in Rome. In this beautiful Roman church is the painting of the vocation of St. Matthew by the Italian painter Caravaggio. Contemplating this spectacular work, it seemed as if I was watching a still from a movie. I was captivated by the light of the painting and its simplicity, without too many ornaments. I could not take my eyes off the image of St. Matthew, nor the image of Christ next to St. Peter, who enter the scene as if they were two beggars. The hand of Christ, pointing his finger at Levi, which Caravaggio borrowed from Michelangelo's fresco of the creation of Adam. At the back of the room, illuminated, the figure of Matthew, who does not dare to look up and seems to continue counting the coins on the table, while he doubts, by the expression on his face, that he is really the one whom the Lord has come to seek.
This scene of Matthew's vocation always invites me to let myself be looked at by the Lord, to see my life through his gaze, which is a gaze full of mercy and love. Truly, vocation is always God's initiative, and it is up to us to respond to his love and follow him.
Christ never ceases to call some women to follow him, as we say in our Constitution 53, but we are also aware that through the joy and generosity of our lives, others are invited to respond to this call.
Is this not a good way to approach vocation ministry? God's initiative and the joy and generosity of our lives. This leads me to think about the gift of oblation and how important it is to live with joy the gift of the vocation we have received, one thing needs the other, because true joy is born of a generous dedication, it springs forth unceasingly when we place ourselves at the service of others and of the Church.
Each one of us has met the Lord at some point in our history, like St. Matthew, the Lord looked at us with love and called us to be with him and to send us to proclaim the Gospel. What about you? Do you let yourself be seen with love by the Lord? Do you let yourself be found by him?