Caravaggio, [1571-1610] a painter who lived in Rome, was noted for his realism and dramatic use of light in his paintings. In the beautiful church of St. Louis, in Rome there is a restored work of his known as, The Calling of St. Matthew. We must remember that St. Matthew was a tax collector and so was not held in high esteem by anyone. In this painting, Our Lord Jesus stands by the door pointing towards the group of men at the table. One man attends to counting the money, two younger men dressed in the fine styles of the times gaze at Jesus, but are totally uninterested, a ray of light shines on the face of Matthew, and we read in his face, while his own hand points to himself, the disconcerting question: "Who? .Me?" And so our Lord invites him to "Come Follow Me."
As many of you pursue your studies and are occupied with the many facets of college life, the one thing which many individuals do not realize is that Our Lord has already called you to follow Him in your Baptism. As the one man in the painting, some are concerned about how they will pay back their student loans, how they will make a good and comfortable living. Others concern themselves with the passing pleasures of this life; the look, the popularity, the conquests, the feel, the superficiality and as a result never mature into adults. There are others who finally realized that Our Lord is talking to them. They are startled, taken aback and actually hesitate to respond - Who? Me? Yes, Our Lord calls you to be His follower, His disciple in building up the kingdom of Heaven here on earth.
As I stated, Our Lord has already called many of you to pursue your calling in life, this is known as a vocation. For most of you reading this, you
are called to follow your vocation as lay men and lay women, some of you may however, be called to the Priesthood and Religious Life. Your call
begins when you are baptized in the Roman Catholic Church. At this time, a great transformation takes place in your life, you become adopted
sons and daughters of God our Father, the sin of Adam, Original sin, is washed away and if you convert later in life, all sin committed is forgiven.
You are further endowed with Divine Life, reformed according to the likeness of God to be a brother or sister of Christ, elevated to be a temple of
the Holy Spirit, transformed to be a member of the Body of Christ, grafted a branch into the Holy Vine, received into the sacred people, the kingly
priesthood, the divine generation of the baptized sons and daughters of God. As a Catholic, you have the right and the privilege to receive the
Body of the Lord, to obtain remission of sins through Confession, to be filled with the Holy Spirit of Confirmation. In the sacrament of ordination
to the priesthood, a man receives a share in the priesthood of Christ. Men and women can receive the sacrament of Matrimony. In grave illness
any priest will give in the sacrament of Holy Unction the Lord's blessing for the sick and anointing for the last agony. A baptized Catholic has the
right to claim the blessings of Holy Church; partakes in every Holy Sacrifice of the Mass offered on this globe, and receives grace after grace out
of the fullness of Christ and of the Saints. When the Lord will call us to Himself, it is our privilege to be buried in the rite of the Church, because
we are called to the glory of the resurrection and to the inexpressible joy of the Blessed God. I encourage each of you to respond generously to
the call to which Our Lord is pointing to in your life. You have already been given so much through baptism to help bring your vocation, [calling] to fruition.
May the Lord grant that you may be mindful of your vocation and live worthy of it.
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