‚ÄčTo say that you are called can have two quite different meanings. If someone says "What are you going to call the baby?" obviously, they mean what name you are going to give the child, but if they say, "Quick, call the children", the calling then is asking them to come. When I say that Christ is calling me, it has both meanings; he calls me personally by name, but also he calls me to come to himself. In the words of Isaiah, "I have called you by your name, you are mine." (Is 43.1)

The Lord calls us through events or other people in our lives but it's not always clear and it can easily go unnoticed. We will only recognise his calling if we are ready to listen, and become aware of it.The charming story of the infant Samuel illustrates that confusion. When the Lord called his name he thought it was the priest in the next room until eventually, following the instructions of the priest, he replied "Speak, Lord your servant is listening." Only when he took care to listen did he realise it was the Lord calling him. The same with us, but I'm afraid when we pray we are more inclined to say "Listen, Lord, your servant is speaking."

Christ's call may come in various ways, but will always depend on our readiness to see or hear what God is trying to convey to us through events of our lives. A wonderful expression Jesus used is Come and See. When John the Baptist pointed out Jesus and a couple of his disciples began to stalk him, Jesus asked them what they wanted and then said, "Come and see." It was because they were ready to see or to hear Christ's invitation that they responded to his call and their lives were changed.

Fr, Michael Barrow, SJ