About the Pastoral Vocation

A few weeks ago I had the great privilege of being a round-table leader for the Fund for Theological Education’s Leaders in Ministry Conference at Boston University. I was blessed to have an amazing group of undergraduate students who were discerning a call to religious leadership. Many times during our times together they would ask me about my vocation and why did I answer the call to pastoral leadership.

On the last day at the conference I remembered writing about my vocation for my ordination papers. Here is what I wrote a few years ago:

I believe that the center of my vocation is blessing: bread, water, oil, people, and places. Blessing is about invoking, reminding, and healing. Blessing is about being an agent for the divine who does the work. Blessing is about claiming and proclaiming the promise of God’s doings in us and in our world. Blessing communicates our baptismal identity as “sealed” people of God. I need blessing.

Maybe I need blessing because of my up bringing. Every night, every morning, every good bye or hello I would ask my loved ones for a “bendición” (blessing). “Bless me” I would ask and only then could I enter their home, go on a journey, or face my day or my night. So it is really no wonder that I want to bless. Many times in the middle of a hard day I remember that I am blessed. I remember that the holy has been invoked upon me. I remember:

“You are blessed,” Christ lives in you and works through you!

“You are blessed,” the great communion of saints intercedes on your behalf

and surrounds you with love!

“You are blessed,” you have been sealed by the Holy Spirit

with water, oil, and the laying on of hands!

“You are blessed” go now, carry bread broken, wine spilled,

water splashed, oil overflowing.

These are the signs of God’s Spirit using brokenness to bring wholeness,

healing and new beginning. You are blessed!

Go on blessing! This is your calling.

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