The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them. When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted. Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.“
The trip back to Iowa after our honeymoon was somewhat miserable. Alex, my husband, was getting sick and I was sicker than I wanted to admit. Alex ended up driving most of the way down and I actually slept in the car for a while, which is a rarity. Before we started our 10 hour road trip Alex had contacted a friend of his who we would be passing through the area where his friend was working as a Catholic missionary for college students. We met up for dinner and started having a great chat.
Over our dinner we got onto the topic of living out our respective vocations. Our friend, Jacob, commented that he was living his vocation through the Great Commission. (See Bible passage above) The happy conversation came to a confused halt when Jacob mentioned that “the Great Commission can only be lived out by those in religious or single life. Married people don’t have the ability to reach as many people.”
My mind got to spinning. Marriage is not a lesser vocation to a priest, religious sister or the single laity; it is simply a different vocation. I was happy, since at this time I did not argue, I listened and understood where he was coming from. As Alex and I were headed back to the car I turned to him and asked, “Wouldn’t it be easier to be married and follow the Great Commission?” I brought up this scripture verse from Luke.
After this the Lord appointed seventy (-two) others whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit. He said to them, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest. Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves.
Luke 10: 1-3
Although there is more to that passage than what I posted, this is another commissioning of Christ to his followers. Here Christ explains how his apostles were to go out, in pairs. Marriage is the only vocation where you get to pick your partner. From there you are sent out to live your lives as a beacon and to be assaulted by those that would cut down the traditional marriage; very much like the “lambs among wolves.”
Being married also assumes another great responsibility, children. What better way to enlist disciples of nations than to ensure that your own children become the same great beacon as their parents. Provided parents have at least 2 children (which I understand is not possible for all couples) the faith is passed to a minimum of the same amount of people. Also faithful, married Catholics can be an inspiration of faith to their families. Especially if your family is like mine and come from a diverse blend of Protestant religions.
My job is interesting; I work as a DRE and a Youth Minister. I am a wife, an auntie, and maybe someday in the future, I will be a mother. I encounter people from all walks of life on a daily basis, and I am charged with bringing the love of Christ to them. I need to educate, love and evangelize with every word I speak and action I make.
I am called out to live the Great commission, it just looks different. I am no less a disciple of Christ because I am married, I just walk a different path. A call to holiness does not change because I have been called to a “normal” lifestyle, it means I must I must be holy and faithful according to my state of life. If that means posting this on a blog, saying an exhausted decade of the Rosary before I go to sleep, cooking a late dinner for Alex and I, or stop to talk with one of my parishioners in the grocery store because she’s having a rough day; those are my little acts of holiness and help bring Jesus to others.