During Eucharistic adoration with my high school teens last Monday night, I was struck by the word, “called.” We had just finished singing “O Come to the Altar,” where the line “Jesus is calling” is repeated throughout the song. Meanwhile, I continued to sing, “O, He is calling,” over and over again.

After the song was over, a prayer just burst forth from my mouth. I knew He had called us to be present with Him that night. I know He had called every single one of those teens by name to show up. And so I prayed that these teens would embrace their calling and carry this attitude throughout each day of their lives.

Jesus still is calling them. Jesus was (and is) still calling myself, and the other adults present that night too. You see, we each have a calling. Our mission is to build up and proclaim and make present the Kingdom of God here on earth. To share in the mission and person of Christ. And while we each have the same calling, it is very, very different since we each bring our own unique gifts and talents which the Holy Spirit has given us. I work to build up the Kingdom of God different than anyone else.

Today’s Gospel, on the Feast of Saints Simon and Jude, is the calling of the 12 apostles. Jesus called them each by name: “Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called a Zealot, and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.”

They had the exact same mission that we currently have. And think about the ways in which they failed during and following Christ’s death! Peter denied knowing Jesus three times. None of the apostles except for John stood at the foot of the cross. The apostles cowered in fear in a locked room, afraid of being killed themselves for being followers of Jesus. Disciples encountered the risen Christ on the road and didn’t recognize Him. The apostles were human – so are we. We sin, we make mistakes. And yet, Jesus doesn’t take away our mission because we fail. Instead, He calls us to get back up and to keep working. Perhaps the call is even louder or maybe it is more loving in those situations. But, the point is, the call is still there.

Brothers and sisters, we are called, you and I. My prayer for you is the same prayer I offered for my teens last Monday night, that we embrace the calling the Lord has given us and live it out each day.

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Erin is a Cleveland native and graduate of the Franciscan University of Steubenville. Following graduation, she began volunteering in youth ministry at her home parish of Holy Family Church. Her first “big girl” job was in collegiate sports information where, after a busy two years in the profession on top of serving the youth, she took a leap of faith and followed the Lord’s call to full-time youth ministry at St. Peter Church. She still hopes to use her communication arts degree as a freelance writer and statistician, though. You can catch her on the Clarence & Peter Podcast on YouTube as well as follow her on Twitter @erinmadden2016.