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Our Vocation in Christ, Part 1


St. Paul is writing to all the faithful in Christ Jesus while in prison in Rome. Despite his many sufferings for the Gospel, he exhibits joy, peace, and unflinching purpose. This is courage personified.


Ephesians 1:3-14; 2:4-7

Reading from the Fathers

St. John Chrysostom:

    “Think how great… the abundance of virtuous men must have been then, when even secular men could be called ‘saints and faithful’… An what do you lack yet? You are made immortal; you are made free; you are made a son; you are made righteous; you are made a brother; you are made a fellow heir; you reign with Christ; you are glorified with Christ.”

Fr. Alexander Schmemann:

    “The first, the basic definition of man is that he is the priest. He stands in the center of the world and unites it in his act of blessing God, of both receiving the world from God and offering it to God—and by filling the world with this eucharist (thanksgiving), he transforms his life, the one that he receives from the world, into life in God, into communion with Him.”
  1. What comes to mind when someone speaks of their ‘vocation’/ calling; what do they usually mean?
  2. What does St. Paul indicate is to be our primary vocation? (See vv. 4,5, 6, 10, 11).
  3. How does St. John Chrysostom’s commentary reinforce this understanding St. Paul conveys to us in this text?
  4. Study the quote from Fr. Alexander Schmemann, reading it through a couple of times. How are we to understand our vocation in light of this ‘priestly calling’ in the world? What do you think it mean to be ‘a priest’ in this context? (see also Ephesians 1: 3).


  • How are we to live out this ‘priestly vocation’ (see especially vv. 5, 6, 11, and 12)?
  • How about as a midshipman or an officer?

To take away with you

  • Pray for God’s will to be done moment by moment. Apply the Lord’s Prayer to your life.
  • Strive to glorify God in all aspects of your life, remembering your calling to be a son of God, a “co-heir” with Christ.
  • Fight to overcome those habits/ influences that keep you from your inheritance.
  • Deepen your communion with God through prayer (e.g., the Jesus Prayer), striving to put Christ and His Church first in your life, asking God to make you into the man of God He desires—“Thy will be done.”