Changing one letter of that word from “a” to “o” makes a big difference. The word “vocation” comes from the Latin word for “to call” and a vocation is just that; a call to do something, be something, say something. Jesus had the vocation of redeeming God’s people; healing the sick, comforting the poor, liberating captives, preaching the Good News. Then he passed that vocation on to his disciples; to us. An important distinction between vacations and vocations is that vocations are not short term events. There is never a vacation from a vocation. The “Call” continues even when we are at leisure.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus and his disciples go to an out of the way place, getting away from the crowds, the noise and the every-day busy-ness. But people follow and Jesus continues answering his vocation by teaching and healing. We, too, continue our vocations by responding to the needs around us wherever we are.