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World Day of Prayer for Vocations

‘The Fourth Sunday of Easter, Christians are invited to reflect on the meaning of God’s call and to pray for vocations. Christ, the Good Shepherd, continues to lead His people through His Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, and calls many to follow Him in this way… religious vocations should be a constant concern in the hearts of God’s people.’ (Ordo, p228)

This Sunday, the Church reminds us of an important invitation to do two things. First, to pray for an increase in vocations- especially that young people, even in the midst of this crazy, noisy world, would open their hearts to God’s call to the priesthood, and to consecrated religious life. Second, we are reminded to open our own hearts to God’s will; where He is calling us, and what He is calling us to do- with our days, with our gifts, and with our lives.

What is a vocation? Literally, a vocation is a calling, but holier people than me have described a vocation like this: ‘The collision of the deepest desires of our heart, our particular God-given gifts, the world’s need, and God’s will for our lives.’ One of the most beautiful things about our faith is the Truth that God has a plan for our lives. He has designed us for a purpose. We aren’t left alone to pick one option out of many- the entire point of our lives is to do His will. That, simply put, is what it means to be a Saint; someone who says yes to God, and never stops- in the big things, and in the little things.

Yet God doesn’t hand us the plan from the start. Instead, He invites us first to intimacy with Him. We first must get to know Him, and to know ourselves through His eyes, and then see the purpose He calls us to. We must ask for the courage to do His will, and the grace to be faithful to it. When the desires of our heart align with our gifts and God’s will and the desperate needs of the world, voila! We have fulfillment, we have joy, we have transformed hearts and a transformed world; in a word, we have a vocation.

On this Good Shepherd Sunday, we are reminded that God is calling many young people particularly to religious vocations; young men to the priesthood, and young women to consecrated religious life. It is a tragedy that so many say no- worse, that so many do not hear His gentle but powerful voice. Let us pray for hearts open to God’s will, and who will respond courageously and generously.

Whether you are one of these young people, or you have been living your vocation for many years(as a spouse, parent, etc.), God is still calling you to do His will every day. He still has a plan for your life, His will is still the greatest option, and your fidelity to Him still has the power to change the world. It’s not just important- it’s necessary. Whether you are in the Parliament or confined to a hospital bed, God is still calling you to do His will.

So listen to Him- and please, for love of God, His Church, and the world, pray for an increase in vocations to the priesthood and religious life.

God love you,

Father Daniel

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