Praying for Vocations in All Walks of Life

prayer-card-jesus-prayer-for-vocationsThis Sunday, April 17th, is the 53rd World Day of Prayer for Vocation. In his message on this year’s theme, “The Church, Mother of Vocations,” Pope Francis expresses his hope that during this Jubilee Year of Mercy “All the baptized may experience that joy of belonging to the Church and rediscover that the Christian vocation, just like every particular vocation, is born from within the People of God, and is a gift of divine mercy. The Church is the house of mercy, and it is the ‘soil’ where vocations take root, mature and bear fruit.” He explains that “The call of God comes to us by means of a meditation which is communal. God calls us to become a part of the Church and, after we have reached a certain maturity within it, God bestows on us a specific vocation.”

Pope Francis urges all of the faithful to assume their responsibility for the care and discernment of vocations. He reminds us that vocations are born within the Church – “We are not called for a particular region, or for a group or an ecclesial movement, but rather for the Church and for the world.” Francis then points out that vocations grow within the Church – people have to personally experience the various Christian vocations of the Church in order to grow in their knowledge of each vocation. He concludes by explaining that vocations are sustained by the Church – those who respond to a vocational calling are “accompanied and sustained by the Christian community, which always remains a vital point of reference.”

The celebration of World Day of Prayer for Vocations presents us with an opportunity to reflect on how we are fostering vocations – Christian vocations and every other particular vocation. Are we helping one another to come to a realization that we are a community of believers that are dependent upon one another as we grow in holiness – friendship with Jesus? Are we revealing the face of the Father’s mercy individually and as a community of believers? Yes, we need to have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus. But that relationship is always nurtured and supported by a community of believers – the People of God, the Church – who also are in a relationship with Jesus Christ! Are we praying for one another – and in an intentional way praying for those discerning a vocation?

Are we willing to invite our young to consider a vocation to the Consecrated Life – to be a Sister or a Brother. To consider being a deacon or a priest? After all, vocations come from families who have contact with sisters, brothers, priests and deacons. If we aren’t willing to invite the young of our families to consider these vocations – why would we expect some other family to ask a young person in their family to consider such a vocation?

Spend time in prayer for the married couples in our midst – ask God to continue to grace them with all that they need to be reflections of His life and love to all of us. Their lives are a living witness of the power of God’s love for them as well as for all humanity – in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health!

Yes, on Sunday we pray for vocations throughout the world. Of course we need priests and deacons, religious women and men in active apostolates, monks and missionaries. Yes, we need the living witness of happy married couples who are deeply in love with one another. But we also need wise, thoughtful, and generous leaders in every walk of life. These are the particular vocations that Pope Francis acknowledges in his message – vocations that we need today more than ever. We need good leaders in politics, willing to put the common good above personal ambition. We need parents who put their children above self-interest. We need business owners who are just and responsible toward their employees. We need teachers who genuinely love learning and love to serve their student’s needs. We need health care professionals who can’t be co-opted by the business end of medicine and who will protect their patient’s interests. We need all who inhabit powerful places of decision-making to discern what is best for the poorest and the smallest before they decide. Be sure to keep these vocations in your prayers – we certainly need people to respond to these callings.

Question – What are you willing to do to encourage and support the vocations – both Christian and personal?

 

April 13th, 2016 |