FR. ANDREW WRITES:-
What is God calling you to do?
‘God has created me to do him some definite service. He has committed some work to me, which he has not committed to another. I have my mission.’ (Words from Blessed John Henry Newman)
Each person has something specific that they are called to do. When we think of vocation, we maybe think of doctors, lawyers, teachers, nurses, firemen, pilots, astronauts etc. And then there is also the person’s vocation for life. For most people this is marriage. Some people are called to lead a single life and there are several people who serve the Church generously with their gifts in this way. Others he calls to leave everything and follow him in a very specific way as religious brothers or sisters and priests. Priesthood is the particular focus for this Sunday as it is called ‘Good Shepherd Sunday’. Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd. Each priest tries to imitate the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd is one who lays down his life for his sheep. A priest is one who serves his community or parish by administering the sacraments with that same self-sacrificial love. It is worth reflecting that without a priest there can be no Mass.
Vocations are not born in isolation, they develop within the Christian community or parish, and that parish is part of the wider Christian community, the Church. Vocations grow within the Church and they are sustained by the Church. God is still calling people to serve him in this way!
Let’s pray that our parish can be a place where vocations continue to be born, are grown, sustain and are nurtured!
Here’s a prayer from Pope Francis given on the World Day of Prayer of Vocations in Advent last year,
‘Father of mercy, who gave your Son for our salvation and who strengthens us always with the gifts of your Spirit, grant us Christian communities which are alive, fervent and joyous, which are fonts of fraternal life, and which nurture in the young the desire to consecrate themselves to you and to the work of evangelisation. Sustain these communities in their commitment to offer appropriate vocational catechesis and ways of proceeding towards each one’s particular consecration. Grant the wisdom needed for vocational discernment, so that in all things the greatness of your merciful love may shine forth. May Mary, Mother and guide of Jesus, intercede for each Christian community, so that, made fruitful by the Holy Spirit, it may be a source of true vocations for the service of the people of God.’ Amen! (Vatican, 29th of November 2015)