This weekend, 20th & 21st April, the Church throughout the world focuses on the Good Shepherd and on Vocations. It is always good to take time to reflect on vocation and its relevance to our lives. The first and most important vocation for all of us is the call to Baptism. In Baptism we are called to believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to follow him in our lives. The baptised form a community of faith and within that community there are specific vocations to which we are called. Marriage and Parenthood are two very obvious vocations. Our professions or our trades are also vocations. This is very true because we need to have an aptitude to be a good farmer, a good teacher, nurse, doctor, engineer, carpenter, tailor or whatever. Much unhappiness in life flows from the fact that individuals find no fulfillment in their work and so cannot develop their talents properly.
Priesthood is a vocation within the Church which must be fostered by all in the Church. Many people, especially parents are very uneasy about the idea of a son putting himself forward for priesthood. They have an inordinate fear that their son will not persevere in the priesthood, or will be lonely and unhappy. They never consider the other side of the coin, namely that their son, because of his vocation, will never find happiness in any other vocation. It all comes down to faith and trust in the Holy Spirit.
What we need is a broader view of vocation that makes us aware of our Baptismal call to the family of God’s people and open to whatever vocation God has laid out for us. We should pray that young men will continue to respond to the call to serve the Church in priesthood and that we will always affirm a priestly vocation. Our prayer today is for more priests whom God will truly bless and who will find happiness in their vocation,
There will be a special retiring collection for Vocations taken up at all Masses next Sunday, 28th.