World Day of Prayer for Vocations
How am I, with my own unique gifts, being called to put them at the service of God’s Kingdom on this earth?
This Fourth Sunday after Easter, May 11, 2014, celebrates the 51st World Day of Prayer for Vocations. This is the day when all Christians are invited to reflect on their Baptismal commitment, and to pray for one another and the whole Christian Community. This is to say that each baptized Christian is invited, today, to ask “How am I, with my own unique gifts, being called to put them at the service of God’s Kingdom on this earth?” and to pray for an increase in courage and generosity for all in responding to this invitation.
Pope Francis, in his address to the whole Church on this day, reminds us that the “initiative of grace is the origin of every vocation ... [which] comes through a unique and personal relationship with Jesus, which Baptism confers on us from the beginning of our rebirth to new life. It is Christ, therefore, who continually summons us by his word to place our trust in him, loving him “with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the strength” (Mark 12:33).
“Therefore every vocation, even within the variety of paths, requires an exodus from oneself in order to centre one’s life on Christ and on his Gospel. Both in married life and in the forms of religious consecration, as well as in priestly life, we must surmount the ways of thinking and acting that do not conform to the will of God ... in order to allow ourselves to be touched by the impulse of grace contained in the seed of the word, which must grow in us and be transformed into concrete service to our neighbor...
“A vocation is a fruit that ripens in a well cultivated field of mutual love that becomes mutual service, in the context of an authentic ecclesial life. No vocation is born of itself or lives for itself. A vocation flows from the heart of God and blossoms in the good soil of faithful people, in the experience of fraternal love.”
Let us heed these words of Pope Francis, giving thanks for “God’s love which always goes before us” and “adoration for the work [God] has accomplished, which requires our free consent in acting with [God] and for [God]” for the transformation of our world within the particular vocation we have been invited to live.
Rosemary Fry CSJ