World Day of Vocations 2019
Every year the fourth Sunday of Easter (also known as Good Shepherd Sunday) is a worldwide day of prayer for vocations. It is also an opportunity for everyone to reflect on their own specific calling, whether that is to priesthood, religious life, another form of consecration, marriage or single life.
This year the World Day of Vocations is on Sunday 12 May. In his message for the day, which is inclusive of all vocations in the Church, Pope Francis reflects on the theme: “The courage to take a risk for God’s promise.” He writes of the call of the first disciples, recounted in the Gospel of Mark:
‘As with every call, the Gospel speaks of an encounter. Jesus walks by, sees those fishermen, and walks up to them. The same thing happened when we met the person we wanted to marry, or when we first felt the attraction of a life of consecration: we were surprised by an encounter, and at that moment we glimpsed the promise of a joy capable of bringing fulfilment to our lives. That day, by the Sea of Galilee, Jesus drew near to those fishermen, breaking through the “paralysis of routine.” And he immediately made them a promise: “I will make you fishers of men” (Mk1:17).
The Lord’s call is not an intrusion of God in our freedom; it is not a “cage” or a burden to be borne. On the contrary, it is the loving initiative whereby God encounters us and invites us to be part of a great undertaking. He opens before our eyes the horizon of a greater sea and an abundant catch.’
The Holy Father goes on to speak of the risk of following this call:
‘Embracing this promise naturally demands the courage to risk making a decision. The first disciples, called by Jesus to be part of something greater, “immediately left their nets and followed him” (Mk 1:18). Responding to the Lord’s call involves putting ourselves on the line and facing a great challenge. It means being ready to leave behind whatever would keep us tied to our little boat and prevent us from making a definitive choice. We are called to be bold and decisive in seeking God’s plan for our lives.’
‘On this World Day of Prayer for Vocations, let us join in prayer and ask the Lord to help us discover his plan of love for our lives, and to grant us the courage to walk in the path that, from the beginning, he has chosen for each of us.’