...By Dorcas Funmi for TDPel Media.
In his message for the 60th World Day of Prayer for Vocations, which will be celebrated on April 30, 2023, Pope Francis stated that a vocation is not complete without a mission.
He emphasized that every vocation, whether lay, priesthood, religious, or consecrated life, works together in a harmonious symphony to radiate the new life of the kingdom of God throughout the world.
The pope also highlighted that love is a fundamental aspect of a vocation, as it is God who calls us in love, and we respond to Him in gratitude and love.
God’s Call to a Particular Vocation Includes a Mission
According to Pope Francis, God’s call to a specific vocation includes a mission.
The Holy Father stressed that there is no vocation without a mission.
In his message, he stated that “there is no happiness and full self-realization unless we offer others the new life that we have found.”
He reminded us that the Church’s vocations work together in a harmonious symphony to radiate the new life of the kingdom of God throughout the world.
The Gift of a Vocation and Love
The pope compared the gift of a vocation to a divine seed that opens our hearts to God and others.
He stated that the treasure we have found is shared with others.
Furthermore, the pope emphasized that love is a fundamental aspect of a vocation.
According to him, God calls us in love, and in gratitude, we respond to Him in love.
Love is what helps us realize that we are beloved sons and daughters of the one Father, and we see ourselves as brothers and sisters of one another.
The Common Vocation to Give Ourselves in Love
In his message, Pope Francis reminded us that everyone in the Church is a servant according to his or her charisms.
The common vocation is to give ourselves in love.
He mentioned the different expressions of this vocation such as raising families as a domestic church, working as a leaven of the Gospel to renew different sectors of society, and consecrated men and women who are completely committed to God for the sake of their brothers and sisters as a prophetic sign of the kingdom of God.
The ordained ministry also has a specific vocation: to preach, pray, and foster the communion of the holy people of God.
The Call to a Specific Vocation
The pope acknowledged that the Holy Spirit acts in unexpected ways to inspire a vocational call.
Sometimes God’s call is revealed in our encounter with situations of poverty, in moments of prayer, when we see a clear witness to the Gospel, or read something that opens our minds.
He pointed out that God shows infinite creativity in all the ways He calls us.
He also mentioned that God’s call to a specific vocation is often revealed gradually in our lives.
A Prayer for Vocations
The Holy Father concluded his message with a prayer written by St. Paul VI for the first World Day of Vocations in 1964.
The prayer asks Jesus, the divine shepherd of souls, to continue to draw ardent and generous souls from among the young to make them His followers and ministers.
The prayer also asks that these individuals be given a share in His thirst for the redemption of all and that they may prolong His mission here on earth.
Overall, Pope Francis’s message emphasizes that a vocation is not complete without a mission and love.
Furthermore, every vocation in the Church works together to radiate the new life of the kingdom of God throughout the world.
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