“My sheep hear my voice;
I know them, and they follow me.
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.
No one can take them out of my hand.
My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all,
and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand.
The Father and I are one.” (Jn 10:27-30)
Today is the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. It falls on the Fourth Sunday of Easter when we are presented with one of the Gospels of Jesus as the Good Shepherd.
We need “shepherds” in our lives. Some of those shepherds are the parents who love us, nurture us, and guide us. Other shepherds may include relatives, teachers, counselors, and, yes, priests, deacons, brothers and sisters.
The purpose of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations is to publicly fulfill the Lord’s instruction to, “Pray the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into his harvest” (Mt 9:38; Lk 10:2). As a climax to a prayer that is continually offered throughout the Church, it affirms the primacy of faith and grace in all that concerns vocations to the priesthood and to the consecrated life.
Pray this day that all people may hear and accept the call of God so that they may be fulfilled in their lives. For, no matter how difficult or easy a way of life may be, if is the way of life to which God calls us, we will always find peace and joy.
FAITH ACTION: Pray the following prayer some time this day.
Creator of the Universe, God of the Nations,
Your people are longing to hear your word.
Send laborers into your harvest –
women and men on fire with your love:
Dedicated single people –
who incarnate your presence
in their daily lives,
whose availability enables them
to respond to a diversity of needs.
Married couples –
whose relationships serve as a sign
of your fidelity to your people,
whose love overflows
to their children and neighbors.
Ordained Ministers –
who gather the prayers and longing
of your people
who serve as a channel of your presence
through the sacraments.
Religious sisters, brothers, and priests –
whose life in community foreshadows
our eternal unity in Christ,
whose service brings your life to the world.
May each of us respond with courage and generosity
to our particular vocations, and may the Church recognize
the Spirit’s call to men and women of good will,
trusting in your abundance to answer all our needs.