Today is the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. Pope Francis in the annual papal message for this day, first observed in 1964, writes:
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.
Every vocation – ordained ministry, married life and single life as an adult – is a grace-filled opportunity to respond to God’s love and to be a living witness to Divine Love in the world today. The challenge to fully receive this grace and live it takes discernment, much prayer and guidance. Each of these three aspects of the vocation is accomplished not just individually, but also in concert with the community of faith, the Church. Our prayer, especially today for vocations to priesthood and consecrated religious life, asks the Holy Spirit to allow young men and women to generously give of themselves for the good of all people.
The World Day of Prayer for Vocations coincides with our nation’s observance of Mothers’ Day. The two are not mutually exclusive. A mother’s love is a necessary part to answering the call to a vocation from God. Just as a mother so often models unselfish love, so a vocation answered is one in which that Love is embodied and mirrors Love to all. Please pray that all young people will be open to the movement of God as He calls them to service in His Church.