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The World Day of Prayer for Vocations is today, May 11, the Fourth Sunday of Easter. The World Day of Prayer for Vocations is also known as “Vocations Sunday” or “Good Shepherd Sunday” and will be celebrated this year on the theme “Vocations: Witness to the Truth.”
In his message for Vocations Sunday Pope Francis says:
“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. Did not Jesus say: ‘By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another,’ (Jn 13:35)?”
Bishop Donal McKeown, Bishop of Derry and Chair of the Bishops’ Council for Vocations, offers the following short text and video reflection on this year’s message from Pope Francis:
Pope Francis has a simple way of both speaking and living. He has used many memorable phrases and images to communicate the Joy of the Gospel, but most of all he shares that joy in the way he interacts with people.
However, this Gospel joy is not just a pleasurable feeling, some sort of spiritual candyfloss. It is a joy born of mission. In his message for this year’s Vocations Sunday, he encourages all in the Church to expect great things from God, and from ourselves in his service. Joy for that sort of disciple enables him or her to venture beyond the narrow limits of our comfort zones.
That means taking risks, being prepared to journey and allowing God to be God in our lives. In Evangelii Gaudium, he wrote of the “unruly freedom” of the Word of God, for “we are neither its masters or owners, but its guardians, heralds and servants.”
In this year’s message, he calls for heroes who will go into the great harvest where many people are harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. ‘And the harvest will be plentiful.’