Today is commonly called Good Shepherd Sunday, but not only is it Good Shepherd Sunday, it is also “Vocations Sunday”.
On this day we are especially asked first of all to pray that the Church may be provided with the leaders needed to do its work of spreading the Gospel.
We know that at the present time there is a critical shortage of such leaders, at least in the traditional sense - priests and religious. But, while we may earnestly pray that our Church be supplied with the leaders it needs, there can be a tendency among us to pray that OTHERS may answer that call. We do not see ourselves as included. We may pray earnestly for more young people to offer themselves as priests and religious but clearly exclude our own children.
But the problem is a wider one. We have for too long given a much too narrow meaning to the word ’vocation.’ We tend to limit it to a calling to be a priest or a member of a religious institute. But, in fact, every single one of us has a vocation. For most of us, probably, it is what we are now doing be it as spouses, parents, teachers, doctors, civil servants, running a business, salespersons… or whatever.
Nevertheless, each one of us should be asking ourselves today:
Is what I am spending my energies on every day my real vocation?
Is this what God wants me to be doing with my life?
How is what I am doing giving witness to my Christian faith?
What contribution am I offering to making this world a better place for people to live in?
To what extent am I a spreader of truth, of love, of justice, of freedom, of tolerance and acceptance…?
And, if I am in a position which would be difficult to change (as a spouse or parent or holding a particular job), how, within that situation, is God calling me to greater service of my Church and my community? Am I giving something through my life or am I just using society (and even the Church) to get what I want?
God is calling every single one of us to work for the Gospel. For a small number it may be as a priest or religious - and that call can come at any time in one’s life. But there are hundreds of other ways of serving the Church and helping to build up the Christian community. Where is God calling me to make my own unique contribution based on the particular talents God has given me?
If every single one of us were to answer that question sincerely and to act upon it, I am confident that our Church would have all the leadership it needs.
~Taken from “Living Space” website, which is part of the Sacred Space website, run by the Irish Jesuits.