To respond to the vocation appeal, focus on St Joseph
For the second time this month, the theme of vocations - and for us, vocations to the Society of Jesus - takes centre stage. On 12 April, Fr Arturo Sosa, Superior General, published an important letter on the “culture of vocation promotion”. He announced that a whole series of tools, starting with a specific website, have been made available to vocation promoters and also to young people who are looking for a way to follow Christ. In addition, on this Sunday, 25 April, the whole Catholic Church will celebrate “the World Day of Vocations”.
this occasion Pope Francis has drawn a connection between discernment of a
Christian vocation and St. Joseph. Why? Because since 8 December 2020, the
150th anniversary of the proclamation of St Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church,
we have been celebrating the “Year of St Joseph”. For Francis, Joseph is the perfect
example of someone who, throughout his life, had to discern the path on which
God was asking him to walk. This experience of discernment enabled him to bring
life into the daily experience of Jesus, Mary, and himself.
The Pope writes: “The Lord desires to shape the hearts of fathers and mothers: hearts that are open, capable of great initiatives, generous in self-giving (…) The priesthood and the consecrated life greatly need these qualities nowadays, in times marked by fragility but also by the sufferings due to the pandemic, which has spawned uncertainties and fears about the future and the very meaning of life. Saint Joseph comes to meet us in his gentle way, as one of ‘the saints next door’. At the same time, his strong witness can guide us on the journey.”
In his letter of 12 April on vocation promotion in the Society of Jesus, Fr Arturo Sosa highlights the importance of creating a space where young people can ask themselves about their vocational future. He writes: “In the Scriptures we find so many examples where the Lord’s call is heard in surprising ways, at unexpected times and places, to people we would not expect in any way. This is why it is so important to place ourselves in a culture of vocational promotion that makes us attentive to God’s invitation, ready to facilitate its reception and to contribute to it.”
Joseph experienced the “surprise” of the Lord’s call in his own life, and that
more than once. By looking to him, we can be prepared to identify these same
surprises in the lives of young people to whom we are close. These are young
people who, in an increasingly secularised and noisy world, need accompaniment
in order to hear the calming and subtle voice of the Lord who opens up for them
a future of self-giving.
To pray and to enter into the spirit of this “Vocation Sunday”, take a moment to browse the website:
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