Dear Parishioners & Visitors,
Today is the beginning of the National Vocation Awareness Week (November 5-11, 2017). This week is sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life, and Vocations, and is designed to help promote vocation awareness and to encourage young people to ask the question: "To what vocation in life is God calling me?"
Sometimes, to talk about vocation and to work on it might become quite complex. In trying to respond to the question about what is God calling me in life, we can experience a lot of uncertainty and sometimes confusion. It is important then to put the question in the framework of the three primary vocations all human beings have: life, love and service.
he vocation to life is the invitation God makes concrete in his covenant: "My covenant with him was the life and The Beatitudes Sermon peace which I gave him, and the fear he had for me, standing in awe of my name." (Malachi 2:5). It is the vocation to live our lives as a conscious decision of embracing the reality of who we are and with it, God's goodness and peace.
The vocation to love according to the love of Christ, means our willingness to care for the other. For St. Paul the vocation to love was fundamental for the life of the community: "We were gentle among you, as a nursing mother cares for her children. With such affection for you, we were determined to share with you not only the gospel of God, but our very selves as well, so dearly beloved had you become to us." 11 (1 Thessalonians 2:7-8)
The vocation to serve is constantly recalled by Jesus in his message of the Gospel: "The greatest among you must be your servant." (Matthew 23:11) It is our vocation to serve that helps us go out of ourselves avoiding the danger of remaining self-centered. It is our vocation to serve that enables us to share the file and the love we have received from Christ, the Lord.
When we are able to live our lives, to love and to serve others according to the will of God we enjoy a profound peace and we can sing with the psalmist: "In you, Lord, I have found my peace" (Psalm 131). Peace itself is one of the greatest signs of our vocations.
During this National Vocation Awareness Week, I invite all parishioners and visitors, to please pray for those who are seeking their vocations as religious, priests, deacons and lay ministers in the Church. That they may be able to see the signs of their vocation and to follow them by saying YES! to the mission of preaching the Gospel in our times.
-fr. Jorge Rátiva, O.P.