Today is Good Shepherd Sunday and also the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. The Catholic Church recognizes four main vocations: Priesthood, Religious Life (sisters, nuns, monks, friars, etc.), Marriage, and Single Life (dedicated, not just as a bachelor). These are the primary states of life to which a Christian may be called. Today’s prayers are especially for vocations to the priesthood and religious life.
Vocation means “calling.” (Think of voice, vocal, vocabulary, means “mouth”). We all have a calling, a vocation from the Lord, who is the Good Shepherd, when we choose to marry, enter the priesthood, diaconate, or religious life, we are answering the call of the Good Shepherd. “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27)
In our first reading, we see that Paul and Barnabas proclaim the word of God to Jew and Gentile alike, in the name of Jesus. They said “the Lord has commanded us, I have made you a light to the Gentiles, that you may be an instrument of salvation to the ends of the earth.” Acts 13:47
Their call from the Good Shepherd was to travel and preach so that all would know that the Lord is God. As we sang in today’s Psalm “Know that the LORD is God; he made us, his we are; his people, the flock he tends.” (Psalm 100:3)
He is the Lamb on the throne who will shepherd his flock and give them eternal life. “For the Lamb who is in the center of the throne will shepherd them.” (Revelation 7:17)
If we allow ourselves to hear his call, we will be drawn to the way of life (our vocation) for which we were made for. Married life, Holy orders, Reli- gious life, if we are called to that way of life, it is because the Shepherd is saying, “this is the way for you to be holy, the way to heaven for you.”
May the Good Shepherd send you all the graces you need to hear his call and to faithfully live out your vocation, and may we be courageous and committed in our response.
A Prayer for All Mothers
O almighty and eternal God, Lord of both the living and the dead, Your tender mercy embraces all those foreknown to be Yours by faith and a good life. Through the intercession of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary our Mother, and of all the saints, grant Your grace and mercy to all mothers for whom we pray, whether they still are living in this world or have de- parted from this flesh into the world to come. Especially, dear Lord, grant the requests I now make of You for my own beloved mother. (Here mention your request).
God bless you all and Happy Mother’s Day to all our dear Mothers! Father Robert Letona