Today the Church celebrates Vocation Sunday. The homilist reminds us to pray for more vocations to the religious life to gather more shepherds to guide the faithful in their spiritual journeys.
Just as in today’s Gospel, “The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hireling and not a shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.” Our priest and religious are called to lay down their lives for the sheep just as Jesus did.
It is not a job to be done.
It is a calling by God. And only the brave will answer.
As parents, there are two extremes:
One set will insist their children become religious, because maybe it was their own calling in the past that were ignored, and they want it to be pursued by the next generation.
The other set will ensure their kids do not become religious, because there will be no one to take care of them in their old age.
But both extremes are wrong. To become a priest or nun is a calling, no one can force you to do it. If the call comes, it is the individual’s response to the call that will matter.
And all who are called inadvertently feel inadequate.
None feel like this is what they are good at, or that they were born for this. But what matters is that God will grant the grace for those called to see it through.
So let us pray for our priests and religious who have devoted their lives to God. That they continue to receive God’s blessings and grace and that more will join their mission to be our shepherds.