POPE FRANCIS’ MESSAGE, 2019 WORLD DAY OF VOCATIONS. The courage to take a risk for God’s promise.

MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS 
FOR THE 2019 WORLD DAY OF VOCATIONS (May 12, 2019)
The courage to take a risk for God’s promise.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

After the lively and fruitful experience of the Synod devoted to young people last October, we recently celebrated the Thirty-fourth World Youth Day in Panama City. These two great events allowed the Church to be attentive both to the voice of the Spirit and to the life of young men and women, their questions and concerns, their problems and their hopes.

Building on what I shared with the young people in Panama, I would like to reflect, on this World Day of Prayer for Vocations, on how the Lord’s call makes us bearers of a promise and, at the same time, asks of us the courage to take a risk, with him and for him. I will do this by reflecting briefly with you on these two aspects – promise and risk – as they appear in the Gospel account of the calling of the first disciples by the sea of Galilee (Mk 1:16-20).

Two pairs of brothers – Simon and Andrew, and James and John – are going about their daily tasks as fishermen. In this demanding work, they had learned the laws of nature, yet at times, when the winds were adverse and waves shook their boats, they had to defy the elements. On some days, the catch of fish amply repaid their efforts, but on others, an entire night’s work was not sufficient to fill their nets, and they had to return to shore weary and disappointed.

Much of life is like that. Each of us tries to realize his or her deepest desires; we engage in activities that we hope will prove enriching, and we put out on a “sea” of possibilities in the hope of steering the right course, one that will satisfy our thirst for happiness. Sometimes we enjoy a good catch, while at others, we need courage to keep our boat from being tossed by the waves, or we are frustrated at seeing our nets come up empty.

As with every call, the Gospel speaks of an encounter. Jesus walks by, sees those fishermen, and walks up to them… The same thing happened when we met the person we wanted to marry, or when we first felt the attraction of a life of consecration: we were surprised by an encounter, and at that moment we glimpsed the promise of a joy capable of bringing fulfilment to our lives. That day, by the sea of Galilee, Jesus drew near to those fishermen, breaking through the “paralysis of routine” (Homily for the XXII World Day for Consecrated Life, 2 February 2018). And he immediately made them a promise: “I will make you fishers of men” (Mk 1:17).

The Lord’s call is not an intrusion of God in our freedom; it is not a “cage” or a burden to be borne. On the contrary, it is the loving initiative whereby God encounters us and invites us to be part of a great undertaking. He opens before our eyes the horizon of a greater sea and an abundant catch.

God in fact desires that our lives not become banal and predictable, imprisoned by daily routine, or unresponsive before decisions that could give it meaning. The Lord does not want us to live from day to day, thinking that nothing is worth fighting for, slowly losing our desire to set out on new and exciting paths. If at times he makes us experience a “miraculous catch”, it is because he wants us to discover that each of us is called – in a variety of ways – to something grand, and that our lives should not grow entangled in the nets of an ennui that dulls the heart. Every vocation is a summons not to stand on the shore, nets in hand, but to follow Jesus on the path he has marked out for us, for our own happiness and for the good of those around us.

Embracing this promise naturally demands the courage to risk making a decision. The first disciples, called by Jesus to be part of something greater, “immediately left their nets and followed him” (Mk 1:18). Responding to the Lord’s call involves putting ourselves on the line and facing a great challenge. It means being ready to leave behind whatever would keep us tied to our little boat and prevent us from making a definitive choice. We are called to be bold and decisive in seeking God’s plan for our lives. Gazing out at the vast “ocean” of vocation, we cannot remain content to repair our nets on the boat that gives us security, but must trust instead in the Lord’s promise.

I think primarily of the call to the Christian life which all of us received at Baptism. It teaches us that our life is not a fluke but rather a gift: that of being God’s beloved children, gathered in the great family of the Church. It is precisely in the ecclesial community that the Christian life is born and develops, especially through the liturgy. The liturgy introduces us to God’s word and the grace of the sacraments; from an early age, we are taught the art of prayer and fraternal sharing. In the end, the Church is our mother because she brings us to new life and leads us to Christ. So we must love her, even when we see her face marred by human frailty and sin, and we must help to make her ever more beautiful and radiant, so that she can bear witness to God’s love in the world.

The Christian life thus finds expression in those decisions that, while giving a precise direction to our personal journey, also contribute to the growth of God’s kingdom in our world. I think of the decision to marry in Christ and to form a family, as well as all those other vocations associated with work and professional life, with the commitment to charity and solidarity, with social and political responsibilities, and so forth. These vocations make us bearers of a promise of goodness, love and justice, not only for ourselves but also for our societies and cultures, which need courageous Christians and authentic witnesses of the kingdom of God.

In encountering the Lord, some may feel the attraction of a call to the consecrated life or to the ordained priesthood. It is a discovery that can excite and at the same time frighten us, since we feel called to become “fishers of men” in the barque of the Church by giving totally of ourselves in commitment to faithful service of the Gospel and our brothers and sisters. Such a decision carries the risk of leaving everything behind to follow the Lord, to devote ourselves completely to him, and to share in his work. Many kinds of interior resistance can stand in the way of making this decision, especially in highly secularized contexts where there no longer seems to be a place for God and for the Gospel. Places where it is easy to grow discouraged and fall into the “weariness of hope” (Homily at Mass with Priests, Consecrated Persons and Lay Movements, Panama, 26 January 2019).

And yet, there can be no greater joy than to risk one’s life for the Lord! I would like to say this especially to you, the young. Do not be deaf to the Lord’s call. If he calls you to follow this path, do not pull your oars into the boat, but trust him. Do not yield to fear, which paralyzes us before the great heights to which the Lord points us. Always remember that to those who leave their nets and boat behind, and follow him, the Lord promises the joy of a new life that can fill our hearts and enliven our journey.

Dear friends, it is not always easy to discern our vocation and to steer our life in the right direction. For this reason, there needs to be a renewed commitment on the part of the whole Church – priests, religious, pastoral workers and educators – to provide young people in particular with opportunities for listening and discernment. There is a need for a youth ministry and a vocational promotion that can open the way to discovering God’s plan, above all through prayer, meditation on God’s word, eucharistic adoration and spiritual accompaniment.

As was made clear several times during the World Youth Day in Panama, we should always look to Mary. Also in the story of this young woman, vocation was both a promise and a risk. Her mission was not easy, yet she did not allow fear to prevail. “It was the ‘yes’ of someone prepared to be committed, someone willing to take a risk, ready to stake everything she had, with no more security than the certainty of knowing that she was the bearer of a promise. I ask each one of you: Do you see yourselves as bearers of a promise? What promise do I bear within my heart to take forward? Mary’s would undoubtedly be a difficult mission, but the challenges that lay ahead were no reason to say ‘no’. Things would get complicated, of course, but not in the same way as happens when cowardice paralyzes us because things are not clear or sure in advance” (Vigil with Young People, Panama, 26 January 2019).

On this World Day of Prayer for Vocations, let us join in prayer and ask the Lord to help us discover his plan of love for our lives, and to grant us the courage to walk in the path that, from the beginning, he has chosen for each of us.

From the Vatican, 31 January 2019
Memorial of Saint John Bosco

FRANCIS

 


© Copyright – Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Advertisements

Top Posts & Pages

Archives

Categories

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,260 other followers

Follow Catholics Striving for Holiness on WordPress.com

Blog Stats

  • 1,218,643 hits

Instagram

ST. AUGUSTINE ON THE ASCENSION OF OUR LORD.. From a sermon by Saint Augustine, bishop (caps mine). Today our Lord Jesus Christ ascended into heaven; let our hearts ascend with him. Listen to the words of the Apostle: If you have risen with Christ, set your hearts on the things that are above where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God; seek the things that are above, not the things that are on earth. FOR JUST AS HE REMAINED WITH US EVEN AFTER HIS ASCENSION, SO WE TOO ARE ALREADY IN HEAVEN WITH HIM, even though what is promised us has not yet been fulfilled in our bodies. CHRIST IS NOW EXALTED ABOVE THE HEAVENS, BUT HE STILL SUFFERS ON EARTH ALL THE PAIN THAT WE, THE MEMBERS OF HIS BODY, HAVE TO BEAR. He showed this when he cried out from above: Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? and when he said: I was hungry and you gave me food. WHY DO WE ON EARTH NOT STRIVE TO FIND REST WITH HIM IN HEAVEN EVEN NOW, THROUGH THE FAITH, HOPE AND LOVE THAT UNITES US TO HIM? WHILE IN HEAVEN HE IS ALSO WITH US; AND WE WHILE ON EARTH ARE WITH HIM. HE IS HERE WITH US BY HIS DIVINITY, HIS POWER AND HIS LOVE. WE CANNOT BE IN HEAVEN, AS HE IS ON EARTH, BY DIVINITY, BUT IN HIM, WE CAN BE THERE BY LOVE. HE DID NOT LEAVE HEAVEN WHEN HE CAME DOWN TO US; NOR DID HE WITHDRAW FROM US WHEN HE WENT UP AGAIN INTO HEAVEN. The fact that he was in heaven even while he was on earth is borne out by his own statement: No one has ever ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man, who is in heaven. These words are explained by our oneness with Christ, for he is our head and we are his body. No one ascended into heaven except Christ because we also are Christ: he is the Son of Man by his union with us, and we by our union with him are the sons of God. So the Apostle says: Just as the human body, which has many members, is a unity, because all the different members make one body, so is it also with Christ. He too has many members, but one body. OUT OF COMPASSION FOR US HE DESCENDED FROM HEAVEN, AND ALTHOUGH HE ASCENDED ALONE, WE ALSO ASCEND, BECAUSE WE ARE IN HIM BY GRACE. Thus, no one but Christ descended and no one but Christ ascended; not because there is n
TO MOTHER MARY AND ALL MOTHERS, OUR SINCERE GRATITUDE TO WHO YOU ARE AND ALL THE YOU DO!
OUR PRAYER FOR ALL MOTHERS. In some countries, especially in the Philippines. Mother's day will be celebrated this Sunday, May 13, 2018. Let us thank God with prayers and deeds for giving us the wonderful and irreplaceable gift of having our mother. Let us thank all mothers as well for all the love and sacrifice you have given us your children, but above all for the gift of life. Fr. Rolly Arjonillo
ASCENSION OF OUR LORD: THE GLORIFICATION OF THE SACRED HUMANITY OF CHRIST. "Now the Master is teaching his disciples: he has opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and he appoints them witnesses of his life and his miracles, of his Passion and Death, and of the glory of his resurrection (Luke 24:45 and 48). Then he brings them out as far as the outskirts of Bethany and blesses them. And as he does so, he withdraws from them and is carried up to heaven (Luke 24:51) until a cloud takes him out of their sight (Acts 1:9). Jesus has gone to the Father. Two Angels in white garments approach us and say, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up to heaven?” (Acts 1:11). Peter and the others go back to Jerusalem — cum gaudio magno — “with great joy” (Luke 24:52). It is fitting that the sacred humanity of Christ should receive the homage, the praise and adoration of all the hierarchies of the Angels and of all the legions of the Blessed in Heaven. But you and I feel like orphans: we are sad, and we go to Mary for consolation." -St. Josemaria, The Holy Rosary, 2nd Glorious Mystery
OUR SINCERE GRATITUDE AND PRAYERS TO MOTHER MARY AND TO ALL THE MOTHERS IN THE WORLD! O Mother of mothers, you are yourself one. Pray for, guide and protect all the mothers in the world, so that they may love their children in the same way you loved your Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY MOTHER MARY AND TO ALL OF YOU, DEAR MOMS! THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR LOVE AND SACRIFICE! WE LOVE YOU VERY MUCH! Fr. Rolly Arjonillo
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY MOTHER MARY! OUR LADY OF FATIMA, PRAY FOR ALL THE MOTHERS, PRAY FOR US!
DAILY FATIMA PRAYER.
OUR PRAYER FOR ALL MOTHERS. As we prepare for Mothers' Day this year which falls on May 6 or 13, 2018, let us thank God with prayers and deeds for giving us the wonderful and irreplaceable gift of having our mother. Fr. Rolly Arjonillo
A WAY OF SHOWING YOUR LOVE TO OUR LADY FROM ST. PADRE PIO.
TOMORROW IS THE 1ST SATURDAY OF THE MONTH. Here is a short prayer to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. May we honor and love her, imitating her Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and as we do, let us pray for the conversion of many souls and in reparation for the sins of humanity. Fr. Rolly Arjonillo.
HUMILITY: NECESSARY TO PLEASE GOD. St Peter the Apostle speaks to us of the need to be humble if we are to please God. “Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble, 1 Pet 5:5.” Nothing can separate us from God as much as pride. • A heart that is filled with self-love has no room for God. • The holiness we seek can be summed up in the words that John the Baptist spoke of Christ: “He must increase, but I must decrease.” Our Lord's life must increase within us until we become "other Christs", and our intellect and our will, our powers and our affections, all we are and all we do, become entirely his. • Humility is essential if we are to achieve complete self-giving, and if we are to become channels by which God's grace can reach mankind. As St. Josemaria wrote: “Let us be humble. Let us seek nothing but the glory of God. Our life of silent and hidden self-giving should be a constant act of humility. Humility is the foundation for our whole life, the means and prerequisite for our effectiveness. Pride and vanity might attract us to the vocation of a Chinese lantern, which shines and sparkles for everyone to admire, but which lasts only one night and then goes out, leaving no trace behind. Vita vestra est abscondita cum Christo in Deo. (Your life is hidden with Christ in God. What God thinks, not what other people think, is what matters.” These words of St. Josemaria light up our whole life. • Without humility, everything we do would be sterile. If we allowed self-sufficiency and pride into our interior life, dialogue with God would be impossible. • In our apostolate, which should be based on friendship, pride would put a barrier between us and others, and make it impossible for us to help or understand them. • Our cheerfulness also depends on our being humble, because it is humility that enables us to lead an authentic existence, in which we aim to serve God and others, but without being worried about appearing less than perfect, and without letting our faults upset us. “Humility prevents us from becoming discouraged at our own faults. Our Father God knows what kind of clay w
BLESSED POPE PAUL VI ON MAY, THE MONTH OF MARY. “The month of May is … a month which the piety of the faithful has long dedicated to Mary, the Mother of God. Our heart rejoices at the thought of the moving tribute of faith and love which will soon be paid to the Queen of Heaven in every corner of the earth. For this is the month during which Christians, in their churches and their homes, offer the Virgin Mother more fervent and loving acts of homage and veneration; and it is the month in which a greater abundance of God's merciful gifts comes down to us from our Mother's throne. We are delighted and consoled by this pious custom associated with the month of May, which pays honor to the Blessed Virgin and brings such rich benefits to the Christian people. Since Mary is rightly to be regarded as the way by which we are led to Christ, the person who encounters Mary cannot help but encounter Christ likewise. For what other reason do we continually turn to Mary except to seek the Christ in her arms, to seek our Savior in her, through her, and with her? To Him men are to turn amid the anxieties and perils of this world, urged on by duty and driven by the compelling needs of their heart, to find a haven of salvation, a transcendent fountain of life.” Blessed Pope Paul VI, Enc. Mense Maio, nn. 1-2 CSFH PHOTO of La Virgen y el Niño, by Armando Pareja
ST. JOSEMARIA ON THE HOLY EUCHARIST Jesus has remained within the Eucharist for love... of you. He has remained, knowing how men would treat him... and how you would treat him. He has remained so that you could eat him, so that you could visit him and tell him what's happening to you; and so that you could talk to him as you pray beside the Tabernacle, and as you receive him sacramentally; and so that you could fall in love more and more each day, and make other souls, many souls, follow the same path. (The Forge, 887) The humility of Jesus: in Bethlehem, in Nazareth, on Calvary. But more humiliation and more self-abasement still in the Sacred Host: more than in the stable, more than in Nazareth, more than on the Cross. That is why I must love the Mass so much ('Our' Mass, Jesus...) (The Way, n. 533) When you approach the Tabernacle remember that he has been awaiting you for twenty centuries. (The Way, 537) There he is: King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, hidden in the Bread. To this extreme has he humbled himself through love for you. (The Way, 538) Jesus has remained in the Sacred Host for us so as to stay by our side, to sustain us, to guide us. And love can only be repaid with love. How could we not turn to the Blessed Sacrament each day, even if it is only for a few minutes, to bring him our greetings and our love as children and as brothers? (Furrow, 686) Go perseveringly to the Tabernacle, either bodily or in your heart, so as to feel safe and calm: but also in order to feel loved... and to love. (The Forge, 837) Keep struggling, so that the Holy Sacrifice of the Altar really becomes the centre and the root of your interior life, and so your whole day will turn into an act of worship — an extension of the Mass you have attended and a preparation for the next. Your whole day will then be an act of worship that overflows in aspirations, visits to the Blessed Sacrament and the offering up of your professional work and your family life. (The Forge, 69) Build up a gigantic faith in the Holy Eucharist. Be filled with wonder before this ineffable reality. We have God with us; we can receive him every day and, if we want to, we can speak intimately with him
TOMORROW IS THE FIRST FRIDAY OF THE MONTH (MAY 4, 2018). SHORT PRAYER OF CONSECRATION TO THE SACRED HEART. Sacred Heart of Jesus, filled with infinite love, broken by my ingratitude, pierced by my sins, yet loving me still, accept the consecration that I make to You, of all that I am and all that I have. Take every faculty of my soul and body, and draw me, day by day, nearer and nearer to Your Sacred Side, and there, as I can bear the lesson, teach me Your blessed ways. Amen.
GOD CALLS US ALL TO HOLINESS AND HE WILL GIVE US THE GRACE TO LIVE BY OUR MISSION. LET US HAVE RECOURSE TO THE SOURCES OF HIS GRACE. Pope Francis recently reminded us in Gaudete et exultate of our divince vocation to holiness. Yes, you and I as well, for "This is God's will, our sanctification" As such, we must not be afraid of holiness, but rather desire and strive for it, absolutely certain that God will provide us the graces we need in the means He has put within our reach: prayer, sacraments and sacrifice.Let us then have frequent recourse to the sources of His grace. Mother, Help of Christians, pray for us! Fr. Rolly Arjonillo.
SACRED HEART OF JESUS: SHORT PRAYER OF CONSECRATION.
Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: