Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization

"Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization"

Check out the revised edition of this exciting and unique prayer book, filled with prayers that are sure to nourish the soul as we undertake the New Evangelization.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Homily Thursday of the Sixteenth Week of the Year

Thursday, Sixteenth Week of the Year /
Mass for Vocations
27 July 2006

Something we can all agree on, I suspect,
is that we live in a very noisy and busy world.
We are permanently tethered to our cell phones, pagers, and e-mail,
so someone can always find us.
We are faced with the constant demands that work, school, and family place on us
and a barrage of noise from every side.

Life can be exhausting…
and often little room is left among all the distractions for the voice of the Lord.

So often, we look at the world around us…
as we whiz by on the way to the next event…
but we don’t really see the loving and creative hand of God.
Often, we hear the words of the liturgy or our own prayers
but we don’t really listen to God’s voice speaking to us.

In answer to His disciples’ question Why do you speak to the crown in parables?
this is precisely the answer Jesus gives:
because they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand.

In a particular way, this is true of the call of the Lord
to ordained ministry and consecrated life.
There is not so much a "vocations crisis" in our day…
as there is a crisis of listening and understanding.

God still calls men to the priesthood…
and men and women to the consecrated religious life.
Yet, people are not really listening and understanding what God is saying to them.

And, so, the Lord must speak in parables, as it were.
He calls men and women to vocations in the Church through a myriad of ways…
many times in ways that are not obvious at first.
This I know to be true,
since I have heard many stories of how men came to the seminary.
Each and every man has a unique and fascinating story to tell
about how he came to realize his vocation to the priesthood.
Each one shows the wonder of God’s providence.

Listen with your hearts,
for God may be using you to plant the seed of a priestly or religious vocation
in someone’s heart.
Clergy, parents, family, friends, fellow parishioners…
all have a role to play in encouraging young people to consider a vocation.
Sometimes all it takes is saying: "Have you ever thought about being a priest…"

As we pray the Votive Mass for Vocations today…
and begin the Novena to Saint John Vianney, patron of parish priests…
may we all commit ourselves more and more
to earnestly praying for and encouraging
vocations to the priesthood and religious life.

Tomorrow we will lay to rest Father Kevin Fete,
a truly great priest…a priest after the heart of Christ.
His death at a young age is a loss for the Church.
And on Saturday, a new priest will be ordained for the D. O. Y.
Father Shawn’s ordination is a moment of great joy and blessing for the Church.
The Lord gives and the Lord takes away!

In addition to the priests who have passed away…
we have also had several priests retire this year.
There are not enough priests to meet the increasing needs of the Catholic people.

Without priests, there can be no Eucharist or Confessions…
and without these sacraments,
we are separated from the living presence and healing grace of Christ.

So, today, we pray that many will hear the call of God to serve the Church…
and, more fully, that they will truly listen and understand.

No comments: