gospel reflection

The Call of the Good Shepherd

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This Sunday we once again have the opportunity to focus on the topic of ‘vocation’, both our own call from the Lord, and our responsibility to foster a ‘discerning attitude’ amongst our young people as they too seek to hear the call of the Good Shepherd. A ‘vocation’ is nothing to be afraid of. It is a pathway through life offered to each one of us by God as a means by which we may flourish as Gods children – ‘the sheep of his flock.’

On this Vocations Sunday we, in a particular way, hope to foster a discerning attitude to vocations to the priesthood and religious life.  Pope Francis has recently written an Apostolic Exhortation on the universal call, the universal vocation, to holiness. Its entitled Gaudete et Exsultate (Rejoice and be glad). In it we hear these beautiful words of encouragement;

Do not be afraid of holiness. It will take away none of your energy, vitality or joy. On the contrary, you will become what the Father had in mind when he created you, and you will be faithful to your     deepest self. To depend on God sets us free from every form of enslavement and leads us to recognize our great dignity. To the extent that each Christian grows in holiness, he or she will bear greater fruit for our world.

Do not be afraid to set your sights higher, to allow yourself to be loved and liberated by God. Do not be afraid to let yourself be guided by the Holy Spirit. Holiness does not make you less human, since it is an encounter between your weakness and the power of God’s grace. For in the words of León Bloy, when all is said and done, “the only great tragedy in life, is not to become a saint”.

Fr John

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