You may read that question above and say in response, “I don’t have a vocation.  Vocations are for priests, deacons, religious, and I’m not one of those.”  But you still have a vocation, we all do.  Each year during this beautiful Easter season this fourth Sunday of Easter gives us the image of the Good Shepherd.  With that in mind the church has for many, many years bid us to pray for vocations.  Oh, yes to pray for vocations to priesthood and religious life but to pray for all the other vocations as well. 

And what are those other vocations?  Well, being a believer, calling ourselves Christians, followers of Jesus, believers in the gospel.  In short, we all have a vocation, to follow the call of Jesus to believe and serve him, no matter what we do with our life.  The passage that we have this year about the Good Shepherd has to do with entering the kingdom of heaven through the narrow gate, in other words trying to live by following Jesus’ teachings and putting them into practice in our everyday lives.

We all go along on the journey of our lives, busy about many things, trying to fulfill all the responsibilities we have, as well as striving to reach the goals the gospel places before us.  We do that whether we are a priest, religious, married person, no matter what, it doesn’t make any difference.

Back in the day, so long ago, when Jesus spoke to the crowds referring to himself as being ‘the Good Shepherd’ and telling us that we should listen to his voice and follow him when he calls out to us, He wasn’t limiting that message to any specific group, other than to say it was and is intended for all of us who are His followers.

So, let us all spend some time reflecting on how we are living out our vocation, how we are responding to the call of Jesus as we live each day, no matter what else.  Yes, let us all pray more and pray daily that there will be more followers of Christ who are discerning their future that they will think about the priesthood; God knows how desperately we need more priests.  The same thing is true for all those who serve Christ in religious life, whether as missionaries, teachers, and as contemplative as well.

Let us pray for those who are living their lives as married persons that they will seek the Lord’s grace to live that vocation faithfully and for all who are blessed to have children that they will be the best parents they can be.  To be blessed with the special privilege to have children is a gift from God as he has given you offspring to raise with love and to bring to know the Lord and one day learn and follow their vocation too.

A special word about young people discerning the question of choosing marriage as their vocation.  What a tremendous challenge in today’s world.  May each person discerning life in marriage pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit in making the choice of a life partner.  May they too, pray for the person they believe they are called to spend their life with and to thank God for the person they are given to love and be loved by.

So, yes all of us have a vocation.  Let us all pray for one another that we will serve the Lord faithfully throughout our life and thank Him for the call he has made to us.

May is a special month, a truly beautiful month one filled with many different celebrations in our families.  Enjoy!

Fr. Walt