In his message for this world day of prayer for vocations Pope Francis presents to us St. Joseph, a man who not only believed in his dreams but found his vocation in them. Every vocation whether to marriage, single life, priesthood, diaconate, consecrated life succeeds by trusting completely in God and allowing God’s unfolding plan to be manifest in our lives.
Like St. Joseph and our Blessed Mother, it is having the courage to say “yes” to the Lord who always surprises and never disappoints.
In the week leading up to Vocation Sunday the National Office of Vocations organised several events the first of these was the Rosary. Different organisations gathered to recite the Rosary and the Joyful mysteries. During the rosary we remembered Mary’s “Yes” and also Joseph’s “Yes”.
We also reflected on the culture of vocations and spent an evening in prayer and discussion with others who have answered the call of God, those who have said “Yes” to following Gods call but also their own dreams. This was a time when we invited others to share their personal vocation stories.
As we accept God’s call in our lives, we realise that our vocation cannot be passive, but requires us to move forward and take risks by abandoning ourselves to God’s grace.
The Church uses this year’s World Day of Prayer for Vocations to encourage and affirm those who are discerning their vocation in life. We all share in the responsibility of fostering vocations through the witness and prayer of our lives: Pope Francis reminds us that every faith community must continuously pray for vocations both in the Church and in their families.
St. Joseph did not do astonishing things, he had no unique charisms, nor did he appear special in the eyes of those who met him. He was not famous: there are no words attributed to him in the Gospels. And yet, through his ordinary life, he accomplished something extraordinary in the eyes of God. May Saint Joseph, protector of vocations, accompany all of us with his fatherly heart!