Pope Francis asks for prayer for vocations to the priesthood on Good Shepherd Sunday
Pope Francis called on all Catholics to pray for vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life on Good Shepherd Sunday, the World Day of Prayer for Vocations.
“Priesthood and consecrated life require courage and perseverance, and without prayer one does not follow this path. I invite everyone to ask the Lord for the gift of good workers for his kingdom who have their hearts and hands open to his love,” Pope Francis said on May 3.
In his Regina Caeli address, the pope said that the World Day of Prayer of Vocations is a reminder of Jesus’ words in the Gospel of Matthew: “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few, so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.”
Christ, the Good Shepherd, calls his sheep by name and the sheep listen to his voice, the pope said.“Christian existence is always a response to the call of God, in any state of life,” he said.
Speaking from the library of the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace, Pope Francis offered advice for discerning the Lord’s voice from other voices of temptation or distraction.
He said that the voice of the evil one “seduces, assails, forces” with “tempting but passing emotions”.“At first it flatters, makes us believe that we are omnipotent, but then it leaves us with emptiness inside and accuses us: ‘You are worth nothing,’” he said. “The voice of God, on the other hand, corrects us with much patience, but always encourages us, consoles us. It always nourishes hope.”
“The voice of God never binds: God proposes himself, he does not impose himself,” he said.Pope Francis explained that the voice of temptation “always revolves around the self,” whereas the voice of God invites all to go “beyond ourselves to find true goodness and peace.”
“Dear brothers and sisters, in this time many thoughts and concerns lead us to turn in on ourselves. We pay attention to the voices that reach our heart. Let's ask where they come from,” Pope Francis said.