National Vocations Awareness Week has a dual purpose; to remind us of the need for vocations to the priesthood and religious life and to make us aware of the responsibility each of has to discern vocations in others.
Many times people are unaware of the gifts that God has given to them. Others are often more aware of a person’s gifts from observing them than they are themselves. This is certainly true of vocations to the priesthood and religious life.
It is, of course, the responsibility of parents to discern and nurture vocations in their children, but it is also the responsibility of the community. The community has a significant role in discerning vocations in its members. The calling forth of vocations has a long tradition in the Church, not only for priests and religious, but for deacons and even bishops. Prime examples would be St. Stephen and the first deacons, (Acts 6) and St. Ambrose of Milan. In the Hebrew Scriptures, It was Eli who first recognized God’s calling the prophet Samuel . (1 Samuel 3:7-11)
God’s call is easily drowned out in the cacophony of today’s world. It is up to each of us to play the role of Eli. If we discern a potential vocation to the priesthood or religious life in another we should speak up and invite that person to consider the priesthood or religious life.
How often have you invited someone to consider becoming a priest, a sister or a brother? Now is a good time to begin
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