World Day of Prayer for Vocations

In 1963, Pope Paul VI designated Good Shepherd Sunday as the World Day of Prayer for Vocations.

Good Shepherd Sunday is the fourth Sunday of Easter; that is, the Sunday three weeks after Easter Sunday. The name comes from the Gospel reading for this day which in each of the three lectionary years is taken from the tenth chapter of the Gospel of John. In this reading, Jesus is described as the Good Shepherd, who protects us as his flock and promises us the gift of eternal life.

The purpose of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations is to publically fulfill the Lord`s instruction to, `Pray the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into his harvest`(Mt 9:38: Lk 10:2). While it appreciates the vocation of all Christians given at Baptism, the Church concentrates its attention this day on vocations to ordained ministries, religious life, societies of apostolic life or secular institutes.

In a message written last October to be used for this year`s World Day of Prayer for Vocations, Pope Benedict XVI wrote:

Vocations to the priesthood and the consecrated life are born out of the experience of a personal encounter with Christ, out of sincere and confident dialogue with him, so as to enter into his will. It is necessary, therefore, to grow in the experience of faith, understood as a profound relationship with Jesus, as inner attentiveness to his voice which is heard deep within us. This process, which enables us to respond positively to God’s call, is possible in Christian communities where the faith is lived intensely, where generous witness is given of adherence to the Gospel, where there is a strong sense of mission which leads people to make the total gift of self for the Kingdom of God, nourished by recourse to the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist, and by a fervent life of prayer`

Please pray that young men and women may hear and respond generously to God`s call to consecrated life.