Good Shepherd Sunday
World Day of Prayer for Vocations
“Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. We bless you from the house of the Lord.” Psalm 118: 26
Today, Christ comes to us in the image of the Good Shepherd. It is also the world day of prayer for vocations. We are invited and challenged to open our minds and hearts to the call of the Holy Spirit as we live out our vocation as disciples of Jesus, our Good Shepherd.
Sr. Mary McGlone, in a commentary on this weekend’s scripture readings says: “Jesus introduces us to God as Trinity, God who is a community in ever growing relationship. Jesus invites us to be his communal sheep, smelling like one another, growing in him, giving our lives to and for one another.”
Jesus invites us to be his communal sheep; our first call as disciples is to be in community. For most of us, that is lived out in various ways – in family, parish, friendship and professional groupings. In all of these communities, we are challenged to grow in our relationship with Christ and with one another. Secondly, our baptismal priesthood calls us to serve, to give our lives to one another, to respond in love and compassion to the needs we recognize in members of our various communities. We are also called to extend that service, that love, beyond those intimate community circles to the wider human community and to care for all of creation. As the quote from Psalm 118 reminds us, we are to ‘come in the name of the Lord’ and to bless all we encounter along the way. This is the vocation of all the baptized.
Within the community of the church, some are called to particular vocations of leadership, service, prayer as religious and priests. The ministry carried out by those called to these particular vocations is to assist all the baptized to live their baptismal vocation to continue the mission of the church, the Body of Christ. The priesthood of the baptized and of the ordained are both necessary for the continuing of the mission and it is necessary for each member of the church to be open to the call of the Spirit and discern their particular vocation. As members of the particular communities to which we belong, we are called to journey with one another in this discernment through prayer, support and encouragement
By Richard Beaudette, OMI