Meditation for the Year of Vocations
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you” (Jer 1,5)
For the Year of Vocation inaugurated on September 19, we are invited to reflect on the following theme: "Come, do not be afraid, Christ lives and wants you to be alive". These are the words that Mary addressed to the two children at La Salette: "Come near my children" and the words of Pope Francis to the young in his Post Synodal Exhortation to the youth (Christus Vivit)
Vocation is a gift of God's love for his people. The call of God is to stay with Him “whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him” (I John 4:16)
“The source of every perfect gift is God who is Love, Deus caritas est: “Whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him” (1 Jn 4:16). Sacred Scripture tells the story of this original bond between God and man, which precedes creation itself. Writing to the Christians of the city of Ephesus, Saint Paul raises a hymn of gratitude and praise to the Father who, with infinite benevolence, in the course of the centuries accomplishes his universal plan of salvation, which is a plan of love. In his Son Jesus – Paul states – “he chose us, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before him in love” (Eph 1:4). We are loved by God even “before” we come into existence! Moved solely by his unconditional love, he created us “not … out of existing things” (cf. 2 Macc 7:28), to bring us into full communion with Him” (Message of the Holy Father (Pope Benedict) for the 49th World day of Prayer for Vocations).
When God calls us, it does not mean that everything is ready and done, but He calls us to make a journey with him. Participation in this project involves our daily response to the love of God who first loved us, and this love should draw us every day
The way I respond daily to the Lord in my daily life in a simple and safe way is the perfect freedom in my life.
The testimonies of our history as Missionaries of La Salette, the example of those who have been guided by this love, strengthen us and encourage us to renew the gift we have received from God in us!
“And yet, there can be no greater joy than to risk one’s life for the Lord! I would like to say this especially to you, the young. Do not be deaf to the Lord’s call. If he calls you to follow this path, do not pull your oars into the boat, but trust him. Do not yield to fear, which paralyzes us before the great heights to which the Lord points us. Always remember that to those who leave their nets and boat behind, and follow him, the Lord promises the joy of a new life that can fill our hearts and enliven our journey.
Dear friends, it is not always easy to discern our vocation and to steer our life in the right direction. For this reason, there needs to be a renewed commitment on the part of the whole Church – priests, religious, pastoral workers and educators – to provide young people in particular with opportunities for listening and discernment” (Message of the Holy Father (Pope Francis) for the 56th World day of Prayer for Vocations).
Manuel Dos Reis Bonfim MS