Weekly Missionary Reflection
60th World Day of Prayer for Vocations
4th Sunday of Easter, 30 April 2023
Acts 2:14a,36-41; Ps. 23:1-3a,3b-4,5,6; 1Pet. 2:20b-25; John 10:1-10
Dear beloved missionaries,
Today we celebrate the Week of Vocation which celebration coincides with the fourth Sunday of Easter. The Church devotes this Sunday, especially to paying attention to the call for Priests, Sisters, and Brothers. The fourth Sunday of Easter is also known as the Good Shepherd Sunday. Why? Because the Gospel reading of this Sunday is always about Jesus, the Good Shepherd, Gate to Salvation. We pray to Him that God is pleased to send good, generous, and loving kind shepherds to minister to the people whom they are entrusted to.
Jesus is a good Shepherd. Jesus declares the purpose of His coming, “I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). Jesus appears to enlighten, strengthen, minister, enrich and liven up. He brings an abundance of life. In Jesus, we feel peace, strength, spirit, and love. We live in abundance. When we are intimate with the Lord, we can deeply feel peace, joy, firm soul, spirit, and love. On the other hand, whenever we are separated from Him, we will feel lonely, confused, worried, unpeaceful, and unsteady. We pray that God’s power enables the priests and clergymen to shepherd their people like Jesus, the Good Shepherd, leading us to God.
Jesus is the Gate to Salvation. Jesus says, “I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved and will come in and go out and find pasture” (John 10:9). He is the path to salvation. He leads everyone to Him, to the “pasture” so that they could receive the live-giving “food”. We pray that the shepherds; priests and clergymen, welcome everyone coming to them with full of shepherd love towards peace, justice, and joy of life.
The Lord calls everybody to stay with Him, live in abundance, and be sent out to testify His love. That is the basic vocation of each human being. From these basic calls, then come a special calling to becoming a priest and clergyman or the calling for devoting family life. There are many amazing diverse callings in Church. Those callings contribute to the mission of Jesus the Good Shepherd and Gate to Salvation that brings life to its abundance.
Vocation is the grace and mission of the Lord. God bestows vocation as a grace and a free gift. In the grace of vocation, we are sent to proclaim the Kingdom of God, to continue the work of God’s love so that more people can hear, see, feel, and experience the loving God. May more people, especially the young, be encouraged and willing to respond to the Lord’s calling to share His love by devoting themselves to the life of clergy or any consecrated life.
Are we called by Him? How to recognize our special vocation? To find out this, let us try to feel different by seeking and visiting a place, community, or someone who can guide and enlighten us. Next, we ponder the Lord’s word in prayer and find a wise mentor who can be a priest, sister or brother, or anyone who can lead and guide us right. This guidance is expected to lead us to find the special calling that we have to go through. That special calling can commence from the inner desire, followed by the courage to leave things behind and then undoubtedly follow Him!
On this celebration, let us pray for God’s grace to open the heart of the young, and to move them to boldly answer the special calling from the Lord by becoming priests and clergymen. May God enable the parents to allow and boldly present their children to become priests, brothers, or sisters. May God strengthen the life of the priest and clergymen and bestow them with joy so that they may be undoubtedly more faithful in their vocation and be more joyful in their ministry. May God strengthen the life of Christian families and lead each of them who devote to raising a family in becoming brave and missionary lay apostles. ***NW
(RD. M Nur Widipranoto- National Director of Pontifical Mission Society Indonesia)
DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER
Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy, and sorrow in unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the salvation of the world. May the Holy Spirit animating Jesus, also be my guidance and strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.
Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus, and the Church, in particular, I present my prayer for our Pope and apostle prayer of the Indonesian Church of this month:
For a culture of peace and non-violence
We pray for the spread of peace and non-violence, by decreasing the use of weapons by States and citizens.
For the self-confidence of the youth
We pray that the youth may realize that their addiction to the digital world and the online facility is isolating them in their own world, and may they are encouraged to be confident and willing to extend relationships in their real life.