Vocations corner

Column: Faith in the divine initiative — the pope says what?

by Father Mitchel Zimmerman

Each year on the Fourth Sunday of Easter the church celebrates the World Day of Prayer for Vocations.

To mark this year’s May 3 day of prayer, our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI issued his annual message for our catchesis and prayer. This year’s message is entitled “Faith in the divine initiative — the human response.” The statement can be accessed via our archdiocesan vocations Web site at: www.kckvocations.com.

Usually as vocation director, I try to keep things simple. The name of my blog, where I share homilies and commentary on vocations, Catholic news, and, of course, my beloved Royals is:

“Do whatever he tells you!” (Jn 2:5). This passage is Mary’s request of the waiters at the wedding feast of Cana, that they should do whatever Jesus tells them to do. We know the result of the waiters’ heeding of Mary’s request is Jesus’ first miracle, the changing of water into wine, a mystery that the late Pope John Paul II proposed for our meditation as the second luminous mystery of the rosary. My choosing of this simple name for my blog makes it apparent that I like to keep things simple for men and women in the archdiocese considering religious vocations.

We should be more obedient to the will of God. Specifically, if Jesus asks us to do something, we should be obedient to his will, for he will never deceive us or lead us away from happiness. We should, as simply as possible, “do whatever he tells us!”

Pope Benedict knows, however, that the real problem with answering our vocations is not a lack of obedience; it is a lack of prayer that keeps us from hearing Jesus’ voice clearly! The Holy Father reminded us during his apostolic journey to the United States last year that if our young people know how to pray, they will be able to hear the voice of Jesus calling them, and we can trust them to obey that voice. In fact, if our young people really learn how to pray, there is no way that we could stop them from becoming priests and Sisters!

Although I’m always looking for shortcuts to more vocations for the archdiocese, the pope has provided a beautiful meditation for all of us that calls for our prayerful meditation. It takes time and effort to hear and answer a vocation. The pope challenges us to give the Lord this time and attention in prayer.

I ask all young people of the archdiocese, and their parents, to find a copy of this year’s meditation and to spend some time in front of the Blessed Sacrament meditating as deeply as you can on this year’s theme for the World Day of Prayer for Vocations!

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The Leaven

The Leaven is the official newspaper for the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas.

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