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 labourers into his harvest” (Mt 9:38; Lk 10:2). As a climax to a prayer that is continually offered throughout the Church, it affirms the primacy of faith and grace in all that concerns vocations to the priesthood and to the consecrated life. While appreciating all vocations, the Church concentrates its attention this day on vocations to the ordained ministries(priesthood and diaconate), to the Religious life in all its forms (male and female, contemplative and apostolic), to societies of apostolic life, to secular institutes in their diversity of services and membership, and to the missionary life, in the particular sense of mission “ad gentes”.
2018 marks the 55th Anniversary of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations
Listening, discerning, and living: these lie at the heart of Pope Francis’ message for this year’s World Day of Prayer for Vocations.
The Holy Father said 2018 is a special year for vocations, because the Synod of Bishops will reflect on young people, especially “the relationship between young people, faith, and vocation”.
Pope Francis reminded Christians that God never ceases to call men and women to follow Him.
“We are not victims of chance or swept up in a series of unconnected events; on the contrary, our life and our presence in this world are the fruit of a divine vocation,” he said.
Pope Francis made it clear that “God comes silently” and that, without a listening heart, His voice can be “drowned out” by the distractions of daily life.
He said Christians need “to listen carefully to his word and the story of his life, but also to be attentive to the details of our own daily lives”.
Turning to spiritual discernment, Pope Francis said this is “a process by which a person makes fundamental choices, in dialogue with the Lord and listening to the voice of the Spirit, starting with the choice of one’s state in life”.
He said the Christian vocation always has a prophetic dimension, since current events in a person’s life and in the world must be examined “in the light of God’s promise”.
“Every Christian ought to grow in the ability to “read within” his or her life, and to understand where and to what he or she is being called by the Lord, in order to carry on his mission,” he said.
Pope Francis then added a note of urgency.
“Vocation is today! The Christian mission is now,” he said.
“Each one of us is called – whether to the lay life in marriage, to the priestly life in the ordained ministry, or to a life of special consecration – in order to become a witness of the Lord, here and now.”
Everyone is called to live their vocation, the Pope said, and there is no reason to fear God’s call, even to a life consecrated to God’s kingdom.
“It is beautiful – and a great grace – to be completely and forever consecrated to God and the service of our brothers and sisters.”
Click on this link for Message of His Holiness Pope Francis 2018 World Day of Prayer for Vocations