Arise Catholic Faithful! Rejoice and Renew!
Today, on a global scale that we never imagined, we all find ourselves dealing with the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. The situation we find ourselves in today is compelling us to re-examine many of the things we took for granted, such as being able to leave our homes to gather as young people for “VOCATIONS CAMP & RALLY”, attend mass, weddings or funerals or even do something as simple as giving someone a hug or handshake.
With this background, we still choose to thank God for our lives and the opportunity to reflect on the theme: “Words of Vocation” even as we celebrate this year’s Vocations Day from our various homes. On the occasion of the 57th World Day of Prayer for Vocations, the Holy Father is addressing the whole people of God, against the backdrop of the Gospel passage that recounts for us the remarkable experience of Jesus and Peter during a stormy night on the Sea of Galilee (Mt 14:22-33). Each one of us is called to a vocation and how we find fulfillment in life is in our response to this call from the Most High. Every vocation is born of the gaze of love with which the Lord came to meet us, perhaps even at a time when our boat was being battered by the storm. “Vocation, more than our own choice, is a response to the Lord’s unmerited call”
Baptized for Service
By our Baptism each one of us became a child of God and was given a unique and wonderful gift of faith and a “vocation”, a calling from God to follow Him in holiness in a special way. Since our baptism, we probably have had many opportunities to meet Jesus through prayer and through others. You might have realized already that when you meet Jesus your life is changed forever. Perhaps, you would like to know Jesus better. I would encourage you to read the following scripture passages carefully, paying attention to how the people in the story were affected by meeting Jesus.
Responding to Jesus through Service
How have you responded to God’s call after a personal experience with Jesus through others or through prayer? I would like to throw a service challenge to all of you. Identify various Christian heroes, living or dead; who have responded to God’s call after a personal experience with Jesus through others or through prayer, carefully think of how you can learn from these people. Create a visual display, a poem, a prayer or a song on how you want to respond to Jesus through service, caption it “The Service Challenge” and share it on your various Youth WhatsApp platforms, Facebook or you can even have it published in your parish bulletin. Please commit to doing whatever you set for yourself as a way of responding to Jesus through service.
Responding to God’s Invitation
God wants all people, despite their human weakness, to respond in faith to His many invitations in life, and to enter into communion with Him. Scripture can reveal to us the nature of vocations in two ways: the first – the call to holiness, to believe and have faith in God, is common to everyone and is implied in God’s very act of creation; and the second where God calls us to follow Him in a specific way. In Scripture we see God’s people being called to special missions or tasks that take its meaning from within the universal call to holiness. Some are chosen by God to be special servants in helping all people hear God’s call to faith and to respond to His invitation… In the deepest theological sense, then, our vocation is to hear and respond in faith to God’s call in our lives.
Finding our Gifts and Talents to Serve God and His Church
We need to discover the gifts and talents that God has given to us and how we can use them to serve Christ and His Church. We have to learn that it is the total sum of all our talents that makes our faith community grow and thrive. There are spiritual gifts sent by God and received by men and women who answer the call to follow Jesus as Priests, Religious Brothers or Sisters, Married People, or Single People that are used to serve the Church.
Our faith community and our family community are made up of different kinds of people with different talents given by God. We are all called to serve God and one another and use our talents in different ways according to God’s will.
All the gifts and talents we have been given are to be used to build up the Kingdom of God. Acknowledging what our God given gifts and talents are is a big step in discerning what God wants us to do with our lives.
Discerning God’s Will in My Life
Let me assist you by introducing A Guide to Making Life Decisions (Discerning)
- Remember that before you were born, God had a plan for you. Only in following God will you truly be happy. Pray for guidance from God.
- Stay in touch with reality and what is going on in your life. Pay attention to what gifts and talents you have been given; look at even the small things.
- Seek advice from people who are wise and who use good judgment. Don’t be afraid to place your thoughts and plans before the critical eyes of your friends, and/or family, or trusted advisors or instructors. Examine your alternatives by testing them against experience.
- Listen to what your mind, your heart, and your intuition tell you. Make sure all three of these “voices” from your soul are part of the final discernment.
- Do not make a decision when you are in the middle of a crisis.
- Know your limits but follow your gifts and talents. Find your passion in life.
- Be willing to let go of missed opportunities and possibilities you ignored. Your life is a journey and not every path before you will be chosen; learn to accept the choices made in your life up until now; be willing to move forward from there.
- Develop an appropriate sense of timing. Do not act in haste, but do not drag out the decisions either. Break down your decision-making process into steps that you can manage on a realistic timetable.
- Once you have to make a decision, you must choose!!!!! Accept the risks of your choice and let go. One cannot be ambivalent (unable to decide), it will lead to an unfruitful life. And if you don’t make a decision, someone else will make it for you!
- Look to Jesus as the model for all decision making. “Father…not my will but yours be done.” Luke 22:42. By seeking God’s perfect will in your life, you will experience life to the fullest.
We invite you to pray for more grace to respond to God’s call and become witnesses of the Gospel wherever we find ourselves by the way we live. For St. Alberto Hurtado says “being an Apostle does not mean carrying a touch in hand, or possessing the light, but being that light… The Gospel more than a lesson is an example. A message that becomes a life fully lived”. (Apostolic Exhortation – Christus Vivit, No. 175).
My Dear in Christ, to celebrate this day come 3rd May 2020 as part of the Universal Church, we would like to invite you to join the Accra Archdiocesan Catholic Youth Council in continuing to pray a Personal Novena for vocations from Friday 24th April 2020 to 2nd May 2020 using the prayer for vocation below:
In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
General Intention (Pray for Priests, Religious, Couples, Singles)
Say the Our Father…!
Three (3) Hail Mary
Conclude with the prayer for vocations.
PRAYER FOR VOCATIONS
Thank You for the gift of life.
You know when I sit and when I stand.
You have me always in Your heart.
For this, I thank you Lord.
You know the path for my life and
what will make me happy.
Help me to discover the vocation
that You have planted in my heart,
especially if it is a call to the
Priesthood or Consecrated life.
Bless me and guide me, Lord,
so that the road I choose
I will choose for Your glory.
Anthony Ngissah Assuah
(Chairman – Archdiocesan Youth Council)
Rev. Fr. Osmund Kudoloh
(Youth & Vocations Director)
Follow us on the various Youth WhatsApp platforms or Facebook for the nine days Novena.
Daily Readings from Sacred Scripture for the Novena reflections.
Day 1: Matthew 4:18-22 – Jesus Calls His First Disciples
Day 2: John 2:1-12 – Jesus at the Wedding in Cana
Day 3: Luke 14:15-24 – Jesus Invites All to His Banquet Feast
Day 4: Mark 6:34-44 – Jesus Feeds the Multitude
Day 5: John 13:1-15 – Jesus Washes the Feet of His Apostles
Day 6: John 15:8-17 – Jesus commands us to Love One Another
Day 7: Luke 7:36-50 – Jesus Offers His Mercy at a Meal
Day 8: John 6:30-35 – Jesus is the Bread of Life
Day 9: John 6:51-58 – Jesus is the Living Bread
Catholic Youth – Power and Action
Source: Radio Angelus