Discovering one’s vocation to marriage, priesthood or religious life and making the decision to embrace it takes courage, Pope Francis said. Source: Crux.
By Cindy Wooden, CNS via Crux.
The Lord knows “the questions, doubts and difficulties that toss the boat of our heart, and so he reassures us, ‘Take heart, it is I; have no fear!'” the Pope wrote in his message for the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, which will be celebrated on May 3 in most dioceses.
Using the story from the Gospel of Matthew of the disciples in the boat on a stormy Sea of Galilee, Pope Francis said Jesus calls people to a specific vocation “because he wants to enable us, like Peter, to ‘walk on water,’ in other words, to take charge of our lives and place them at the service of the Gospel in the concrete and everyday ways that he shows us, and specifically in the different forms of lay, priestly and consecrated vocation”.
For most people, he said, hearing that call and being excited by it almost always is mixed with fear and worries about one’s weaknesses.
“If we let ourselves be daunted by the responsibilities that await us – whether in married life or priestly ministry – or by the hardships in store for us, then we will soon turn away from the gaze of Jesus and, like Peter, we will begin to sink,” he wrote. But the gift of faith enables people to keep walking toward Jesus.
“Whenever fatigue or fear make us start to sink, Jesus holds out his hand to us,” the Pope wrote. “He gives us the enthusiasm we need to live our vocation with joy and fervour.”
Trusting the Lord and following his call is similar to the disciples’ journey in the boat, he said.
“The risk involved is real: The night falls, the headwinds howl, the boat is tossed by the waves, and fear of failure, of not being up to the call, can threaten to overwhelm them,” he wrote.
But the Gospel assures Christians that “in the midst of this challenging journey we are not alone,” the Pope said.