“We are not immersed in chance, nor carried away by a series of disordered events, but, on the contrary, our life and our presence in the world are the fruit of a divine vocation”. The Pope recalls this in his message for the 55th World Day of Prayer for Vocations, scheduled for April 22 on the theme: “Listening, discerning, living the call of the Lord”.
“Next October – Francis begins – the XV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will take place, which will be dedicated to young people, in particular to the relationship between young people, faith and vocation. On that occasion we will have the opportunity to deepen how, at the center of our life, there is the call to joy that God addresses to us and how this is God’s plan for men and women of all times “. “Even in our troubled times – the message reads – the mystery of the Incarnation reminds us that God always comes to meet us and is the God-with-us, who passes along the sometimes dusty roads of our life and, grasping our yearning for love and happiness, it calls us to joy ». “In the diversity and specificity of every vocation, personal and ecclesial – the Pope’s central appeal – it is a question of listening, discerning and living”, as Jesus did from the beginning of his mission.
“We will not be able to discover the special and personal call that God has thought for us, if we remain closed in on ourselves, in our habits and in the apathy of those who waste their lives in the narrow circle of their own self, losing the opportunity to dream in great and to become the protagonist of that unique and original story that God wants to write with us “. The Pope is convinced of this, who recalls in his message that “the call of the Lord does not have the evidence of one of the many things we can hear, see or touch in our daily experience. God comes silently and discreetly, without imposing himself on our freedom. So it can happen that his voice is stifled by the many worries and solicitations that occupy our mind and our heart ». Hence the need to “pay attention also to the details of our daily lives, learn to read events with the eyes of faith, and remain open to the surprises of the Spirit”. “Even Jesus was called and sent”, Francis points out: “For this he needed to recollect himself in silence, he listened to and read the Word in the Synagogue and, with the light and strength of the Holy Spirit, he revealed it in fullness the meaning, referring to his own person and to the history of the people of Israel “. “This attitude today becomes more and more difficult, immersed as we are in a noisy society, in the frenzy of the abundance of stimuli and information that crowd our days”, the Pope’s warning, according to which “to the external noise, which sometimes dominates our cities and our neighborhoods, often corresponds to an interior dispersion and confusion, which does not allow us to stop, to savor the taste of contemplation, to reflect with serenity on the events of our life and to work, confident in God’s thoughtful plan to us, to make fruitful discernment. The Kingdom of God comes without making noise and without attracting attention, and it is possible to grasp its seeds only when, like the prophet Elijah, we know how to enter the depths of our spirit, letting it open to the imperceptible breath of the divine breeze ” .
«Even today we are so much in need of discernment and prophecy; to overcome the temptations of ideology and fatalism and to discover, in the relationship with the Lord, the places, tools and situations through which he calls us “. Thus the Pope, in the message, actualizes the message of the prophets, sent – like us – “to the people in situations of great material precariousness and spiritual and moral crisis, to address words of conversion, hope and consolation in the name of God” . “Like a wind that raises the dust – the image chosen by Francis – the prophet disturbs the false tranquility of the conscience that has forgotten the Word of the Lord, discerns events in the light of God’s promise and helps the people to see signs of dawn in the darkness of history “. For this reason, “every Christian should be able to develop the ability to ‘read into’ life and to grasp where and to what the Lord is calling him in order to continue his mission”. “The joy of the Gospel, which opens us to an encounter with God and with our brothers and sisters, cannot wait for our slowness and laziness; it does not affect us if we remain looking out the window, with the excuse of always waiting for a propitious time; nor is it fulfilled for us if we do not take the risk of a choice today “, the Pope’s triple warning:” The vocation is today! The Christian mission is for the present! And each of us is called – to the lay life in marriage, to the priestly life in the ordained ministry , or to that of special consecration – to become a witness of the Lord, here and now “, because” Jesus assures us that God continues to ‘descend’ to save this humanity of ours and make us participate in his mission. The Lord still calls us to live with him and go after him in a relationship of special closeness, at his direct service “. “And if he makes us understand that he calls us to consecrate ourselves totally to his Kingdom, we must not be afraid!”, The appeal to those who feel this special vocation: “It is beautiful – and it is a great grace – to be entirely and forever consecrated to God is at the service of the brothers. The Lord continues today to call to follow him. We must not wait to be perfect to respond to our generous ‘here I am’, nor be afraid of our limitations and our sins, but welcome the voice of the Lord with an open heart. Listening to it, discerning our personal mission in the Church and in the world, and finally living it in the today that God gives us “.