Thursday, October 23, 2008

He said to his disciples: “The harvest is good but laborers are scarce. Beg the harvest master to send out laborers to gather his harvest.” (Mt 9:38)

This passage from St. Matthew’s Gospel was the impetus for the Pilgrimage for Vocations that our Diocese made to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC this past weekend. Most of our Sisters were among the busloads of the faithful from many of the parishes in the diocese who made the 3 ½ hour trip to our nation’s capital to pray in common that God would grace many young men and women to respond to His call to serve the Church in the priesthood or Consecrated Life.

Our retired Bishop Edward Hughes (Our Ordinary Bishop was ill) reminded all of us that the Church is in great need of vocations and “we are the Church.” Without priests we are in grave danger of being deprived of the Sacraments in years to come. Three Diocesan Seminarians and one Religious Sister shared with us the joy of their individual lives in the seminary and in religious life.

So let us become beggars together. Moms and dads, pray for the grace of generosity and encourage your sons and daughters to consider a life dedicated to God. Young men and women, pray for the grace to hear God’s call and the grace to respond wholeheartedly to a life of joy and intimacy with the Lord. We have only to hear the news on television or radio to know how our brothers and sisters in the world are terrorized by fear and a great hunger to know God’s love for them. Who will go to them? Who will God send?

My own community is in need of young women to join us so that we can continue to proclaim Jesus Christ, Risen and alive and the great hope that this Good News brings to our lives.

"Father, we are your people, the work of your hands. So precious are we in your sight that you sent your Son, Jesus. Jesus calls us to heal the broken-hearted, to dry the tears of those who mourn, to give hope to those who despair, and to rejoice in your steadfast love. We, the baptized, realize our call to serve. Help us to know how. Call forth from among us priests, sisters, brothers and lay ministers. With our hearts you continue to love your people. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. "

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