Saturday, December 6, 2014

An Advent plea

Reports and statistics tell us that across our country hundreds and hundreds of men, women and children are coming into the Catholic Church. There are many reasons why they come but they are especially drawn to the Eucharist, to the Truth that God is really with us in His Eucharistic Presence. Sadly there are few young men and women responding to the Lord’s call to the priesthood and religious life so as a result there are never enough ministers to care for these new converts. Because of the lack of priests and sisters, parishes are closing or are being merged, schools are closing, and the priests who are serving are stretched very thin. I thought of all this as I meditated on the Gospel for today from Matthew 35, 10:1:

“Jesus went around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom, and curing every disease and illness. At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.”

Perhaps during this Advent season our special prayer could be to the Father asking him to touch the hearts of young men and women to follow God’s call. God is calling but the noise of our culture prevents our young people from hearing God’s voice. Here is a Prayer for Vocations:

“O God, Father of all Mercies, Provider of a bountiful Harvest, send Your Graces upon those you have called to gather the fruits of your labor; preserve and strengthen them in their lifelong service of you. Open the hearts of your children that they may discern Your Holy Will; inspire in them a love and desire to surrender themselves to serving others in the name of Your son, Jesus Christ. Teach all Your faithful to follow their respective paths in life guided by Your Divine Word and Truth. Through the intercession of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, all the Angels, and Saints, humbly hear our prayers and grant Your Church's needs, through Christ, our Lord. Amen.”

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