Homily 05 07 2017
Running this year until nearly the end of May, the Annual Catholic Appeal is the opportunity for parishioners to share their treasures and help fund numerous vital ministries throughout the Archdiocese, which supports ministries that "meet people where they are," in the words of Pope Francis. About 91 cents per dollar goes to these ministries.
It’s also the Month of May…the Month of Mary. “with Mary, the Blessed Mother, shining as our inspiration in caring for others. Mary answered "yes" to being the Mother of God, no questions asked.
Will we answer similarly to the annual appeal?
"Mary was asked to give everything she had and to follow a difficult and sorrowful path — the path that God had laid out for her, and she said 'yes.'"
God will work miracles in the hearts of men and women across the Archdiocese when we also answer in the affirmative, in regard to the appeal.
We aren't asked to give everything we have, like Mary was, but just a fraction of our bounty. Maybe we can increase our donations this year, or maybe we can contribute this year whereas we didn't in the past.
It is Good Shepherd Sunday. We have a responsibility to help provide vocations for future generations, priests and religious who can continue the special work of the Good Shepherd.
Each of us should pray for vocations but also encourage others to consider the possibility of priesthood or religious life. I hope you parents might share with your children or your grandchildren about need for priests when you raise other careers and life options. The Gospel invites us to consider Christ’s way, not just our own to attain our fullest potential.
It is a tough sell today because some don’t believe that God would need them. Or someone else could do it just as good. I wonder what the world would be like if Peter or Paul had said that or Francis of Assisi, or Catherine of Sienna?
Today is the World Day of Prayer for Vocations and we pray on this day that all those called by God to the priesthood and religious life will accept this calling to be of service to all the baptized. The apostles were first of all disciples before they were sent forth to preach the risen Christ.
A priest or a religious is always first of all a Christian by reason of baptism and then a priest ordained as a shepherd for the service of the people or a consecrated religious for prophetic witness of the gospel.