Traditionally on the Fourth Sunday of Easter we celebrate Vocations Sunday or Good Shepherd Sunday. It’s a special day when we focus on the priesthood and celebrate those who have given their lives in service of Christian communities worldwide. We pray on Vocations Sunday to ask the Lord to send more men into his vineyard, his mission, so that the Eucharist be celebrated in our communities. The Lord continues to call many to serve in the priesthood, but we too must play our part in promoting, encouraging, and supporting vocations. While the number of priests has declined, now is the time to raise our voices in prayer to God. The priesthood continues to inspire, to challenge, and to humble us who are privileged to serve. And that is what priesthood invites us to do – to serve – so others would be raised up by our prayer and actions.
In Shannon Parish we are blessed with three priests and long may that continue to do so, but there is no room for complacency. Priests and people must play their part in encouraging vocations. How so often has it been said ‘We don’t have as many priests as before’, and a response could be ‘If you had a son, or grandson, or godson, would you encourage them to enter the priesthood’? Think for a moment how you might answer that question. Would you or would you not encourage a vocation to priesthood? The Lord continues to call, can we do more to play our part in nourishing that call of the Lord to send workers into the harvest. Pray for your priests, encourage and support them, they are like you but called to ministry. Pray for Vocations and encourage a vocation if the opportunity arises, because God works in very mysterious ways.
‘The harvest is rich, but the labourers are few, so ask the Lord to send labourers into the harvest’