This Sunday we are celebrating Vocation Sunday, a day of prayer for vocations to the priesthood and religious life. The gospel reminds us that Jesus saw himself at the ‘Good Shepherd’. The Good Shepherd is a very powerful image of the personal love and care that Jesus has for each person. Faith is central to the friendship between the Good Shepherd, and the members of His flock. It was Jesus who said, “The harvest is great but the laborers are few. Pray that the Lord of the harvest will send laborers into His harvest”.
There are certain men whom God has chosen and who have chosen God and they are priests. We need the love and service of our priests. We need priests to teach us the good news of our salvation; We need them to teach us God’s message. We need priests in our families, in our work and to help us to find meaning in our lives. We need priests to call us to pray and to guide us to worship our Father. We need priests to celebrate Mass and to give us the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We need priests to help us to value the Mass and to be in communion with God and with each other. We need priests to lead us not only by what they say and do, but also by the example of their lives.
Priests bear witness to what is unique in the world, the love of God and Jesus Christ for each one of us. The faith of priests, their concern and care give us an inkling of God’s love and care. Lord, help us to have an intelligent appreciation and a sincere respect for all priests, especially the priests whose job it is to care for the people of our diocese. Help us always to appreciate them and to pray for them.