Every single person has a vocation, a calling, a dream held for us by God as to who God would have us be and what God would have us do with our lives.
When we speak of “praying for vocations” it is somewhat inaccurate. Vocations are freely given by God. What we are really praying for is God’s help to find and follow our own particular call. At this time in our part of the world, the call to a life of service and ministry in the Church is not very popular, for a variety of reasons.
It’s not so much that God is not calling, so much as people might not be tuned in too well to listening! Another element is that whilst God does the calling, it is up to us to do the informing and inviting; that is telling people about religious life, diaconate and priesthood – the fulfilment and joy it can bring – and actively inviting/encouraging people to think about it as a possible choice.
Imagine if, in every parish and faith community, people were encouraged to spend a few minutes discerning who in their midst might be a possible candidate for religious life/priesthood? Then, if they gently and sensitively shared the fruit of their reflection with that person, saying what they saw in the person and then left it for him/her to think and pray about it? What would happen? Only God knows! As well as full-time ministry, every community has a need for willing people to serve as readers, ministers of the Eucharist, Mass servers, catechists or members of various committees.
God’s Kingdom needs people willing to say yes and give their hands, feet and hearts. Jesus the Good Shepherd is saying, “Whom shall I send?” What are you saying in reply?