the Popeâs message for the 45th World Day of Prayer for Vocations, which this year has the theme of "Vocations at the Service of the Church on Mission". In his message, Pope Benedict stressed that Christian communities must prepare children and young people for vocations by their witness to the Gospel..- Today the Vatican released
Pope Benedict began his message by recalling Jesusâ Great Commission to the Apostles (Mt. 28:19-20) to take the message of the Gospel to the ends of the earth. He then traced this mission back to its origins in the call of God to the prophets.
According to the Pope, the way the Gospel is transmitted today remains the same as in the time of the Apostles. âIn the beginning, and thereafter, what âimpelsâ the Apostles is always âthe love of Christâ. (...) In fact, the love of Christ must be communicated to the brothers by example and words, with all one's life.â
The Holy Father also made sure to note that no one is exempt from the call to evangelize, saying, âevery Christian is called to bear witness and to announce the Gospelâ. However, âthis missionary dimension is associated in a special and intimate way with the priestly vocation,â the Pope said.
Perhaps most notable in the Pontiffâs message was his emphasis on the need to reach children and young people.
Benedict XVI praised âpriests who have suffered even to the sacrifice of their lives in order to serve Christâ saying that âTheirs is a moving witness that can inspire many young people to follow Christ and to expend their lives for others, and thus to discover true life.â
He also called on Christian communities to ânever fail to provide both children and adults with constant education in the faith.â The Holy Father added, âVocations to the ministerial priesthood and to the consecrated life can only flourish in a spiritual soil that is well cultivated. Christian communities that live the missionary dimension of the mystery of the Church in a profound way will never be inward looking.
In his closing remarks, Pope Benedict thanked all those who promote vocations to the priesthood and religious life but also âto young people on their vocational journeyâ.
The celebration of the 45th World Day of Prayer for Vocations will take place on April 13, the fourth week of Easter, this year.
The full message from Pope Benedict XVI can be found at: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/document.php?n=169