04/20/2016, 16.06

For Card Ranjith, despite evil’s temptations, God continues to generate vocations

by Melani Manel Perera

In his message to Sri Lanka’s Catholics on World Day of Prayer for Vocations, the archbishop of Colombo called for prayers and support for education so as to “encourage many more to follow” those already consecrated. For the Rector of the National Seminary, the vocation to the religious life “is a seed planted by God that germinates and grows in a human heart when there is a genuine and  positive response on the part of the recipient.”

Colombo (AsiaNews) – Card Malcolm Ranjith, Archbishop of Colombo, released a message for the World Day for Vocations, which was celebrated last Sunday, 17 April.

In it, the prelate noted that “No one choses this honour for himself or herself, but God sends them to us.  So our duty is to pray "that the Lord of the harvest may send workers to gather His harvest."

“Even though humanity is often profoundly tempted by the evil one to reject this merciful love of God, God continues to stimulate young hearts to be specially committed to Him as expressions of that love. Priestly and religious calling is meant to be that”.

“While we thank God for the gift of many priestly and religious vocations, which He is stimulating among our youth, on this special day, let us pray and support the cause of their education and encourage many more to follow them. Let us appreciate the good work those already in mission are doing and pray and also make generous contributions for the education of our future shepherds and ministers."

Fr Elmo Dias, rector of the National Seminary, in Ampitiya, also issued special message for the occasion. For him, vocation to priesthood or religious life “is a seed planted by God and it germinates and grows in a human heart when there is a genuine and positive response on the part of the recipient.”

"In today's world we need more committed men and women to proclaim the Good News that God loves everyone no matter how sinful one is. To tell them that 'God's love is bigger than our sin."

'Vocation Sunday is set apart by the Universal Church in order to pray for vocations and promote vocations among young people.” All of those who are called are ordinary men and women "chosen from among men and women, empowered by the Spirit and entrusted with a responsibility in Christ's Church by ordination or consecration.”

Similarly, "We are invited to pray for vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life,” said Pope Francis last Sunday, World Day for Vocations, who “ordained 11 new priests this morning”.

In his address to the people who had gathered for the Marian prayer, he renewed his “greeting to the new priests, to the families and friends,” and urged “priests and seminarians to take part in the Jubilee, in the first three days of June.

Likewise, “to you young people, boys and girls, who are in the square, think about if you believe the Lord were calling you to consecrate your life to His service, be it in the priesthood, or in consecrated life.”

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