04/24/2007, 00.00
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A community of joint responsibility and conscientious care for vocations, says Pope

In his message for next Sunday’s World Day of Prayer for Vocations, Benedict XVI stresses the need for the Church as a community and every “ministry and charism” to promote listening to the call.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – An ecclesial community that lives in communion with itself and, in it, lives with that central element which is the Eucharist is needed to promote vocations “because whoever lives in an ecclesial community that is harmonious, co-responsible and conscientious certainly learns more easily to discern the call of the Lord.”

Released today the Pope’s message on the occasion of the 44th World Day of Prayer for Vocations is titled The Vocation to the Service of the Church as Communion. The celebration is scheduled to take place on April 29.

In the message Benedict XVI said: “The care of vocations [. . .] demands a constant ‘education’ for listening to the voice of God. This is what Eli did, when he helped the young Samuel to understand what God was asking of him and to put it immediately into action (cf 1 Sam 3: 9). Now, docile and faithful listening can only take place in a climate of intimate communion with God which is realized principally in prayer. According to the explicit command of the Lord, we must implore the gift of vocations, in the first place by praying untiringly and together to the ‘Lord of the harvest’.”

“The invitation is in the plural,” the Pope explains for it involves the entire community. “The Good Shepherd, therefore, invites us to pray to the heavenly Father, to pray unitedly and insistently, that he may send vocations for the service of the Church as communion.

Citing the Second Vatican Council the message focuses on “the importance of educating future priests to an authentic ecclesial communion. [. . .] It is indispensable that, within the Christian people, every ministry and charism be directed to full communion; and it is the duty of the Bishop and priests to promote this communion in harmony with every other Church vocation and service. The consecrated life, too, of its very nature, is at the service of this communion, as highlighted by my venerable predecessor John Paul II in the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation Vita consecrate.”

Since at “the centre of every Christian community [there] is the Eucharist, the source and summit of the life of the Church, [w]hoever places himself at the service of the Gospel, if he lives the Eucharist, makes progress in love of God and neighbour and thus contributes to building the Church as communion. We can affirm that the ‘Eucharistic love’ motivates and founds the vocational activity of the whole Church”.

Pope Benedict XVI ended his message calling on Mary to “intercede so that the Christian people will not lack servants of divine joy: priests who, in communion with their Bishops, announce the Gospel faithfully and celebrate the sacraments, take care of the people of God, and are ready to evangelize all humanity.”


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