10th – 17th September 2023
Vocations: “Shine, Listen & Hope”
Each year, the Church in Scotland invites us to reflect on the theme of “vocation”, to consider what call God is making to each of us, and how we are responding to it and to consider the various calls sent out to serve the Church itself – in forms of ministry, in diaconate, in consecrated life and in priesthood. And we pray that many young men and women might hear the call to follow Christ and to serve his people in one of those life-long commitments.
In August of this year, Pope Francis joined with 1.5 million young people from all over the world in Lisbon, for the celebration of World Youth Day. In his message to them, he invited them to “Shine”, to “Listen” and to “Hope”: to “shine” with joy, with conviction, and with faith in a world which is often dark and broken; to “listen” to God’s Word, to listen out for his call to them, discern what is being asked of them together and personally in life and to respond to that call with joy; to “hope”, that is to find in God’s love and presence the meaning of their lives, to recognise that they have a place and gifts to give to our world, to be witnesses to hope when things seem difficult or the future seems uncertain or even bleak.
So, this year, our focus for Vocations Awareness Week takes up this message of the Holy Father. We invite reflection and prayer on what it means to let faith shine out, to listen for the call God makes to us and on how our call to be Christians, in whatever specific vocation we live it, is a call to bring hope. But we also reflect on the specific nature of the vocation to serve Christ and the Church in the priesthood, in consecrated life and in the diaconate, ways in which particular people are called to bring Christ’s light, his word and his hope to the Church and to the world. The invitation flows from that to consider whether you or someone you know may in fact have had that call placed within them, to help them hear and respond to it.
As always, there are resources available to use with young people during this Vocations Awareness Week, in upper primary classes, secondary R.E. classes or in youth groups. There are also some liturgical resources available for use in parishes or schools for Mass each day this week and for the Sundays which begin and end the Week.