13th - 20th September 2020
2020 has proven to be a very strange year for all of us, from lockdowns to closed schools, to cancelled holidays and working from home. We have been forced to reconsider some of our priorities and to think about what is truly important for us, to consider in a new way how we live as communities, families and parishes. For many, the months of shielding and isolation were very painful and many families faced the heart-ache of separation from elderly relatives, or from children and grandchildren. The need to reach out and care for others - or simply to think of others when we make our own choices - has never been more important.
Parishes too have had to re-invent things we all used to take for granted: prayer together, the celebration of Sacraments, our Sunday Mass. We'ev had to make greater use of online resources, live streaming, Youtube and parish websites for communicating the Gospel, gathering people in prayer and keeping in touch with those who are most isolated. In many ways, it has never been a more tiring, challenging, painful, exciting, collaborative, creative time to be a priest!
This year's Vocations Awareness Week, therefore, draws its theme directly from the richest source of our faith: the teaching of Jesus himself, looking at the very basic tools he used to share the message of God's Kingdom: Parables.
In particular, we reflect on parables of discovery (such as the treasure in the field, the coin lost and found) and of faithfulness (such as the parable of the dishonest servant). In these teachings of Jesus, we see that our vocation, our call, is to discover what God has planted deep within us for our happiness and joy, and to respond to it, to cherish it, and to live faithfully by it.
For some, that "treasure" is the gift of a call to serve the People of God and his world as a priest, a deacon or in religious life. For all of us, it is a call to serve God and each other with love, with generosity and with compassion. These are things whose value we have rediscovered this year in all sorts of ways.
As each year, "Priests for Scotland" has produced some resources for use by schools and youth groups (age range s1 - s4 or above). Click on the image at the top or here to see more and to access the materials available.