Pope Francis meets with a group of Ukrainian sisters at a General Audience (archive photo) 

By Deborah Castellano Lubov

May 6 2022

Pope Francis releases a message for the 59th World Day of Prayer for Vocations on the theme “Called to Build the Human Family,” and encourages every person in the Church to give the very best of themselves “in this great divine plan!”

Pope Francis says that when we speak about vocations, we are speaking about making God’s dream come true.

The Holy Father made the observation in a Message released Thursday for the 59th World Day of Prayer for Vocations, which falls this year on 8 May, and has as its theme “Called to Build the Human Family.”

The Church observes the World Day of Prayer for Vocations on the Fourth Sunday of Easter, also known as Good Shepherd Sunday.

In his message, the Pope reminded religious and clergy that they are called: to be protagonists of the Church’s mission; to be guardians of one another and of creation; to welcome God’s gaze; to respond to God’s gaze; and to build a fraternal world.

We are in God’s heart

“As Christians, we do not only receive a vocation individually; we are also called together. We are like the tiles of a mosaic,” the Pope said. 

“Each is lovely in itself, but only when they are put together do they form a picture. Each of us shines like a star in the heart of God and in the firmament of the universe.”

At the same time, he reflected, we are called to form constellations that can guide and light up the path of humanity, beginning with the places in which we live. 

The mystery of the Church, the Pope said, is “a celebration of differences,” a “sign and instrument of all that humanity is called to be.”

Each, he insisted, is invaluable for their individual contribution.

Making God’s dream come true

The Pope said that when we speak of “vocation,” then, it is not just about choosing this or that way of life, or devoting one’s life to a certain ministry, or being attracted by the charism of a religious family, movement, or ecclesial community. 

“It is about making God’s dream come true, the great vision of fraternity that Jesus cherished when He prayed to the Father ‘that they may all be one’.”

The Pope said, “Each vocation in the Church, and in a broader sense in society, contributes to a common objective, namely, that of celebrating among men and women that harmony of manifold gifts that can only be brought about by the Holy Spirit.”

God’s purpose for us

Addressing priests, religious, consecrated women and men, and the lay faithful, the Pope encouraged everyone to “journey and work together in bearing witness to the truth that one great human family united in love is no utopian vision, but the very purpose for which God created us.”

The Pope concluded his message for World Day of Prayer for Vocations with an appeal to the entire Church to work together, inspired by God’s love.

“Let us pray, brothers and sisters, that the People of God, amid the dramatic events of history, may increasingly respond to this call,” the Pope said. “Let us implore the light of the Holy Spirit, so that all of us may find our proper place and give the very best of ourselves in this great divine plan!” -Vatican News