DAY OF PRAYER FOR VOCATIONS
‘The Lord has truly risen, alleluia.’ (Invitatory antiphon)
People set aside days annually to remember special events such as wedding anniversaries, anniversaries of death, birthdays and other important personal / family moments. It is good to remember and recall. Lest we forget, it is important to highlight milestones and memories.
Today 4 May 2020 International World Dawn Chorus is marked. Unfortunately because of Covid-19 the programme won’t go ahead as planned. However, at this moment in time, the birdsong continues, giving a sense of calm and relaxation.
The Church arranges the Liturgical Year so the people of God can remember and celebrate Jesus’ life, death, resurrection and ascension and associated events. This Sunday of the year is dedicated to pray for vocations. ‘Good Shepherd’ Sunday is an international day set aside for Catholics to pray and encourage vocations from families and parishes to the priesthood and religious life. Pope Francis wrote a letter ahead of this day for the 57th World day of Prayer for Vocations, which can be accessed on the Vatican website.
At 11.00 a.m. today, RTE 1 television will broadcast Mass in honour of this intention. All God’s people are invited “to join with Pope Francis in asking the Church to continue to promote vocations. The Holy Father asks us to find courage to say ‘yes’ to God, to overcome all weariness through faith in Christ.” (Association of Leaders of Missionaries and Religious of Ireland (AMRI))
ABOUT GROW IN LOVE AND VOCATION
In the Grow in Love Religious Education programme, children are encouraged to tune their ear to the calls in their lives. They hear their parents/guardians, grandparents, friends, teachers and neighbours calling them on a daily basis. They can respond to the call or ignore the call. Saying ‘yes’ to a call requires a spirit of discernment, availability and generosity e.g. a parent who asks his/her child for help with housework, shopping, gardening or caring for a sibling. Sometimes the familiar response is, ‘hang on. I’ll do it when I’m ready…or when this film is over…or when I’m finished on my phone’ etc… It is an appropriate day to highlight God’s gift of creation in the 2020 International World Dawn Chorus.
The Grow in Love programme, in themes and lessons provides opportunities to view resources on the theme of ‘Christian vocation’, accessible on the VERITAS website:
In Sacred Scripture, children explore God’s call and invitation to Abraham, Moses, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Samuel and others in the Old Testament. In the New Testament they read of the call of Zechariah, Elizabeth, and John the Baptist, Mary, Joseph, Jesus, the apostles and disciples. They said ‘yes’ to God’s call. Through prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit these people recognised that God loved, chose, invited and sent each one to do a special task. In everything God invited the person to do, God promised the grace to help. God fulfilled this promise in moments of joy and sorrow. Those God called, learned to be patient and to trust in God. Psalm 139 (GIL), reflects God’s personal love for and intimate knowledge of each person. Through the generations, in God’s own way, God called and invited the saints and many holy people who responded with their best efforts.
God continues to call the faithful. The children hear of how may Christian people lived out their lives carrying on the work of Jesus; individuals who said ‘yes’ to God’s invitation, because each person loved God and wanted to reach out in love, especially to those who lived on the margins. Such people desired to share God’s love in many different ways. The Holy Spirit prompted them in particular ways according to their gifts and abilities.
The lives of a number of saints are introduced in the Grow in Love in Grow in Love. Christian heroes and heroines are included in Sixth Class/P8. These lives are accessed in the e-book for Sixth Class/P 8 on the VERITAS website.
Children identify Baptism as the primary source of Christian vocation. God continues to call and invite men and women to love and serve God’s people today. God sent Jesus to witness and to teach his disciples about love. By his words and actions Jesus showed the disciples how to live the commandments of love and the ‘Beatitudes’. Jesus asks us, his disciples to live by these attitudes of love in loving God and serving others. Mary, Mother of God was the first disciple. She too prays for the disciples and accompanies them.
Children are taught to explore the ‘Christian vocation’ as God’s personal call and invitation to live in a particular way. They recognise that God always gives a choice of response. God offers each one the gift of freedom. It is through prayer and silence that children listen for the voice of God, inviting them to live a life of love. Over time, the children grow in readiness to answer God’s call. They are taught that Christians are called to work for Social Justice today.
Opportunities for reflection, chatting, slideshows, Sacred Scripture, journal activities, online activities, vimeos, role play, and poetry – all help children to explore God’s call. Children also learn by example and they read the lives of Venerable Nano Nagle, foundress of the Sisters of the Presentation, Willie Bermingham, founder of ALONE, and many others who led lives of holiness.
Children throughout the programme are invited to explore their parish community and the diocese to which they belong. They are taught about the ministry of the Bishop and the priest/s in the diocese and how each one is called by God through the Sacrament of Holy Orders to love God and serve and shepherd God’s people.
Children learn to understand that they too with their families are called to be actively participative in their local parish by using their gifts and talents. The invitation is for everyone.
SONGS related to the theme of vocation include, ‘The Summons’, ‘The Lord He is my Shepherd’ ‘Who Do You Say That I Am?’ ‘They’ll Know We Are Christians By our Love’, ‘Tar Anuas, A Spioraid Naoimh’, ‘Where Your Treasure Is’, ‘Make A Good Choice’, ‘Whatsoever You Do’, ‘Use What You’re Given’. All available as /lyrics video lyrics
SING from the song ‘The Summons’
‘Will you come and follow me
if I but call your name?
Will you go where you don’t
know and never be the same?
Will you let my love be shown; will you let my
name be known;
Will you let my life be grown
in you and you in me…?’
From the song ‘Without Seeing You’
‘The sparrow will find a home,
near to you O God;
How happy we who dwell
forever in your house…’
PRAY with Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé
Prayers to the Holy Spirit
Holy Spirit, I want to do what is right. Help me.
Holy Spirt, I want to live like Jesus.
Holy Spirit, I want to pray like Jesus.
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful.
Enkindle in us the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit and we shall be
And you shall renew the face of the earth.
O God, who has taught the hearts
Of the faithful
By the light of the Holy Spirit,
Grant us in the same Spirit to be truly wise
And ever to rejoice in his consolation,
Through Christ our Lord, Amen.
Paidir chuig an Spiorad Naomh
A Spioraid Naomh, ba mhaith liom an rud ceart a dhéanamh.
A Spioraid Naomh, ba mhaith liom maireachtáil mar a mhair Íosa.
A Spioraid Naoimh, ba mhaith liom
guí mar a ghuigh Íosa. Múin dom é.
Hail Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.
‘I am the shepherd of the flock; I am the way, the truth and the life; I am the good shepherd; I know my own and mine know me.’ (Benedictus antiphon).
‘The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice; and I, the Lord know them, alleluia.’ (Magnificat antiphon)
‘The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want’ (Psalm 23:1)
Sr Anne Neylon