Notable quotations from Pope John Paul II and official teachings of the Roman Catholic Church
How can one not read in the story of the "servant Jesus" the story of every vocation...? ... In particular, how can one not read in the parable of the Son, Servant and Lord, the vocational story of the person who is called by Jesus to follow Him more closely ... to be a servant in the priestly ministry or in religious consecration?
The priestly vocation or the religious vocation are always, by their very nature, vocations to the generous service of God and neighbor.
Jesus, Servant and Lord, is also the one who calls. He calls us to be like Him, because only in service do human beings discover their own dignity and the dignity of others.
When interpersonal relationships are inspired to reciprocal service, a new world is created and, in it, an authentic vocational culture is developed.
I hope you can know how to listen to the voice of God calling you to service. This is the road that opens up so many forms of ministry for the benefit of the community, from the ordained ministry to various other instituted and recognized ministries, such as catechesis, liturgical animation, education of young people and the various expressions of charity...
At the conclusion of the Great Jubilee, I reminded you that this is "the time for a new `creativity' in charity" ... Young people, in a special way it is up to you to ensure that charity finds expression, in all its spiritual and apostolic richness.
Dear young men, nurture your attraction to those values and radical choices which will transform your lives into service of others, in the footsteps of Jesus... Do not let yourselves be seduced by the call of power and personal ambition. The priestly ideal must be constantly purified from these and other dangerous ambiguities.
The call of the Lord still resounds today: "If any one serves Me, he must follow Me" (Jn 12:26). Do not be afraid to accept this call. You will surely encounter difficulties and sacrifices, but you will be happy to serve, you will be witnesses of that joy that the world cannot give. You will be living flames of an infinite and eternal love.
(Source: Message for World Day of Prayer for Vocations, issued Oct. 16, 2002)
Published by: Presentation Ministries, 3230 McHenry Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45211, (513) 662-5378, www.presentationministries.com