Life of service is rooted in desire to be close to Jesus
by Sister Laura Zelten
“Dear friends, on this day in particular, but also in the ordinary pastoral life of our communities, I ask the Church to continue to promote vocations. May she touch the hearts of the faithful and enable each of them to discover with gratitude God’s call in their lives, to find courage to say ‘yes’ to God.” ~ Pope Francis
One on my favorite Sundays of the Easter Season is Good Shepherd Sunday. I think it is because this was the Sunday I made my First Communion so many years ago. I can remember the day as if it were yesterday. I can remember the excitement of getting ready at home, lining up outside of church to walk in, and the moment I received Jesus in the Eucharist for the very first time. There was a feeling of being so close to Jesus and a sense of joy that I was so loved by God.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus says, “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” I believe that First Communion day so long ago I did hear Jesus call me to follow him. I didn’t know that it would be as a Sister of St Francis of the Holy Cross specifically, I just knew I always wanted to be close to Jesus and serve others. My second-grade teacher, Mrs. Meeuwsen, said that there will never be a time closer to feeling Jesus’ presence than in receiving the Eucharist. I still feel that today when I receive Jesus in the Eucharist. I can hear His voice say, “Come, follow me.”
As we celebrate the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, let us pray for unity and the gift to hear the voice of the Good Shepherd. The Church invites us to honor the vocation of all Christians given at baptism. Through the vocation of marriage, priesthood, diaconate, consecrated life and the single life may we unite our hearts and hands to further the reign of God.