Good Shepherd Sunday is being celebrated today in Catholic parishes across Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains. The Catholic Church invites you to pray for those you might know whom God may be calling to a priestly vocation and would benefit from your prayers.
A message from Fr John Paul Escarlan – Director of Priestly Vocations, Diocese of Parramatta
The Second Vatican Council tells us that the Holy Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life” (Lumen Gentium11; cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1324). The Holy Eucharist is very important for every Catholic as the Catholic Church teaches us that in the most blessed sacrament of the Holy Eucharist “the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained” (Council of Trent, 1551; cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1374).
We need our Lord Jesus Christ to be present among us through the Holy Eucharist. We need more priests to faithfully do this task to celebrate the Holy Eucharist. St John Paul beautifully reminds us that “There can be no Eucharist without the priesthood, just as there can be no priesthood without the Eucharist” (Gift and Mystery. On the Fiftieth Anniversary of My Priestly Ordination).
To all young men in the Diocese of Parramatta who feel that Jesus Christ is calling you to the ministerial priesthood, Pope Francis encourages you:
“Do not be deaf to the Lord’s call. If he calls you to follow this path, do not pull your oars into the boat, but trust him. Do not yield to fear, which paralyses us before the great heights to which the Lord points us. Always remember that to those who leave their nets and boat behind, and follow him, the Lord promises the joy of a new life that can fill our hearts and enliven our journey.”
Do not be afraid to say “YES”, like our Mother Mary, to follow God’s will, as priests —to be witnesses of His LOVE in this world especially through the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. The Holy Mother Church needs more holy and humble priests willing to go out of their comfort zones and be sent to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Open your heart and your ears to the voice of Jesus Christ, the high Priest and the Good Shepherd, who is calling you to be His priest to selflessly serve His people through the Sacraments and through the preaching of the Gospel by your words and deeds.
If you feel that God may be calling you to the priesthood, talk to your parish priests or myself as the Director for Priestly Vocations in the Diocese of Parramatta. I look forward to journeying with you in your discernment to the priesthood.