Vocational Letters, January 2020. Rome.
In the first days of January, it is our desire that we prepare to live the New Year by putting in play, the best of ourselves for the benefit of others; that is, our identity as God's children and the ability to be brothers and sisters. This is the call that Pope Francis gave us at the 53rd World Day for Peace on January 1, 2020.*
"Those who seek peace will be called 'children of God,'" Jesus says in Mt 5:9. "The project of fraternity is inscribed in the vocation of the human family," says Francis. And us? What do we say? What is our attitude to fratricide that breaks into pieces God's dream for the world and is the cause of our joy? This type of message invites us to broaden the horizon in which we usually understand the term "vocation;" particularly when we restrict it, almost exclusively, to the call for the priesthood or, even more, to the Consecrated Life.
How difficult it sometimes is that we go beyond these perspectives that impoverish our understanding of vocation and reduce our missionary possibilities! However, the Church and our world today present enormous challenges to our vocation as disciples of Jesus. And we can only respond to them if we dare to walk step by step, every day. Putting dialogue before distrust for common interests, banishing hostile attitudes towards others, for example, making us grow in the pursuit of the common good, even if differences remain. In the lessons of history, through the struggles, encounters and sufferings of our peoples, we can learn to be better citizens and cultivate an ethnicity of solidarity, which is another way of justice and a form of commitment to young peoples and their future. And the dialogue that we establish with them makes our solidarity and ability to learn from them effectively; for "the awareness of forming a single human family grows and manifests itself with special strength in the younger generations" (MS 11).
The vocation to live a human and universal fraternity may seem to too "political" and, perhaps, something out of place. However, it expresses in the most genuine way the Gospel of Jesus and the core of what we want to proclaim with our lives to others. It is when we strive to live in intercultural and intergenerational communities that we give the best of ourselves.
When we make it possible, we lead the way to hope; because we show that all good things can happen. And they do.
Carlos Verga CMF
Prefect General of General Prefect of Youth & Vocations Ministry
* If you have not yet been able to read the Message of the Holy Father for World Day for Peace 2020, you can access it from this Vatican link and see it in different languages.
Do you feel called to a vocation of human and universal fraternity as a Claretian priest or brother? Check out www.myclaret.org to find out more today!