Many faithful pastors carry heavy loads. They strive to be good and faithful shepherds caring for the needs of their flock. This is no easy task as the number of Catholics go up while the number of priests go down. Thankfully, ordinations in the United States have taken a bit of an upswing this year. Let us pray that this trend continues.
Speaking of praying, this day has also been designated as "World Day of Prayer for Vocations." We recognize the necessity of having priests in our midst, but do we understand that we each have a role in promoting priestly and religious vocations? Building up the Kingdom of God is part of our baptismal calling. Are we sincerely seeking holiness in our own lives? Is growing spiritually a priority in our lives or is it something we squeeze in once in a while? What kind of role model and example are we to the people around us? Parents, do you encourage your children to grow in wisdom, grace, and holiness so as to properly discern God's call in their individual lives? Quite simply, are we people of prayer?
Please take some time to show appreciation for your pastor on April 26, and spend some time praying for vocations to the priesthood and religious life each and every day. Ask the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into the field. May our efforts yield a bountiful harvest.
Pastors, thank you for your ministry!