Scriptures for Nov. 3rd
Overall theme: “May God make you worthy of his calling!”
Summary: “You overlook people’s sins that they may repent…. You spare all things, because they are yours, O Lord and lover of souls.”
+ The vocation angle: Sin is not a “deal breaker” when it comes to our vocations! God calls despite our weaknesses. In his mercy, he gently leads us out of sin toward his plan—our vocation. Why? Because deep within each of us, God has planted part of Himself: “Your imperishable spirit is in all things.” God wants to wipe off the grime of sin so His spirit can shine through us!
Second Reading: 2 Thessalonians 1:11-2:2
Summary: “May God make you worthy of his calling and powerfully bring to fulfillment every good purpose.”
+ The vocation angle: In this short but rich passage, Paul lays forth two main ideas. First, that God can make people worthy of His calling. As the saying goes, “God does not call the qualified; he qualifies those whom he calls.” Second, God can “powerfully fulfill” our human efforts, weak as they are. He simply needs an “effort of faith” on our part.
Gospel: Luke 19:1-10
Summary: The story of Zacchaeus, a sinner who experiences conversion.
+ The vocation angle: “Fear of unworthiness” is huge obstacle for young people, often preventing them from even considering the priesthood or religious life. Zacchaeus is a counterpoint to this fear. Despite his sinful status as a dishonest tax collector, Zacchaeus feels a tremendous desire to see Jesus—and even more amazingly, Jesus feels the same about him! This encounter leads to conversion and transformation. Tell young people: “Today, if you feel dead in your sin, look to Jesus and repent! And more than that—ask him what he wants from you. Don’t be afraid to climb high when seeking the Lord!”
Preaching on Family & Vocations
Encouraging Parents to Foster Vocations
The Church needs faithful families who will support their children in pursuing the priesthood and religious life. Here are a few realistic ways to encourage families in your parish:
In your preaching, anticipate the concerns parents may have about a son becoming a priest. Address them with gentleness and humor.
Be sure to publicly honor families who send a son or daughter to religious life.
Consider a simple program like Serra International’s “vocation crucifix” which travels from family to family to promote prayer and openness to vocations.
Be proactive. Hand out the excellent brochure “7 Ways Families Can Foster Vocations” after Masses during Vocation Awareness Week.
Coming Up with a Good Vocation Story
A few ideas for searching your memory
Think back to your younger years…. When were you were inspired by the example of a specific priest, brother, or sister?
Describe the day you were ordained or celebrated your first Mass. Is there a memorable story to tell?
Tell a story of a moment when you realized the value of your priesthood, perhaps during Confession or the Anointing of the Sick.
Tell a story about how the shortage of priests affects real people. Is there a parish that sometimes has Communion services instead of Mass?
Talk about a seminarian you know. Share about him as a child, and how he’s doing now at seminary.
Talk about a mom or dad you know who were concerned when their son or daughter joined a religious community. Did their attitude change over time?
Resource Page for Priests
This handsome four-page guide expands on the information within this web site, offering ideas for how to celebrate National Vocation Awareness Week with your parish or organization.
Used by more than 50 dioceses, this new, expanded version of our best-selling “Priest Resource Page” is packed with information pastors can actually use.
Vocation Resource Packet
The 2019 Vocation Resource Packet was created to help parishes celebrate Vocation Awareness Week, with a focus on helping families foster vocations. It contains 10 high-quality resources, including the new brochure “A Call to Love” and a creative table tent which helps families discuss vocations at dinner. The packet is an excellent starting point for parishes that want to observe the week in a meaningful way.