Fr Louis Reflection - 2nd Sunday of Ordinary Time Year B.

Through our baptism we are called to imitate the life of Christ, because through that

sacrament, the Holy Spirit gives us the grace to fulfil our personal vocation, that

path of life to which we have been called to follow. Throughout biblical history, God,

in his wisdom has chosen certain people to act as beacons and emissaries of his

divine love; prime examples being that of Samuel in today’s first reading, and the

calling of disciples in the Gospel, but that special calling of leaders doesn’t lessen any

personal vocation one may have either spiritually or temporally.

The idea, the concept of ‘vocation’ has, during my lifetime, been reduced, or

constrained to indicate a vocation as being restricted to a religious life of one type or

another, which in my mind has devalued or undervalued the many ways of life or

careers that are in fact vocational. Many of you will know of my belief, that the most

difficult vocation is that of marriage, and yet, it is through the union of man and

woman and new birth that the formation of vocations among the young - and for

some in later life - emerge.

Many peoples in the world have just celebrated the birth of the Christ child whether

they know it or not, but for Christians the birth of Jesus sanctifies the vocation of

marriage, and in doing so, sanctifies the [honourable?!]means by which parents

support their family. The Holy Family, Jesus, Mary and Joseph demonstrate the

honour due to, and the responsibilities of, motherhood, fatherhood and childhood,

and the church has always, and continues to honour Jesus’ parents in their role as

teachers and protectors of the Divine Saviour.

Last December 8 th . [The Feast of the Immaculate Conception] Pope Francis

announced a year dedicated to St Joseph, father of Our Saviour and protector of the

Church. That date was chosen specifically, because it was 150 years since Blessed

Pius IX had proclaimed St Joseph as “Patron of the Catholic Church” in 1870. Since

then Venerable Pius XII proposed him as “Patron of Workers,” and Pope St John

Paul II as “Guardian of the Redeemer”. Saint Joseph is universally invoked as the

“patron of a happy death”.

During the week, I received a copy of an Apostolic Letter written by Pope Francis

called Patris Corde [the translation being: With a Father’s Heart] written to

coincide with the 150 th . anniversary of the proclamation of St Joseph as Patron of the

Universal Church. Why the title ‘With a father’s Heart’? because Pope Francis tells

us: ‘that is how Joseph loved Jesus, whom all four Gospels refer to as “the son of

Joseph.” Francis’ letter is short, and comprises a series of reflections by Pope

Francis on St Joseph, and he links the ordinariness of St Josephs’ life vocation with

our own lives “[which] are woven together and sustained by ordinary people, people

often overlooked.” He continues:

“These people [these ordinary people] do not appear in newspaper and

magazine headlines, or on the latest television show, yet in these very days are surely

shaping the decisive events of our history. Doctors, nurses, shopkeepers and

supermarket workers, cleaning personnel, caregivers, transport workers, men and

women working to provide essential services and public safety, volunteers, priests,

men and women religious and so very many others. They [understand] that no one is

saved alone!”

He finished the paragraph by saying: “A word of recognition and of gratitude is due

to them all.”

All of them are exercising their true vocation in demonstrating their determination,

compassion and love for their families and those who need their help for the

common good.

God our Father calls us all to fulfil our vocation – our way of life - with the same love

and devotion as those whose skills we rely on in the current pandemic.

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