International News

Vocation Leads to a Life of Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Following a vocation to the priesthood or religious life is to live an experience of “exodus” – to joyfully leave behind all that enslaves and journey to a Promised Land of love, service and mission, Pope Francis said.

“Responding to God’s call, then, means allowing him to help us leave ourselves and our false security behind, and to strike out on the path which leads to Jesus Christ, the origin and destiny of our life and our happiness,” the pope said in his message for the 2015 World Day of Prayer for Vocations.

Every Christian vocation is rooted in this sense of movement, of journeying and going forward since “belief means transcending ourselves, leaving behind our comfort and the inflexibility of our ego in order to center our life in Jesus Christ,” the pope wrote. Just like Abraham, Moses and the people of Israel, all children of God are called to leave behind the land they know and trust completely in God to show them the way to a whole new world.

The journey is not about running away in “contempt” from life and reality, but of finding it anew, in abundance and brought to its fulfillment, he wrote.

“The Christian vocation is first and foremost a call to love, a love which attracts us and draws us out of our- selves, ‘decentering’ us and triggering ‘an ongoing exodus out of the closed inward-looking self toward its liberation through self-giving, and thus toward authentic self-discovery and indeed the discovery of God,’” he wrote.