The realities to which the words that give title to this page allude point to welcomed gifts that become a task in everyday life, but always saving and joyful of the encounter with Jesus Christ. In these graceful realities of our history of salvation, personal and community, we want to focus our deep gaze of faith, our formative journey of this academic year 2018-2019 in the Seminary. What motivated us to do that? Why interest in something that’s every day? Perhaps it would suffice as an answer that just because they are everyday realities to which we can get used to, they claim to release glances that rediscover them as the precious pearl, like the treasure hidden in the field by which everything must be sold; but we now put our particular reflection on the call, follow-up and mission in the light of the Message for the World Day of Prayer for Vocations which, this year, the Pope addressed to the Church in Easter time, and of the recent Synod of Bishops dedicated to young people, in particular to the relationship between young people, faith and vocation.
When we speak in the Church of “call” or “vocation” we may think only of the vocation to be a priest or the consecrated life of brothers and sisters of different orders and congregations who, by a particular charism, received in the community, give the thee to various evangelical services for the benefit and building up of all. Of course these are calls of God, a particular vocation that God gives away, but not the only ones. As the Apostle Paul reminds us, in his Letter to the Corinthians, there is a diversity of charisms that come from the same Spirit (cf. 1 Cor 12:4). Indeed, “every man carries in himself a project of God, a personal vocation, a personal idea of God about what he is called to do in history to build his Church, a living temple of his presence. And the priest’s mission is above all to awaken this awareness, to help discover God’s personal vocation, God’s project for each of us.”1
How important to have clarity about this mission of the priest! Often in the popular or even ecclesial imaginary, strongly marked by clericalism, priest is regarded as the authority that commands what needs to be done, that he must solve all the situations presented to him, that he must criticize and say in sociopolitical spaces what the faithful cannot or dare not, or another extreme as that priests are for the temple , the sacraments and do not have to contribute to society. Pope Francis recently told French priests he received in audience in Rome: “We know that, responding to the Lord’s call, we have not been consecrated through the gift of the Spirit to be ‘superheroes’. But we have been invited with the conscience of being forgiven men, to become shepherds in the style of Jesus, wounded, dead and risen. Because our mission as ministers of the Church is, today as yesterday, to bear witness to the strength of the Resurrection in the wounds of this world. In this way, we are called to progress humbly on the path of holiness, helping the disciples of Jesus Christ respond to their baptismal vocation, so that they may become more and more missionaries, witnesses of the joy of the Gospel.”2
For this walk in holiness, personal and community we are formed in the Seminary. And in this follow-up of life that becomes a mission by the believing and hopeful witness that we are all called to give from the baptismal vocation of God’s children we never graduate. Therefore, we want to count on you that now through this page you set your sights on the Seminary, so that you too, where you live, work, study, witness that “the Lord continues to call today to be followed. We cannot wait to be perfect to respond with our generous ‘here I am’, or be frightened of our limits and our sins, but to hear his voice with an open heart, to discern our personal mission in the Church and in the world, and to live it in the present day that God gives us.”3 Ω
1 Pope Benedict XVI: “Words of the Vicar of Christ to the Pastoral Council and parish groups in the parish of Saint Happiness and Sons, Martyrs”, in L’Osservatore Romano, 30 March 2007, p. 9.
2 Pope Francis: “Audience to the priests of the Diocese of Créteil (France), on pilgrimage to Rome”, 1st. October 2018.
3 Pope Francis: “Message from Pope Francis for the 55th. World Prayer Day for Vocations: Listening, Discerning, Living the Lord’s Call,” December 3, 2017.