[ WordBytes on Evangelization Ministry for Today’s World ]
“Each Christian vocation comes from God and is God’s gift. However, it is never bestowed outside of or independent of the Church. Instead, it always comes about in the Church because, as the Second Vatican Council reminds us, ‘God has willed to make us holy and save us, not as individuals without any bond or link between us, but rather to make us into a people who might acknowledge Him and serve Him in holiness.'” ~ Pope Saint John Paul II, Go in Peace: A Gift of Enduring Love
This excerpt from the book Go in Peace: A Gift of Enduring Love is originally from Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Exhortation PASTORES DABO VOBIS. Here is what comes next in that document:
The Church not only embraces in herself all the vocations which God gives her along the path to salvation, but she herself appears as a mystery of vocation, a luminous and living reflection of the mystery of the Blessed Trinity. In truth, the Church, a “people made one by the unity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,” carries within her the mystery of the Father, who, being neither called nor sent by anyone (cf. Rom. 11:33-35), calls all to hallow his name and do his will; she guards within herself the mystery of the Son, who is called by the Father and sent to proclaim the kingdom of God to all and who calls all to follow him; and she is the trustee of the mystery of the Holy Spirit, who consecrates for mission those whom the Father calls through his Son Jesus Christ.
The Church, being by her very nature a “vocation,” is also a begetter and educator of vocations. This is so because she is a “sacrament,” a “sign” and “instrument” in which the vocation of every Christian is reflected and lived out. And she is so in her activity, in the exercise of her ministry of proclaiming the word, in her celebration of the sacraments and in her service and witness to charity.
We can now see the essential dimension of the Christian vocation: Not only does it derive “from” the Church and her mediation, not only does it come to be known and find fulfillment “in” the Church, but it also necessarily appears — in fundamental service to God — as a service “to” the Church. Christian vocation, whatever shape it takes, is a gift whose purpose is to build up the Church and to increase the kingdom of God in the world.
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Your Christian Vocation
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