QUEZON City, Nov. 21, 2015 – A priest believes there is more to the vocation ministry than promotion, recruitment, screening, and acceptance of those who hope one day to become priests and religious, stressing it is rather about “accompanying hearts” in search of meaning and purpose.
Power of prayer
“Vocation Ministry is not only a matter of promotion, recruitment, screening, and acceptance of candidates who want to enter seminary or convent. It is all about accompanying hearts – a journeying with and to people from all walks of life – into their quest for meaning and purpose,” says Fr. Richie Gomez, vocation director of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (MSC), in an emailed reflection.
While strategies and promotional activities are important, he realizes that being able to find people with a desire to follow and serve Jesus takes a deep prayer life.
“Every time I step out of our house, I pray to God to bring me where I can meet people who need a listening heart as Jesus instruct His disciples to ‘go into the deep…do not be afraid, you will be catching people’ (Lk. 5:4). How far or near they are does not matter,” he explains.
Come, follow Him
According to Gomez, when Jesus first met Simon and Andrew, James and John (Mk.1:17-20) and invited them “come follow me,” they responded to it immediately and positively.
“Yet I believe Jesus was not just a stranger who happened to pass by along the lake one day and then suddenly invited people to follow Him,” he says.
“Rather, Jesus had already been journeying with them for a long time casting nets, befriending, living with them, then after His baptism at the river Jordan, Jesus’ public ministry began and the time for inviting has come, ‘follow me’ and immediately they followed Him,” he adds. (Raymond A. Sebastián / CBCP News)