Priest: Witnessing attracts more vocations

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Young people from the Diocese of Parañaque gather for the 52nd World Day of Prayer for Vocations, April 26, 2015. (Photo: Analyn Perucho)

QUEZON City, Nov. 22, 2015 – A Catholic priest cannot recommend enough the power of “attractive witnessing” when inviting people, especially the youth, to consider a life entirely consecrated to God.

“Today, attraction plays a very important role to young people. It is an action and power of inciting interest. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI ‘was very clear’ in saying the Church grows by ‘attraction,’ that people are drawn to Christ’s love manifest in the spiritual and charitable works of his followers,” says Fr. Richie Gomez, vocation director of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (MSC), in an emailed reflection.

‘How do I attract with my witness?’

In line with this, he calls on fellow priests and religious involved in the vocation ministry to ask themselves the question: “How do I attract with my witness?”

Quoting Pope Francis, Gomez goes on to challenge them to take every opportunity to allow the “Holy Spirit provoke curiosity” in onlookers who see Christians serving the poor, the elderly, the sick, and the helpless.

“Let the onlookers wonder: ‘Why are they doing this?’” he says, echoing the pontiff.

Gomez expresses lament that many young people are ambiguous about their relationship with the Church.

Rich young man

According to him, some of them are groping in faith, others are totally indifferent, but most are just confused.

“Confused with so many options that the world offers: to decide between the better or the best, the good or the right, the nice or the beautiful. Indeed, that is quite difficult,” the priest explains.

Gomez points out the story of a rich young man asking Jesus how to attain eternal life (Mt. 19:16-22) makes sense to those who are discerning and making life-changing decisions.

“Eternal Life, if I were to stretch the term a little bit, in this modern world may also refer to finding meaning and purpose. In other words, the quest of young people today is how to make life meaningful and finding their purpose,” he adds. (Raymond A. Sebastián / CBCP News)

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