4th Sunday of Lent [Laetare Sunday]: We Must Live Our Vocation in Joy!

Rejoice! For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, who didn’t come to condemn or destroy the world, but to save it!  Today on Laetare Sunday we rejoice in a special way as we do every Sunday – the Lord gave Himself as a Sacrificial Offering and gave us all eternal life through His.  God is madly in love with us, and He gave everything to prove it.  I know that what limited awareness I have of this (which grows as I grow in my own relationship to God) is what motivates my life and vocation as a priest.  God gave it all, I can give what little I do.  One of the components of our Associates Program [the program for men in the Archdiocese of Toronto who are seriously discerning the priesthood] is to invite in priests from our archdiocese who share their vocation story and the joy of their priestly ministry.  I know some of my confreres have criticized this, as perhaps unrealistic because there are struggles and challenges too.  My thinking here is that we are all aware of that reality, but we sometimes spend too much time in the hardship and we forget to look at the gifts and live in gratitude; we forget the joy in the midst of the hardships life inevitably will offer us.  We must be conscious and live in joy!  We don’t overlook the other, but if we keep joy in our hearts, then we face the challenges with greater strength.  My friends, rejoice, when God reveals your vocation whatever it may be, it will bring you great peace and joy!

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