At the end of our closing Mass, Fr. Chris Martin, Vocations Director for the Archdiocese of St. Louis, invited up three important groups of people who were seeking prayers to answer a call God placed on their hearts this weekend to dive further into His limitless love.
First, any young people who have never been baptized and desire to enter into the Body of Christ through that sacrament were invited up to receive a blessing from our celebrant, Archbishop Carlson. The arena erupted as 11 young men and women came forward, and Archbishop led us in a prayer for them, as they return home to their communities to take the next step in their faith.
And then, a brief word about marriage. It’s a vocation, a call from God, a call to holiness – and we need to reclaim that vocation as a Church, in our world today. But if Fr. Martin called up everyone discerning that call… well, there might have been a stage rush, hard to control as teens tried to discern if God might be answering that call with someone else here today.
So instead, we shifted our focus to the young men who might be called to discern the holy priesthood. For 2,000 years, Jesus has walked through the lives of ordinary men and simply said to them, “Come, follow me.” He didn’t dress it up, or sell it as anything other than what it is – an invitation to follow. The Church needs young men to continue to answer that call.
Christ changed the world with 12 ordinary men. Imagine what He could do with all the ordinary young men here… because God’s unconditional mercy is available wherever a priest is available, and if Christ calls you to something, He will accomplish it through you.
So Fr. Martin encouraged these young men to continue to pray, each and every day, and draw near to the Lord who will give them the grace they need. None of us are worthy. Be not afraid.
After the young men sat down, Fr. Martin invited up Sr. Consolata Crews, FSGM. Sr. called us to remember our Blessed Mother, whose soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord. Mary had a smile, and a joy – and that joy comes from Jesus.
Why are religious sisters so joyful? Eternal life. This call to consecrated life is about living for Jesus Christ, and Heaven – now.
So, do not be afraid. He is calling you to Himself, in love, and there is no fear in love. Talk to a sister. Visit a convent, come and see what this life is like. Go to adoration. And in the silence, you’ll hear Him. He waits there to speak to you.
“The crisis isn’t that Jesus isn’t calling, it’s that we have a culture that doesn’t encourage that call.” – Fr. Martin
“In Genesis, we see that God made Adam and thought, ‘That’s pretty good.’ Then He made Eve and thought, ‘Now it’s perfect!’” – Fr. Martin
“You’ll know Him and His love if you spend time with Him.” – Sr. Consolata