Mothers and Vocations

05-08-2022From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

I want to begin by wishing a very Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers, grandmothers, and spiritual mothers in our parish! Thank you for all the love, sacrifices, and other good works that too often go unnoticed.

Indeed, it is often said that motherhood is the most underappreciated vocation in the world, and I can see why people say this. We love our moms and know we owe them the world, but often take them for granted. Moms, perhaps more than anyone else in our world, tend to ‘fly under the radar.’

With that in mind, let’s be sure to show our appreciation for our mothers today. Let’s be sure we don’t’ take them for granted, and that we always find ways to appreciate them and say thanks for all they do.

It is appropriate that Mother’s Day coincides with the World Day of Prayer for Vocations this year. The Fourth Sunday of Easter is often called ‘Good Shepherd Sunday’ because the Gospels that day speak of Jesus as a Good Shepherd. Since priests are called to be good shepherds who follow the example of Jesus, the ultimate Good Shepherd, it has become a day to pray for vocations to the priesthood.

But we cannot help but recognize the connection between all vocations, and especially the vocations of motherhood and priesthood. Most priests I know will tell you that their mothers had an impact on their vocation. I know that I learned more about sacrifice, commitment, and being good to people from my mother than from anyone else, and these qualities are essential to the priesthood.

Our vocation is our God given mission in life – the primary way we serve Him. The Church historically recognizes several vocations: marriage, priesthood, religious life, and the life of a single Catholic. Each of these has certain less well - defined extensions, such as couples who become parents, or a priest who serves as a missionary. But it is by living our primary vocation faithfully that we serve God in this world and make our way to Heaven.

The Church is most vibrant when many people are answering God’s call to their vocations. We are not a Church of all priests, or all married couples, etc. Rather, the Church needs people to enthusiastically embrace their God given vocation, and to do their best to live it faithfully each day.

Speaking of answering God’s call, remember that two men from our parish, Paul Flor and Francisco Jaurides, will be ordained deacons next Saturday morning. They will both assist Fr. Gilbert at the Spanish Mass on May 22 at 1 PM. After Mass we will have coffee and cake in Mercy Hall to celebrate their ordination.

Please pray for Paul and Francisco as they are ordained. As deacons, they have already embraced the vocation to marriage. Both are also fathers, one a grandfather. I give them credit for accepting the additional responsibilities that come from saying yes to God’s call to the diaconate, and assure them of my prayers each day.

Please also pray that Hail Mary for me each day. Let’s also pray for our mothers – living and deceased – and for peace.

Have a great week!

Fr. John