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Searching to go forth

· ​Pope Francis recalls that the Christian vocation is an exodus from ourselves ·

Christian vocation is an experience of exodus, of going forward and of the path of Christ's sequela and of service to the brethren. Pope Francis affirmed this in his message for the 52nd World Day of Prayer for Vocations, which will be celebrated on 26 April, the fourth Sunday of Easter.

“Belief”, the Holy Father wrote, “means transcending ourselves, leaving behind our comfort and the inflexibility of our ego in order to centre our life in Jesus Christ”. The model of Abraham, who abandoned his native place, “going forward with trust, knowing that God will show us the way to a new land”. This “going out” the Pope said, “is not to be viewed as a sign of contempt for one’s life, one’s feelings, one’s own humanity”. On the contrary, “those who set out to follow Christ find life in abundance by putting themselves completely at the service of God and his kingdom”.

The vocational journey is “rooted in love”. In fact, Pope Francis explained, “the Christian vocation is first and foremost a call to love, a love which attracts us and draws us out of ourselves, 'decentring' us and triggering 'an ongoing exodus'”. Vocations are “always a work of God” who “leads us beyond our initial situation, frees us from every enslavement, breaks down our habits and our indifference, and brings us to the joy of communion with him and with our brothers and sisters”. This is why the Church “is faithful to her Master to the extent that she is a Church which 'goes forth', a Church which is less concerned about herself, her structures and successes, and more about her ability to go out and meet God’s children wherever they are, to feel compassion (com-passio) for their hurt and pain”. Those who follow Christ do not flee “from this life or from the world” rather they find new motivations for “solidarity in bringing liberation to our brothers and sisters, especially the poorest”

The Pope's message 

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St. Peter’s Square

Nov. 13, 2018

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