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Vocational calls come from unexpected directions, Pope says in annual message

Catholic World News - December 17, 2012

“The love of God sometimes follows paths one could never have imagined,” Pope Benedict XVI writes in his message for the 50th World Day of Prayer for Vocations; “but it always reaches those who are willing to be found.”

The Church celebrates the World Day of Prayer for Vocations on the 4th Sunday of Easter, which will fall on April 21, 2013. The Pope’s message for the occasion, entitled “Vocations as a sign of hope founded in faith,” was released by the Vatican on December 17.

Christian hope, the Pope writes, is founded on the recognition of God’s love. “And this love,” he continues, “fully manifested in Jesus Christ, engages our existence and demands a response in terms of what each individual wants to do with his or her life.”

Addressing young people especially, the Pope writes that Jesus continues to call some people to a life of complete dedication. “Accepting his invitation means no longer choosing our own path,” the Pontiff says. He emphasizes that “priests and religious are called to give themselves unconditionally to the People of God, in a service of love for the Gospel and the Church.”

The Pope’s message conveys the hope “that young people, who are presented with so many superficial and ephemeral options, will be able to cultivate a desire for what is truly worthy, for lofty objectives, radical choices, service to others in imitation of Jesus.”

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