The Fourth Sunday of Easter is also known as Good Shepherd Sunday because of the Scripture readings and Mass prayers appointed for this day in the sacred liturgy. Today’s Communion Antiphon, for example, proclaims that “The Good Shepherd has risen, who laid down his life for his sheep and willingly died for his flock, alleluia.” The Latin word for shepherd is pastor, and this reveals why the Church asks us to pray for more priests on Good Shepherd Sunday. The call to the priesthood comes from God, and the LORD has promised always to provide shepherds for his people. Through the Prophet Jeremiah, the LORD promised Israel: “I will give you shepherds after my own heart.”(Jeremiah 3:15)But he also asks us to seek the gift of pastors in prayer: “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the LORD of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Matthew 9:37-38) Not only is it Good Shepherd Sunday, it is also "Vocations Sunday". On this day we are especially asked first of all to pray that the Church may be provided with the leaders needed to do its work of spreading the Gospel. Let us pray that those whom God is calling to work for the Gospel will answer sincerely and become priests or religious to serve the Lord and to protect and lead his Church.
Intercessions on the theme of vocations
- For our families, our communities, our parishes: that they be places where God is at home and where His call to service may be heard and answered. We pray to the Lord.
- For those who serve our parish communities as ordained priests: that they may be faithful and devoted to their call, and that we may be appreciative of their service. We pray to the Lord.
- For those called to religious life: that they be devoted servants of God’s people and powerful witnesses of God’s love. We pray to the Lord.
- For the married and single persons be holy witnesses of Christ’s love for his church and dedicate their lives to living out the call they have received in baptism. We pray to the Lord.
Many other intercessions are available in the resources binder.
Prayers for Vocations
O God, who enlightens the minds
And inflames the hearts of the faithful
By the Holy Spirit,
grant that through the same Spirit,
I may know my true vocation
in life, and
may have the grace to follow it faithfully.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen