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Vocational waking (Prayer International Day for the vocations) with the young over 18 and admission of four seminarists as candidates to Presbyterate.
Seminary, April 28, 2009


Dear young, look at a liturgic gesture, great in its simplicity. It’s called ‘Nomination for Deaconship and Presbyterate’. What’s that?

Four young boys have good reasons for thinking that Christ has called them to love him with undivided heart and to place theirselves at his disposal in the priesthood. This evening they ask the Church to be publicly recognized as ‘candidates’ to receive this gift from Christ and to be helped from the same Church to verify their decision.

They are taking a big decision, that officially brings them into a way of preparation for the greatest self-realization that one can project.

Therefore, dear young, in this context I would like to suggest you some considerations, at the light of the evangelic message we’ve just red.

Life is determined by a meeting. ‘That day they stopped with him’, the Gospel of the two disciples says. The baby grows up because he can see his mother’s face in front of him, he can feel the warmth of her presence. When one retires into himself or lives only for his desires, ‘He lives for himself’ (S. Paul), despite the appearances he gets in the desert of death.

Francesco converted to Christ thanks the meeting with a leprous; and Giovanni Bosco discovered his vocation, in a sacristy of Turin, thanks to the meeting with a young boy who was only able to wristle. Were a leprous, a poor boy, able to generate two incredibile personalities like Francesco and Giovanni Bosco? There is something really deep in here: it is what the Christianity tells the men.

God himself, in Christ, meets with everyone, even if in several ways. What is told in this page of the Gospel is Christianity: the chance of meeting God in Christ himself. I can’t go over this concept too much now, we’ve already done it in other occasions.

I simply would like you, this evening, to go home with an intimate convinction. Along the way of your life – a way that sometimes fascinates you and sometimes scares you – you are not alone, because Christ wants to be your fellow traveller.

What happened to Francesco, to Giovanni Bosco, what happens to each of you when you meet Christ? You become really free persons, who will not be slaves of any power of this world. You are able to build pieces of a real civilization, of a better world, simply living your everyday life.

There is another detail in the evangelic page, too important to be omitted. There is a summon God addresses to the disciples: ‘Come and see’. Simon has even his name changed.

I am sure each of you will answer: ‘Me!’. But.. look out! You have pronounced a very big word: ‘me’. If you have said it consciously and not only with your mouth, you have had the conscience of being a ‘person’, someone and not something.

Once, Jesus too said to a boy: ‘If you want to go into the life…’. He makes a radical proposal: leave everything, come and follow me! And the boy went off sadly, because he declined. Jesus speaks to each of you this evening, and asks: ‘Is there anyone who wants life and happy days?’. If you answer: ‘Me, God’, Jesus goes on ‘If you want to go into the life, come and follow me’. That is the call to the consacrated virginity, that is the call to the priesthood.

Don’t fail to keep the appointment, don’t step back.


La traduzione, non rivista dal Cardinale Caffarra, è di Stefania Floridia.