Each year on the Fourth Week of Easter the Pope sends a message for the World Day of Vocations. This year Pope Francis focusses on St. Joseph, an ‘extraordinary figure, so close to our human experience. Through his ordinary life, he accomplished something extraordinary in the eyes of God. God looks on the heart, and in Saint Joseph he recognised the heart of a father, able to give and generate life in the midst of daily routines. Vocations have this same goal: to beget and renew lives every day’.

Pope Francis identifies three key words for each individual’s vocation. The first word is dream. Everyone has dreams, to be famous, to be great, to be loved, to love. Through the dreams God inspired in St. Joseph, he made of his life a gift. Joseph is an outstanding example of acceptance of God’s plans, accepting with an active rather than a passive acceptance, ‘courageously and firmly proactive’.

Service is the second word that marks the journey of St. Joseph and that of vocation. He had the ability to love unreservedly. By freeing love from possessiveness, he became open to an even more fruitful service. The Pope says ‘every true vocation is born of the gift of oneself, which is the fruit of mature sacrifice’.

Together with God’s call and our response, made up of generous service and attentive love, the third characteristic of Joseph’s life and our Christian vocation is fidelity. He daily persevered in serving God and his plans, knowing that success in life is built on constant fidelity to important decisions. This fidelity is nurtured in the light of God’s own faithfulness.