The Archdiocesan Vocations Recruitment Team takes this opportunity to wish all readers a Happy and Holy Easter! We also thank the hundreds of young people from across the archdiocese who participated in the 24-hour fast, together with all those who sponsored the various hours of the fast. The 24-hour fast is meant to be an annual Lenten event and it is envisioned that the annual discipline of fasting will shape our young people to not be strangers to personal sacrifice aimed for a social good. Every year a different diocesan ministry will benefit from the fast.
The participants took seriously the theme of the fast Re-igniting the religious imagination; sacrificing for something bigger. For many, personal sacrifice for others is a dead value. Some people sacrifice only for personal gain such as building a business or studying for a degree and so on. The question is: What about personal sacrifice that is unrelated to professional duties that entirely benefits someone else other than family or friends? In short, what about personal sacrifice that is altruistic? This kind of personal sacrifice needs to be resurrected in our culture. We must encourage the resurrection of the value of personal sacrifice for the Kingdom of God and the building up of the Church here in Trinidad and Tobago.
We need another generation of young people who will be prepared to make personal sacrifices for ministry and mission. We need another generation of young people who will make personal sacrifices to discern a call to the priesthood or religious life. We need another generation of parents who will allow their sons and daughter to at least “think” and “talk” about the priesthood and religious life. This is the Easter newness that is needed in our land and in our Church. This Easter newness of “thinking” and “talking” vocations can be assisted by a reflection on the Eucharist.
The Eucharist is one of the Sacraments of Initiation into the new life of Christ. Every time we participate in Eucharist, we are renewing our initiation into the life of Christ. As we begin the Easter season, we may want to reflect on one element of the Eucharist – giving and receiving. Christ gave himself in sacrifice for the life of the world. Christ gives himself to us in the Eucharist; we receive him in the Eucharist. According to St Augustine, we must become what we eat. We must become Christ as we participate daily in the Eucharist. Becoming Christ means that we must be prepared to give ourselves for God’s Kingdom. The discipline of personal sacrifice goes way beyond Lenten observances. Personal sacrifice is needed if we are to give and share ourselves for the Kingdom of God. Fasting is a preparation for the Easter giving of ourselves. It was and is a preparation for the daily Eucharistic giving of ourselves to God and others. Sacrifice is a needed value if we are to give up our old way of life in exchange for the new life of Easter!
– A monthly feature of the Archdiocesan Vocations Recruitment Committee