CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Sunday, 1 September 2019

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Respond to the Lord’s call generously bishop urges

Hong Kong (SE): “On the Mother’s Day we are not only seeking the intercession of our Heavenly Mother for more vocations, but also encouraging our earthly mothers to nurture and promote good vocations in their families,” said Auxiliary Bishop Michael Yeung Ming-cheung at a Mass for vocations celebrated at St. Benedict parish, Shatin, on May 10—Mother’s Day.

The bishop said, “Although a coincidence, it is appropriate to pray for vocations on the Mother’s Day.” 

Around 100 people from different parishes in the north-east New Territories participated in the 4.00pm service which was organised by the Diocesan Vocations Commission for the intentions of vocations to the priesthood and the religious life and concelebrated by Bishop Yeung; parish priest Father Simon Li Chi-yuen; Divine Word Father Jay Flandes, of the Diocesan Vocations Commision; and Quebec Missionary Father Gregoire Vignola. 

Bishop Yeung observed that the nurturing of vocations is not just a matter of logical thought and that being an expert in religious matters is not a prerequisite for promoting the call to the consecrated life.

“What matters most is the degree of eagerness and concern,” he said, noting, “Our eagerness and concern vary depending upon our personal choices.”

Citing the offering of donation to the victims of the recent earthquake in Nepal (Sunday Examiner, May 3), the bishop noted that “donations can be an expression of love, but our concern is much more intense if some of our loved ones are affected by the tragedy.” He added that in a similar vein, “Our eagerness and concern to promote vocations becomes intense only when we become part of the missionary mandate of the Lord.” 

One young person from St. Benedict parish, Francesco Li, said he was impressed by the way Bishop Yeung explained the passage in the gospel of John where Jesus exhorted Peter to “Feed my lambs.”  

The bishop explained, “Lambs are like children and teenagers. They are adorable and everyone likes them. When Peter declared his love for Jesus, he in turn handed these lambs to the care of Peter.” At this point Peter’s love comes from his emotions and desire. When he declared his love for Jesus the third times saying: “Lord, you know everything, you know that I love you,” the Lord entrusted all the sheep into his care.  

Li felt that the “vocation to love Jesus is also a vocation to care for others.” 

Another parishioner, Julius Tam, said that the bishop’s homily served as a reminder of God’s infinite love for his children and his invitation to participate in the mission of sharing his love in the priesthood. 

He remarked, “Priesthood extends the love of God to everyone by bringing Christ to them through sacraments! In spite of the limitations of human love, God still asks us to love as he does with Peter. We need to have the generosity and openness of Peter in order to say, ‘Yes Lord, you know everything…’” 

 

— Peter Li

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