St. John Paul II: “The lament of Christ touches our persons deeply…”

From the message of the Holy Father John Paul II for the XXI World Day for Vocations (1984)


As Pastor of the universal Church, I cannot fail once again to open my heart to you and to express the solicitude which constantly animates me for the effective increase of vocations to the sacred ministry, to the consecrated life in its various forms and to the missionary life. This is, in fact, a problem of vital and fundamental importance for the community of believers and for all humanity….

The Good Shepherd manifests the desire to continually increase his flock. Indeed, there are other sheep outside the fold (cf. Jn 10:16). He always has before his eyes the dramatic experience of the multitudes of all times, “exhausted and dejected like sheep without a shepherd”, which makes him exclaim: “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few” (Mt 9:36-37). The compassionate lament of the Heart of Christ is repeated over time and impresses us deeply. Who can remain insensitive in the face of the dizzying increase in the need for evangelization? The divine Redeemer asks us all to collaborate so that there will never be a lack of Gospel workers, so that there will always be men and women determined to consecrate themselves entirely to the service of the People of God.

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