Homily ideas for May 7, 2017
First Reading: Acts 2:14, 36-41
Summary: Peter preaches to the crowd on Pentecost, exhorting them to be baptized and receive the Holy Spirit.
The vocation angle: When Peter addressed the crowd, “they were cut to the heart.” Sometimes the Holy Spirit speaks to us through a moment of clarity deep in our spirit. Many men who have been called to the priesthood have had this experience—during Mass, on a retreat, or at a youth event. The question is, how do you respond? Will you be like those in the crowd that day, who responded wholeheartedly to the call?
Psalm: Psalm 23
Summary: This famous psalm describes peace in the midst of danger because of reliance on the Shepherd.
The vocation angle: When a young person feels called to the priesthood or religious life, he or she can experience a lot of confusion and anxiety. But the saints tell us never to make a decision about one’s vocation in a state of fear. Rather, like the psalmist, we must learn to discover a place of inner peace, where we hear Jesus best, and then trustingly respond to His call.
Second Reading: 1 Peter 2:20-25
Summary: Jesus offers an example of suffering patiently for the sake of the good.
The vocation angle: When faced with the choice of marriage and family or priesthood and religious life, people are drawn to the former by their very natures. Sometimes, though, sacrifices should be made for the sake of a great good. Like Jesus, some are called to celibacy for the Kingdom of God.
Gospel: John 10:1-10
Summary: Jesus is the Good Shepherd. Those who hear his voice follow him.
The vocation angle: To hear the Shepherd’s voice requires quiet and prayer. Pope Saint John Paul II said, “Young people, if they can be taught how to pray, can be trusted to know what to do with God’s call.” Preach about prayer, methods of prayer, and the importance of listening for God’s voice, especially when making big decisions in life.
Preach on Vocations to Different Audiences
It can be effective to address the “audience within the audience” during your homily. Here are some ideas:
To children: “You can be sure God has a plan for your life! Boys, don’t be afraid if He calls you to be a priest! After all, Jesus wants us to be happy, so trust His call!
To teens and young adults: “If you’re not praying, you can’t hear God’s call—simple as that. Likewise, if you haven’t investigated the various vocations, how can you truly discern? Don’t just assume marriage is your vocation.”
To parents & grandparents: “Tell your kids, ‘I would be proud of you if you became a priest or a sister.’ Let them know these are viable, healthy options in life.”