Delivers homily during Holy Hour for vocations at Spanish Military Cathedral
MADRID – His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop of the Military Services, USA, invited international military pilgrims gathered here for World Youth Day 2011 to listen for what God is calling them to do with the rest of their lives. While delivering the homily at a Holy Hour for vocations in the Spanish Military Cathedral on Calle del Sacramento, the archbishop addressed a congregation of more than 140, including servicemen and women from the United States, Europe and Asia. He told them that “as baptized Catholics, we should never lose our ability to listen and to respond” to God’s call, whether it be to the single or married life or a religious vocation such as the priesthood.
Archbishop Broglio said:
“Blessed Pope John Paul II proposes love as the parameter of a vocation… love perfects life and enlarges the experiences of the existence of a person. A vocation is my path to eternal life but also contributes to the journey of everyone else. We have to acknowledge each other to embrace the demands of loving service.”
Archbishop Broglio reflected on how he first became aware of his own religious vocation 53 years ago. He said he was in first grade, serving as an altar boy at a Holy Hour; during the silence of the service, he began to hear God’s call beckoning him to the priesthood.
Archbishop Broglio said:
“I invite you to listen as the Lord still calls. If there is too much noise, we cannot hear. We must be able to listen, to discern, to respond… We are called to fortify with our prayers all of the vocations.
“In addition to the priesthood, some are called to the religious life, the radical response of giving to encourage the possibility to excel in our vocation. Others are called to the single vocation and live their lives rooted in Jesus Christ—they also have a voice in the divine plan and manifest love to others. So often this vocation is neglected and not given enough attention. All of us live this vocation at least for some time.
“Finally, married couples merit our special prayers this afternoon because in our archdiocese, they suffer so much the separation, the trauma and the burden of war. That wonderful communion of life and love between one man and one woman is the image of God. It is fruitful and it gives life. In the family we are nurtured and understand God. We pray that families might also hear the Lord Who says, ‘come and see.’
“As you pray before the Blessed Sacrament as I did in 1959, and as you listen to what the Lord says to you, hear His gentle voice and determine how God calls you to ‘come and see’ and to dwell with Him during these days in Madrid and afterwards.”
Following the service, the pilgrims filed into the Cathedral hall, where they greeted the archbishop, chatted with each other and posed for pictures.
As the only archdiocese in the United States without geographical boundaries, the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA oversees priests stationed with the U.S. military throughout the nation and around the world. Their mission is to meet the spiritual and sacramental needs of 1.5 million Catholics in the U.S. armed forces and their families as well as Catholics in VA Medical Centers and Catholics stationed overseas in U.S. government civilian posts.
For more information on the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, visit http://www.milarch.org.