Today is Vocations Sunday, when the Church around the world prays for vocations to ordained priesthood and consecrated life. Today is also known as Good Shepherd Sunday, because the readings of the Mass present us with the image of Christ as the Good Shepherd, who lays down his life for the flock in his care. Jesus shows us the model for Christian leadership. Anyone who is called by God to minister in the Church should be a pastor: a good shepherd, who knows the people he serves, and cares for them with love and compassion, as Christ cares for his disciples. Jesus is absolutely united in love with God his Father, and the priest’s love for his people should be rooted in his love of God. It’s a demanding vocation, and perhaps it’s not surprising that in today’s world, and in a Church plagued by scandal, fewer young men are offering themselves for priestly ministry. Let us pray that God will continue to call shepherds for the Church, and that those who are called will respond generously; and let us each do all that we can to support and encourage all the vocations that the Church needs.