April 25 has always been my favorite date of the year. Not because it is the latest date that Easter can be, nor because it is mentioned as the “perfect date” in the movie “Miss Congeniality” (“Its not too hot, not too cold; all you need is a light jacket”), nor even because it is celebrated as Liberation Day in Italy which gives me a day off from school. April 25 is my favorite date because it is my birthday, which year after year gives me a chance to thank God for the gift of my life.
Our faith tells us that each of us is willed and loved by God. Long before God created the world, he already knew every single person that has ever or will ever exist. He knew their lives, their happy and sad moments, the choices they would make. He knew you and me. It is humbling to realize that even though God knew the ways we all would fall short of his love, he loved us enough to give us life and to invite us to be a part of his plan.
The individual way that we are called to be a part of God’s plan is called our vocation. If God loves us enough to create us and to invite us to be a part of his plan, how can we not respond by following our vocations with joy? Whether that be in a lay or religious vocation; married or celibate; priest, deacon, brother, sister, mother, father; each of these is a vocation given to us by God in love. This Sunday, April 30, the Diocese of Camden will celebrate its 6th annual iRace4Vocations. iRace is a celebration of all vocations. I invite everyone in the diocese to participate in Sunday as a way to thank God for the great gift of their own vocations and their own lives.