November 3, 2023

2023 Vocations Awareness Supplement

Every vocation starts with Christ in the Eucharist

By Father Michael Keucher

Father Michael KeucherIn so many stories, the Gospels recount what priests and religious like to call “vocation stories.” They tell us about men and women chosen by Jesus for a special type of service.

No vocation story is quite the same, but they always start with Jesus. He finds who he wants and then issues a call.

Many examples come to mind from the Scriptures. Jesus summons Matthew out of his counting house. He invites James and John and a host of others out of their fishing boats. He tells Mary Magdelene to spread the news of his resurrection.

Each vocation story starts with Jesus calling and the recipient answering.

One of the biggest mistakes we can make is to think of Jesus simply as a historical figure. He is the God-man who lived in the past. He worked miracles, taught people and called them to service—all in the past.

Why is this a mistake? Because Jesus is alive in the most holy Eucharist! Jesus Christ has all the same powers in the Eucharist that he had when he walked the Earth 2,000 years ago. He is still working miracles, healing and teaching, and yes, he is still calling men and women to serve him by laying down their lives.

In tabernacles and monstrances around the world, and laid on altars simple and fancy, there is the living Jesus. Alive in the Eucharist, Jesus is still calling men and women to sing God’s praises and lead all humanity to his kingdom.

Because each vocation starts with Jesus, each vocation necessarily starts with the Eucharist.

Looking for a way to know your vocation? Go to the Eucharist, the living Jesus!

Trying to grow and mature in your vocation and find the strength you need to persevere in it? Go to the Eucharist, the living Jesus!

Trying to find a way to call on Jesus, the master of the harvest, to increase the number of laborers for his harvest? Go to the Eucharist, the living Jesus!

There is no more beautiful sight than a burning sanctuary lamp flickering in the nearest Catholic church. For as long as that light flickers, Jesus is there calling men and women for special service from our parishes and families.

Not only does every vocation start with the Eucharist, but every vocation matures with the Eucharist, is held together by the Eucharist and reaches its fulfillment in the Eucharist—because the Eucharist is the living Jesus!

As you read this year’s Vocations Awareness Supplement, pray for our priests who bring the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus to our altars and into our souls. Pray for our seminarians in formation who hunger for the day of their first Masses. Pray for our deacons who serve humbly at the altar and from the altar. Pray for our religious men and women vowed to the eucharistic Lord, for whom the Eucharist is their portion and cup.

And pray, too, for those in every vocation and those searching for their vocation. Jesus in the Eucharist is the way.

Get ready to meet people who have fallen deeply in love with the eucharistic Lord and who have been summoned by him to lay down their lives for the Eucharist. May their love of Jesus inspire us all to a deeper love of the Living Bread.

(Father Michael Keucher is director of vocations for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, dean of the Batesville Deanery and pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Shelbyville and St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Shelby County. Contact him at

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