Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Year for Priests: The Call

Dear Friends, 21.IV.2010

As we celebrate the Year for Priests this Saturday at St. Barnabas I wanted to take a moment and reflect on “The Call” to the priesthood. I took a group of high school boys to the seminary on Tuesday to have dinner with the bishop and reflect on the call to the priesthood. The bishop said something that I thought was very well stated. “A vocation is a choice beyond any other choice that you will make in your lifetime.” Unlike buying a car or a house or choosing a college or even a career path a vocation is a call from God. It is not something that we sit down and look at the different options and try something out, no, we believe that it is a call from God in the depth of our heart. God calls us and we respond. It’s not something that we pick out or choose what we think best suits us. God knows us better than we know ourselves. We hear the message in this Sunday’s Gospel Jesus said: “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I felt the call to the priesthood since I was a young child but I didn’t enter the seminary until I was near the end of college. There were many things that kept me from going, as there are surely a lot of reasons for young men not to answer today, and a lot of it was because I didn’t want to listen to God’s call. It wasn’t until I said yes that I came to discover what a wonderful life the priesthood is. Anyone that knows me well knows I am truly happy in this life. It is better than I ever imagined it could be. I know that God is calling young men in our parish to the priesthood and in He is calling in an abundance. We currently have one seminarian, Adam Zajac, who is currently discerning. I know in my heart there are many more in this parish. The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest (Luke 10:2). We are blessed to have the Statue of St. John Vianney in our Church. This Statue was donated by the Perpetual Adoration so that we could have a visual reminder to pray for Priests and for an increase of Vocations to the Priesthood. St. John Vianney is the Patron Saint of Parish Priests and of Confessors. If you think someone is called to the priesthood let them know. I think people are afraid to invite young men to this life because of the sacrifice as well as some of the bad publicity in the news. All too often I hear parents encourage their sons: “Go to college first, see if you can be successful at something else, if that doesn’t work, then go be a priest.’ Why would you say that to anyone who is being called by God to the priesthood? I’m sure you know good priests, holy priests, who love their life. If someone has this call why would you ever want them to follow something else? I’ve had a number of grown men come up to me over the years and say “Father, I should have been a priest.” God is calling and this is the rest of your life, so pray about it, and with great courage answer the call and you will discover a life beyond anything you could imagine.

In Christ, Fr. Michael

1 comment:

  1. Amen, my altar brother, and the joy of the Lord is my strength!
    the unworthy priest of Jesus Christ,
    Fr. Bryan Eyman


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