Sunday, October 15, 2006

28th Sunday, B - Reflection

This was my reflection at Adoration on Friday night:

In this Sunday’s Gospel, we hear Jesus say to the rich young man, “Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then, come follow me” (Mk 10:21). It is a call that Christ gives to the young man and to each one of us. The young man found the call from our Lord very difficult…“his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions”. I have especially identified with the young man in hearing Christ’s Call to the priesthood. It has been a hard one.

I first entered seminary fresh out of college in 1994. The first two years there I felt that Christ was calling me to be a priest. But, I really didn’t want to be a priest. I had had many hopes of being a husband and father my whole life. I wanted a career, the nice house, etc. I guess you could say that I had many possessions that I didn’t want to let go of. So, even though I heard Christ calling me, I walked away from the Call and left the seminary in 1996. I got a job, bought a house, and started dating.

But, during those three years, this Gospel passage “haunted” me. I couldn’t stop thinking about how the man walked away from Christ, and that he was “sad”. I thought, what happens to someone who doesn’t answer God’s Call? What happens to someone who doesn’t live out their vocation? Do they go to Heaven? I kept focusing on the sadness of the man, and realized that it was a Call to happiness that he was walking away from. It was a Call to happiness that I was walking away from in the priesthood. I returned to the seminary, and can honestly say that since I’ve been ordained a priest, I have never known happiness like this before. Any thoughts of not wanting to be a priest are long gone, and I am so grateful to God that I am a priest! It is awesome!

Each one of us is hearing a Call from Christ tonight. Maybe it’s a call to religious life…or marriage…or the single life. For one of us, it is a call to holiness. He is calling us to be more trusting in Him…to be more understanding with our wives…to be more patient with our husbands…to be more prayerful…to be better examples to our young people…to be more generous to the poor…etc. Whatever Christ is calling us to do, it is a Call to happiness. Sure, it is not an easy Call; it probably will be a very difficult Call to answer. But, just like the rich young man, if we don’t answer the Call, we walk away from Christ sad.

Now, some scholars argue that the young man eventually came back to Christ and answered the Call to sell all that he had. If so, he finally found the happiness for which he was searching. His happiness would have been in detachment from worldly things, not attachment to them. Christ calls each one of us to be attached to Him, and Him alone. It is not an easy Call, but it is the best. The Father’s Plan is that way…it is not always the easiest Plan, but it is the best. Fifteen years ago, my plan for happiness never included priesthood. Now, I see that it has been the Father’s Plan all along; it has not been easy to follow His Plan, but it has been the best for me. It is a Plan for happiness, as His Plan always is for each one of us. His Will is not always the easiest, but it is the best for each and every one of us.


At 11:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


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At 11:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 1:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Father Greg, I think it was also part of God's Plan that you come to Saint Andrew's after you were ordained. We are truly blessed by having you here with us. Thank you for sharing this on the blogsite.

At 5:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is the role of a canon lawyer?

At 6:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

SATAN'S MEETING: (Read even if you're busy)
Satan called a worldwide convention of demons.

In his opening address he said,

"We can't keep Christians from going to church."

"We can't keep them from reading their Bibles and knowing the

"We can't even keep them from forming an intimate relationship with
their savior."

"Once they gain that connection with Jesus, our power over them is

"So let them go to their churches;
BUT steal their time, so they don't have time to develop a
relationship with Jesus Christ.."

"This is what I want you to do," said the devil:

"Distract them from gaining hold of their Savior and maintaining
vital connection throughout their day!"

"How shall we do this?" his demons shouted.

"Keep them busy in the non-essentials of life and invent innumerable
schemes to occupy their minds," he answered.

"Tempt them to spend, spend, spend, and borrow, borrow, borrow."

"Persuade the wives to go to work for long hours and the husbands to
work 6-7 days each week, 10-12 hours a day, so they can afford their
empty lifestyles."

"Keep them from spending time with their children."

"As their families fragment, soon, their homes will offer no escape
the pressures of work!"

"Over-stimulate their minds so that they cannot hear that still,

"Flood their mailboxes with junk mail, mail order catalogs,
and every kind of newsletter and promotional offering free products,
services and false hopes.."

"That will fragment their families quickly!"

"Give them Santa Claus to distract them from teaching their children
real meaning of Christmas."

"Give them an Easter bunny so they won't talk about his resurrection
power over sin and death."

"Keep them busy, busy, busy!"

"And when they meet for spiritual fellowship, involve them in gossip
small talk so that they leave with troubled consciences."

"It will work!"

"It will work!"

It was quite a plan!

The demons went eagerly to their assignments causing Christians
everywhere to get busier and more rushed, going here and there.

Having little time for their God or their families and having no time to tell others about the power of Jesus to change

I guess the question is, has the devil been successful in his

You be the judge!!!!!

Does "BUSY" mean: B-eing U-nder S-atan's Y-oke?

At 9:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why does God have to be so elusive about communicating our callings? His silence can really be deafening. Why do we have to search and search and wait and wait? Please don't tell me that God speaks to some people and not others.

At 9:39 AM, Anonymous Searching For Holiness said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 11:04 AM, Anonymous kh said...

Finding God's will for our lives does take longer for some. Here is what I have found helpful: try yielding spirit to the Holy Spirit (no yiedling of course is resisting)instead of having a controlling spirit, plenty of quiet time for prayer, adoration, and meditation, reading the WORD, reading Catholic books, less of me more of HIM, attend sacraments regularly, and fasting.

At 12:53 PM, Blogger Tenderfoot said...


Thanks for sharing. I keep forgetting less of me and more of Him.

At 12:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Father Greg,
Priests do not take a vow of poverty, correct? Do all nuns? If there is a difference, why is that?

At 5:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Diocesan priests -- priests who belong to a particular diocese -- don't take vows of poverty. "Religious priests" -- priests who belong to a particular religious order -- generally do take vows of poverty, as well as chastity and obedience.

All nuns are "religious," meaning they all belong to religious orders, and so will generally take vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.

The difference isn't between priests and nuns, but between belonging and not belonging to religious orders.


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