Hearing and Answering the Call

Today’s second reading is about the awesome call to the priesthood of Jesus Christ:

“You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek”. In my meditation

on the letter to the Hebrews (5:1-6) this week, the Lord took me back to my own

experience of hearing and answering the call. In particular, “No one takes this honor

upon himself but only when called by God”. This hits hard every time because it

confirms what is on my heart every day as a priest and especially as your pastor: I am

not worthy! Nevertheless, Jesus has called me, and there’s no greater life. There’s

nowhere else I’d rather be!

Here is what I wrote the night before I was ordained in May, 2006:

What does a man do the night before he becomes alter Christus (another Christ) in the

world? The phone which has been off the hook since yesterday is silent (phew!). My

family has gone back to their homes after we got together for Adoration, discussion

about what tomorrow will be all about (“it’s all about Jesus” my little nieces and

nephews shouted out!), and dinner. One conversation awaits. I need to go see Him

shortly.

I will spend at least an hour with Christ tonight in the chapel. Might be more because

I probably won’t be able to sleep (last night, it didn’t happen…too excited). I will be

with Him to whom I will give my life fully tomorrow. Kind of makes me think about

the night before He handed over his life to the Father and all of us. Tonight might be a

sort of Gethsemane.

But, I will try to rest in his peace. He has drawn me to his heart, his Sacred Heart,

through the Immaculate Heart of his mother. It’s hard to put in words what my own

heart is experiencing now, this closely united to Christ. I will be changed

sacramentally and ontologically tomorrow, but he has been changing me so much

over the past several years. I am not worthy to be a priest of Jesus Christ; it’s only

because he has formed me and shaped me to be like Him that I can go forward

tomorrow.

Now, with all of the hoopla and details, I have caught myself forgetting one of the

biggest moments of all after the laying on of hands (that’s the point at the Ordination

when I become a priest): the Consecration of the bread and wine at my first Mass. For

14 years, it’s been a dream. The Dream. To make Christ present on Earth. Truly

present. Through my hands. Through my words. But, they will be His hands… His

words. His body…His blood. Tomorrow, the Incredible happens. All because of Him

who is Incredible. Awesome. Amazing. It’s all about Him. “It’s all about Jesus”.

–Sincerely in Christ,

Fr Greg