While contemplating the scripture of Jesus calling the Apostles, I was reminded that each of them said yes to the call. I also thought of the many millions of people who said yes in the two thousand years since then. I was overwhelmed with gratitude considering the numbers of people who said yes, because I would never have known Jesus, had these people not said yes to their calling. While priests receive a call to ordination, other religious and lay people also receive a call to their vocations. Sometimes that call is to work inside the church, but also to live as christians in the world, in marriage and family, careers, being single, and witnessing to Christ by the way they live their lives.
I then began to reflect on the people who said yes to God in my personal life. Of course, there were my parents and wife. They said yes to Jesus and I am so grateful. There are the members of my parish who have said yes to God and so we have a christian community to live in. Life would not be the same without them.
As I reflected on the Apostles, and Apostolic succession, I began to realize that there must have been millions of men who said yes to the call of ordained priesthood and to vows by religious men and women saying yes to Jesus to live lives of service to the church. Without their yes we would not have a church today. The yes to Jesus gave us people who became missionaries and brought Christ to every corner of the world.
Because our priest said yes to God, we have mass at Our Lady of Hope Parish. His yes to Jesus makes it possible for us to have Eucharist, confessions, baptisms, anointing of the sick, and marriages. Because of his yes to Jesus, we have funeral masses, guidance in education, visiting the sick. His yes to Jesus brought him from Nigeria to the Saginaw Diocese and eventually to Our Lady of Hope Parish. All of our christian churches have leaders and ministers because someone said yes to Jesus.
What about you? What is Jesus calling you to do? Many of our churches, both Catholic and non-Catholic are experiencing a lack of ordained priests and ministers to serve our congregations. Is God calling you? If so, will you say yes?
“May the Lord bless and keep you. May he let his face shine upon you and give you his peace.”