My assignment for writing this piece was to share some thoughts about my best day as a priest. I was a bit daunted by sifting through 49 years of being a priest to find that best day, but two instances surfaced rather quickly – one being the most memorable day, the other the best day. There is a difference between the two.
From the Editor
Just a few weeks ago, we celebrated the great feast of Pentecost, recalling the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples. With the manifold gifts of the Spirit, the disciples, once filled with fear and huddled away behind locked doors, become the Apostles. They are sent, with the gifts of the Spirit, to share those gifts. The power of the Spirit literally blows the doors off the room where they were gathered. Emboldened by the Spirit, speaking many human languages, the Apostles move out on mission into a world that hungers for the Good News.
What is marriage? What is a fetus? What does it mean to be a woman? These questions swirl around us in today’s so-called “culture wars.” There is another question to which we should give our attention, namely: What does it mean to be a mother?
God could have come to us as a great warrior king, or a renowned philosopher king, or as a social revolutionary, coming down to us from heaven above in awesome splendor. Instead, he came to us as a baby born of a loving mother. In doing so, Jesus gave being a mother an unsurpassed dignity that we should never overlook.
During my second year in seminary in Chicago, my class welcomed two new seminarians who joined us shortly after the academic year began. Their names were Peter and Joseph, and they were among the first seminarians from China to be welcomed to study at a seminary in the United States. This is not as simple as it sounds, since the reality of the Church in China is challenging. Peter and Joseph came to the United States as part of the Catholic Church that is in union with the Church in Rome, rather than the portion of the Church which is essentially overseen by the Chinese government.
How about the water of life?
Are you being confirmed this spring? If you think that being confirmed isn’t a big deal, you are quite mistaken. Being confirmed makes you an ambassador – an ambassador of Jesus Christ – a person who is sent with a commission, a mission to make Jesus and the Church present in your part of the world. Being confirmed makes you an important person, one who is deployed by God for the life of the world around you.