‘Is Jesus Christ enough for me?’

| November 9, 2017 | 0 Comments

As Jesus traveled around preaching, the Gospels relate that when he saw the crowds “his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd” (Mt 9:36). His response was to ask his disciples to pray: “Ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest”(Mt 9:38). The Lord personally called his apostles “to be with him, and to be sent out to preach and have authority to cast out demons” (Mk 3:14-15). Whenever the Gospels describe the calling of the apostles, they always emphasize how they left everything to follow him (e.g., Mt. 4:20, 22).

Over the centuries, countless numbers of men and women have responded to this same call of the Lord to leave everything and follow him in consecrated life or the priesthood. The gift the Church has received from these women and men who have given their whole lives in service of Christ is inestimable. The good news is that, even today, many young people are choosing to live a life of total self-gift through responding to a vocation to the priesthood or consecrated life.

This year in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, we ordained 10 new priests, and we were blessed that 16 new young men entered the seminary. Although I don’t have exact numbers of women who entered consecrated life, from my informal counting I know that in each of the past three years, approximately 10-15 women have gone to convents from this archdiocese. These young people are proof that Jesus Christ is ever attractive.

I thought of this last week when I attended the Rector’s Dinner celebrating the great work of our seminaries in the archdiocese. Many in our society would naturally wonder why a young person would make this choice. They give up so much! Not only do they give up a spouse and family, but they also give up careers, freedoms, time and often many material possessions. At that dinner, one young man shared about his discernment. He talked about how he had to face head on the sacrifices that the priesthood asked of him, and he had to ask the question: Is Jesus Christ enough for me? After many months of prayer, after experiencing the deep mercy and love of Christ in his life, he could say a firm “yes,” and so he decided to enter the seminary. It was so inspiring to see him describe that he finds Jesus Christ worth giving everything for.

Of course, all of us are called to holiness by virtue of our baptism. The call to love God with our whole heart, mind and soul has no exceptions. We also know that those who follow the vocation to the sacrament of marriage, or serve God through a generous living as single people, also make many heroic sacrifices as they pursue holiness. But in his own mysterious way, the Lord calls some to follow closely in his own way of life, giving up marriage as he did for the sake of the kingdom of heaven (Mt 19:12), living in poverty with “no place to lay his head” (Mt 8:20), and in obedience, as he said, “I have come not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me” (Jn 6:38).

My own experience is that what the Lord promises to these people is absolutely true: “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the Gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life” (Mk 10: 29-30).

Let us pray to the Lord of the Harvest that he will continue to call many to follow him in this generous way.

¿Es Jesucristo suficiente para mí?’


Category: Only Jesus