Father Gregory Galvin, Director of Priestly Vocations
Last month, the Christmas Season came to an end on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. By the grace of God and through the sacrament of baptism, here we are -- God’s children, with the gift of grace now always being offered to us for our salvation. God’s gift to us is His living spirit working and being within each of us as His children, baptized into His family. We are created with a purpose that only truly comes to conclusion for each of us when we face the reality of eternal life, when Christ himself comes again in all His Glory as our Savior and calls us to share in His Glory and union with the Father and their Spirit.
Yes, God’s love always sustains us in being. At some point as we hear from the Book of Wisdom, “Having become perfect in a short while, he reached the fullness of a long career; for his soul was pleasing to the Lord, therefore he sped him out of the midst of wickedness.”
Following the above words, we then read; “But the people saw and did not understand, nor did they take this into account.”
These words have often struck me when used at a funeral Mass. Yet, since we are just beginning the second month of 2021, I ask you to consider these words as a reminder of what every baptized son and daughter of God is called to remember about their lives here on earth as participants in a pilgrimage to lead us to our proper home.
God created each of us for Himself. We are called to experience and rest in the perfect love of God. This is our proper end. We are given at Baptism the mission to work at becoming holy and thereby becoming a saint. Yes, each of us is called to become a saint while living and working in this world as a child of God. Properly and firstly, “our citizenship is in heaven” (Philippians 3:30). Therefore, our first priority in life must be to embrace and live our “call,” our “mission” as given us by God. As each of us grows into adulthood here on earth, we must strive to keep our “spiritual proper end” in discernible focus. This is difficult due to many earthly distractions, evil around the world, and constant temptation. The second quote above reminds us of this pitfall.
This underscores the importance of the gift of the Holy Priesthood of the true High Priest Jesus Christ. The question I, as vocation director, often hear from laypeople is “Why does God call other men to be His priests?”
The answer I challenge all of you to work at this new year is, “to work at preparing your soul throughout your time here on earth to be pleasing to the Lord.” Why? Because as the Book of Wisdom reminds us, “the age that is honorable comes not with the passing of time nor can it be measured in terms of years.” Time is a human measurement for this world and this life. Time doesn’t really matter in God’s plan because He exists outside of time. So, whether one be considered young, middle aged, or old, it doesn’t matter. What is truly important if we desire to attain union with God is to always be mindful that we keep as our highest priority the spiritual goal of working to make our souls pleasing to God.
The work of all priests is to directly remind, encourage and help people understand to always keep these things in the forefront of their minds. This is one of the reasons your prayers and continued support for our seminarians is so important. As we move forward during 2021 please keep them all in your prayers and especially Jacob Ramos, who is up for Ordination to transitional diaconate this spring and Deacon Larry Barile, who is anticipating Priestly Ordination on June 26, 2021.