It’s easy in the world we live in to overlook those who are in dire need. We live in a world where most of us have far, far more than we’ll ever need. We are consumers, we have it all and we find new ways to get more. I am deeply edified by the young people who help out at the Good Shepherd’s Refuge; the number of people who have the poor and less fortunate on their minds – but we can always do better. At least I know I can. I too, even as a priest can see many ways that I can reach out to people in need in ways I am not already doing. But we must ask ourselves; are we willing to go the extra mile? Are we willing to really encounter Jesus in our brother or sister who challenges us in our conventional thinking about who Christ is?
For the men who begin their discernment for priesthood in the Archdiocese of Toronto, there are many things I discuss with them and look for in their vocational discernment, but men with servant’s hearts are most important to me and to the Church. We have many passions and loves as priests; the liturgy, our various gifts we bring to the ministry of priesthood from our own lives of faith; but a vocation to priesthood must be accompanied by a heart to serve others. That is essential. If I were asked what is the most important quality I look for, that would be it. I would add that not only service, but service with love. With care and concern for others. Let us think about the ways we’ve served today; let us think about the ways we overlooked others today and be assured that the Lord who came not to be served but to serve will show us the way to improve.