22nd Wednesday in Ordinary Time: A Day in the Life

Job shadowing is a very effective tool in most jobs or careers we have available to our young people out there; and although it’s not a “job”, I believe a tool which may be effective in developing a deepening sense of vocation awareness in our young people today. I think of “a day in the life” of a priest. In my year and a half of parish ministry the thought occurred to me that if young men knew what we did all day, this life would be far more attractive than it seems, because many young people I talked with at the schools were shocked that priests’ lives are very full, very rewarding and very demanding. There is a current of thought that we must present only the best of what we do to young people, not the hard or mentally and emotionally demanding portions, and they should not grasp that we have very demanding schedules. On the contrary, I do believe that young people look forward to a challenging and rewarding life. I believe that more young men will consider priesthood when they realize that this is a very purposeful, meaningful life; demanding, yes but also very, very rewarding. This thought occurred to me today in light of the Gospel; where we find Jesus Himself healing St. Peter’s mother-in-law, then going on to exorcizing demons, and working hard as He faces the demands placed upon Him. A day in the life of Jesus included preaching, bringing people together, touching their hearts and souls, freeing them from sin, being there for them in their own personal needs – when I think about all of this, it strengthens me as a priest to know that many of the daily demands of Jesus are similarly the demands placed upon our priests on a daily basis. To those who are unaware, and think we rest from Sunday to Sunday; today’s Gospel ought to offer a clearer picture of what the day in the life of a priest, through Jesus Christ is like. May God bless you.

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