I am closing in on 4 years of priesthood in May of this year and there are so many blessings and joys of priestly ministry, but also, just as with any vocation in life many challenges too. One of the greatest challenges I have is to sufficiently divide my time and to manage my time so that I can fairly give time to everyone I care about; the people I serve, the people who I love and who love me; my family and dearest friends, the people who I cherish good friendships with from my past assignments. This is a challenge, not a complaint because I had some sense that this would be part of priesthood, as it was a part of the priesthood and ministry of Jesus Himself and His disciples too. This is why we hear of our Lord going off to pray, why the Apostles began to commission deacons to serve. But we manage. Today’s Gospel speaks of the Bread of Life, and through the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves we see that the Lord gives everything and holds nothing back – and through this selfless act, we are nourished.
Our Gospel today, inspires me in my priesthood to keep working on finding the balance I need to with my time, to strive for perfection when it comes to giving myself and trying to be more and more generous every day. Generosity begets a deeper sense of vocational commitment and the joy of the priesthood is to be found in the gift of self we offer to it.
I share it because I believe that this is also what inspires other men to consider priesthood as a vocation that they might feel called to as well. The Gospel permeates our lives no matter who we are, and we live out lives of discipleship in whatever God calls us to uniquely do. But as priests, we are first hand witnesses of all dimensions of this miracle in our own lives. In the name of Christ at the Eucharistic table; the Lord uses our hands, mouths and the actions we perform in His Name to multiply the Bread of Life and then with other disciples to give it to God’s People at Holy Mass. But He calls us as well to the generosity of sharing our time and talents and priestly ministry with the people we are blessed to serve. This makes our life worth living, knowing that we do God’s important work in this way. May you continue to be guided in your own vocational discernment today and every day. May God bless you.