16 May

“Life is one long jubilee.”  ~ Ira Gershwin

Yesterday afternoon, I had the opportunity to attend a fraternal gathering of priests at St. Patrick Church in Chesterton.  Each year, we gather to celebrate our collective ordination anniversaries.  While we do so, we highlight those who celebrate their jubilee years (25, 40, 50, 60 and above).  We begin the afternoon with a con-celebrated Mass.  After Mass, we gather for dinner.  (The reason we met at St. Patrick this year was because one of the jubilarians is the pastor there and he hosted the celebration.)

Just among those celebrating their jubilees, there was seven hundred and seventy-six years of service represented.  You might think that our years are filled with toil and drudgery; however, the opposite is true.  While we might gripe and grouse and groan once in a while, our lives, for the most part, are filled with joy.  What better gig could a person possibly have than to be able to be with others in all sorts of times of their lives — sad times, happy times, celebratory times, devastating times — and all the while ministering Christ’s sacraments to them?  In that regard, I join Ira Gershwin in saying that life is, indeed, one long jubilee.

We are all called to service.  Some are called to serve as ordained ministers.  Others are called to serve as dedicated lay people.  But all of us — ALL of us — are called to serve.  It is important to remember that.  Doing so will make our days go by easier and will give us purpose and fulfillment.

When we give our lives over to the Lord, all sorts of things can happen.  Personally, I never would have thought that I would work in orphanages, teach in high school, work in prisons, be an inner city pastor, a more rural pastor, and the pastor of a large parish.  I think it seems impossible to have done all of this in the span of five years.  Then I realize that it hasn’t been five years.  This year, it will be thirty-six years that I have been ordained.  Saying “yes” to God brings fulfillment and also makes time fly!

Do you want your life be an never-ending jubilee?  Say “yes” to the Lord when He asks you to do something for another.

FAITH ACTION:  Kindly pray for those who celebrate hallmark years of service to God’s people not only in our diocese but in all dioceses around the world.