Posted on Jan 17, 2021

17 January 2021

I would not be here today, standing in front of you,

were it not for my parents, who chose over and over, to teach me about God,

to make me do what was right or good,

when my childish or adolescent desires would have chosen differently.

I would not be here today, had not the sisters at St. Florians,

had the goodness to sacrifice their lives and come to a one horse backwater village,

who choose over and over to love us enough to teach us,

and to teach us about God by the example of their own lives.

I would not be here today, standing in front of you,

had not one of those sisters, when I was just an adolescent,

told me that I had not just the gifts, but probably the responsibility to help the church.

I would not be here today, praying with you,

had not my professors in the seminary actually made sense

out of what could have been pious piffle

–and still sounds like pious piffle when it comes out of the mouths of some.

I would not be here today,

had not good women and men along the way,

called me to responsibility, reminded me that life was not just about my happiness,

and that I was loved.

I would not be here today,

had not the women and men of St. Patrick’s Parish where I was first assigned,

and Newman,

continually called me to be better than my inclinations,

more committed than my desires,

and kinder than my instincts.

I say all this because as we begin ordinary time,

we read from the beginning of John’s gospel.

He wants to make it clear in the beginning, that all of us come to the Lord,

not necessarily because of some direct link,

but because someone else brings us.

In John’s gospel, Jesus does not call Peter directly,

but Peter’s brother brings Simon Peter to the Lord.

We have all been brought here by someone.

And in turn we are all called to bring someone here.