Posted on Nov 14, 2020

15 November 2020

It’s no big secret that I’ve never wanted to be a priest. I’ve told the story enough times here, with you.

In the end, I was reluctantly ordained. It was not because I wanted to be a priest,

But because I thought it was the right thing to do.

Still while a seminarian I did kind of take advantage of the fact that there was a priest shortage.

Shortly before I was ordained I was offered a chancery job in a large archdiocese.

When that happened, I thought I could get something out of it.

I went right in to Bishop Freking who was the bishop at the time.

And I told him about the job offer, that one of his fellow bishops was trying to steal me away.

Bishop Freking was a wise man.

He said, “Oh George, I’d never stand in your way of advancement.  If you really think that’s what you should do, I’ll release you for service in that archdiocese.”

Hmm?  That seemed easy enough.  Too easy.

Then he continued, “But you know George, you were born in Hatley for a reason,

I think God probably wanted you to bloom where you were planted.”

Frankly, for as much as I liked Bishop Freking, when he said, I thought to myself, “How trite.” “Bloom where you are planted, I wanted to vomit.”  How trite?

And yet I couldn’t let go of it.

Perhaps, if I was being ordained because I thought it was the right thing to do,

perhaps the “rightness” of ordination has to do with where I was called.

In the gospel today, greatness is not defined by the talents and resources we possess,

but what we are able to accomplish with what we have been given.

We are given ordinary lives.

I think there is no more ordinary place than Hatley, WI, than Prescott, WI.

The power of this gospel is that it reminds us of two things:

1) That what we do with our lives is not insignificant.

And 2) that what we do with our lives is not just about our desires, and fears

But what is the right and good thing to do.

These last Sundays of the Church year are about ultimate questions.

What ultimately will be the judgement on the worth of our lives.

Have been given so much, what have you done with your life?