On Friday's during the summer, the Catholic Center at Boston University is closed and there is no scheduled Mass. But, if I'm around, I will post a Facebook message asking if anyone is around and wants to come to Mass. Today, three students took me up on that offer. It was a quiet Mass, just four of us worshipping God together.
For me, that's a beautiful gift. Of course, the Mass is always a gift. But, the fact that three young men saw a Facebook announcement and a couple of hours later showed up for Mass is really something beautiful to me. It was a great Catholic moment. (And Louis even pronounced most of the words of the First Reading correctly.) The Mass was subdued and beautiful.
As I offered the Mass today, I thought of how blessed I am to have witnesses like these young people. Their example really encourages me and makes me desire to be a holier man and priest. And yeah, I kind of love them. In our "upper room" at the Catholic Center, I once again became convinced of Christ. I once again became convinced that what really brought me to this community is God. God intended it for good (Genesis 50:20).
So often, people talk about how much somebody has to give up in order to be a priest. All I can say, is that nothing I've ever given up compares to the love that has been poured into my heart for the people entrusted to my pastoral care. This love is a gift from God. It's really awesome.
I write all of this well aware that what I've written will relentlessly be used against me in perpetuity by my flock. That's okay. I still love them.