I have been preparing for the better part of 7 years for one day: ordination day. And for 7 years I’ve been able to imagine exactly how this day would turn out—how it would look, how it would feel, etc. With only hours remaining, I find myself feeling…well…weak. Under any other circumstances, that would be an alarming sentiment. However, on this occasion, I am quite comfortable with that fact. Because I find that, in my weakness, the Lord is most able to work.
In the ordination rite, the ordaining prelate asks the following question: “Do you know them to be worthy?” How can anyone approach the altar and consider themselves worthy for the office of priest? I have prayerfully considered this in the weeks and months leading up to this day. And often times, I find that in my own attempts to wrap my head around this concept, even then do I feel weak and incapable. Thus, in my ineptitude, I pray “Lord, I surrender my entire self to you.” Because it is Christ Himself who makes us worthy. If there is any good in me, anything true, anything beautiful, it is the Lord who makes it so.
CHOSEN BY GOD
“We choose these, our brothers, for the Order of the priesthood.” Time and time again I have reflected upon the fact that this entire vocational journey has been riddled with acts of divine providence. If I were to attempt anything of this on my own, I would fail miserably. But God Himself, who is so immensely loving and merciful, chooses to carry me to this point. He does so with all of us. “It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you.” Certainly, there is an element of cooperation on our part, but ultimately, the Lord is the one who accomplishes any good work in us. I find that the less I try to accomplish, the weaker I am, the more He accomplishes through me.
So, one might ask, “Are you ready?” Am I ready to discharge without fail the office of priesthood? Am I ready to exercise the ministry of the word worthily and wisely? Am I ready to celebrate the mysteries of Christ faithfully and reverently? To pray without ceasing? To be united more closely every day to Christ the High Priest? “Are you worthy?” In my weakness I pray, “Lord, I surrender my entire self to you.”
May God, who has begun the good work in me, bring it to fulfillment!
Friend of Arise