Worth it All
The harvest is plentiful, but the
laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of harvest to send out laborers
into his harvest" (Lk 12:2). This is true indeed. The Lord Jesus has, is,
and will call to the priesthood and religious life sufficient numbers of
young men and women to the altar and convent but sadly, many go the way of
the rich young man Jesus encountered as recorded in Matthew’s gospel.
It was the young man who approached Jesus, not the
other way around. After Jesus answered his question on what was needed to
enter life, Jesus asked him to sell what he owned and follow Him.
Tragically, because the young man was unwilling to give up transitory
treasures, he turned his back on true treasure and went away sad (Mt
People often wonder how a man can give up
marriage, children, money, and other items on the laundry list of material
items usually thought of by men considering entering the seminary.
I love to tell people that after the surrender,
Jesus gives us infinitely more than the finite things given up. In this
vein, I like using the comparison of a small pebble with a mountain. We
priests give up the pebble and God gives us the mountain.
Under the umbrella of Catholic Social Services is
prison ministry. "Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared
for you from the foundation of the world … for I was in prison and you came
to me" (Mt 25:34-36).
Recently at one of the state prisons an inmate
asked me if I would hear his confession. It’s a safe assumption that
residents in prisons across the country are in for crimes worse than
removing tags from mattresses.
After uttering the words, "I absolve you of your
sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit (Jn
20:23)," I watched a man slowly walk away visibly moved, a man filled with
joy beyond description. Here was a man in prison that was set free. Every
morning I utter these words from the gospel canticle of Zechariah, "Blessed
be the Lord, the God of Israel; He has come to His people and set them free"
(Lk 1:68). I thought, ‘If that is the only thing I do during my entire
priesthood, it’s worth it giving it all up!’ Happily, these things
In addition to the sacraments of the Most Holy
Eucharist and Confession that are celebrated in our prisons, there are bible
studies and catechism classes offered. There are also volunteers that
selflessly visit inmates and pray the Holy Rosary as well. A small part of
our budget is used to purchase bibles and other materials to help in our
I would like to thank our benefactors, because,
through your generosity we are able to minister to men and women who are
serving time across the state. Please know that we are praying for you, your
families and intentions.
Never forget these words of our Lord Jesus Christ
who came to earth to set us free (Lk 1:68), "The harvest is plentiful, but
the laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of harvest to send out
laborers into his harvest" (Lk 12:2).