I mentioned to you in that last video that I was praying after college, and that’s how I felt called to the priesthood.
And that’s true, but I also have to mention that I started to give for the first time in my life in that year after college.
I can remember Monsignor McDonald – the priest I tell you about sometimes – he said to me once, “You know
Robby,” he says, “you’re never going to be happy until you’re giving. You’re never going to be happy…” It was toward the end of college actually –
I came back on a vacation to visit – and he says, “You’re never going be to happy until you’re giving.” Man. And I
didn’t know exactly what was going to look like, when I started to give, but I knew I wanted that, because I wanted to be happy. Well, after college I started to get involved with the youth group a little bit and give of my time, and play guitar, and sing for the youth, and you know, serve them in different ways. We would cook for them, travel with them.
And I started to come alive when I was spending time with those young people and giving to them.
And then the homeless of the parish – I had a friend whose mother was working with the homeless and I really wanted to experience what she experienced, because she was coming to life, because she loved it so much – she was like larger than life! And so I started to work with the homeless too and to give to them a little bit, and it was amazing. I started to come to life because of it. How about this: we’ll say it this way.
There are two bodies of water in the Holy Land, in Israel, that are very well known: the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea. They both receive the River Jordan.
They both have the same source, but Dead Sea is Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee is alive.
Why? Because the Dead Sea, although it receives the same waters of the River Jordan, it doesn’t give any of it away, and so it’s dead because of it. But the Sea of Galilee gives away all of the water it receives.
It has all these rivers that run from it and it gives away everything that flows in – and the Sea of Galilee is alive while the Dead Sea is dead. I mean. It’s just like the human person.
We’re always being blessed and receiving grace from God – the River Jordan is always flowing into us – but if we don’t give it away everything we’re receiving then we’ll be dead like the Dead Sea. But if we give it away, we’ll be alive like
the Sea of Galilee. So think about this way. It’s like when we when we pray we’re breathing in and when we exhale and when we serve we’re breathing out. So this is the Christian life: breathing in, the prayer, letting God’s
grace in to work on the interior life, so you have it to offer, and then offering and giving it away, the breathing out. Just like a human
person needs to breathe in and out, in order to be alive, like respiration, so too,
with regard to the spiritual life, there’s a breathing in and a breathing out. I mean Jesus said this right? Love of God and love of neighbor. Love of God – and love of neighbor. In any case, this Christian life is an invitation to be fully alive, and to be fully happy. And I experienced that after college.
This is what I call “being called to the priesthood,” just because it happens to be my vocation, to be called to priesthood. But we all have one common vocation and it’s this: When Jesus sends his disciples out he says to them, “Freely you have received – now freely give!