Just Pray for Faith
Last night, we had the honor of celebrating mass with Bishop Raymond Goedert. Bishop Goedert, now retired, has been an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Chicago since 1991 and served the Archdiocese as Vicar of Vicariate I and later as its Vicar General.
During his homily, Bishop Goedert reflected on the Gospel reading of the day (Luke 19: 11-28), which begins, "A nobleman went off to a distant country...He called ten of his servants and gave them ten gold coins." Bishop Goedert pointed out that when the nobleman returned, only 3 came forward to give an account to the nobleman. "What happened to the other seven?" exclaimed the bishop.
"The other seven are us," said Bishop Goedert, "We have been given gifts and are held accountable." In the time that we have before the Lord calls us home, we must embrace and use the gifts that He has bestowed on us.
Bishop Goedert reminded us that not all gifts are things we want, or that we initially find helpful. Some are positive and some are negative. For seminarians, an example of a negative gift could be doubt, but this doesn't mean that such gifts are evil. Rather, negative gifts remind us that we are human, and that we need the Lord's help to use our talents to their maximum potential.
To any seminarians who have doubts about their faith or their vocation, "Just pray for faith," advised Bishop Goedert. "Pray that God gives you faith."
God expects us to use the gifts, both positive and negative, that He has given each of us. In the end, each of us will be held accountable for how we have done so.