Reverence at Mass, Homilies and Vocations to the Priesthood

Our Bishop is always happiest on ordination day. The video above was taken during the Ordination Mass this past year, at which yours truly was also present. A joyous occasion. Some of that joy was renewed for me this past weekend.

A young man came up to me after Mass and said, with significant pauses (like, four seconds, which is really hard to do in a conversation) after each of the four statements he made to me, looking intensely into my eyes. His was quite the declaration which he said straight from his heart. Read these statements with the long pauses…

  • Look, Father George, I have to tell you something……
  • I watch you say Mass, really different than other Masses I attend……
  • I listen to your homilies, really listen……
  • I want to be a priest……

And then he gave me a bear hug common among the Latino community……

We then talked about how the priesthood must be all about and only about Jesus, his truth, his love, his goodness and kindness……

It is good, very good, when the Mass is obviously, clearly, and very personally all about Jesus, only Jesus. He’s the One. The only One.

It is good when homilies or sermons, however they start, and by whatever which way, come around, indeed, bring everyone around to Jesus, His sacrifice for us, so that the most Sacred Mysteries are just that, the living truth of God Most High, who personally loves us so much as to bring us close to Himself, that with Him, by the Holy Spirit, we are brought before our Heavenly Father.

I’d like to put my homilies up on line, but it is simply impossible here. In the mountains, the internet service is pretty much zippo. There is Verizon metered access, with 4G being like the old time “long distance” dial-up, costing an arm and a leg for each gigabyte. The other internet companies just make people angry about there being pretty much no service whatsoever. Ah well….. I should be content with helping to bring men to the priesthood, those who can also preach about Jesus.

10 Comments

Filed under Priesthood, Vocations

10 responses to “Reverence at Mass, Homilies and Vocations to the Priesthood

  1. I would say congratulations to you Father George, but I suppose that in truth the congrats belong to Jesus. He is the one who calls you and your brothers to follow Him. Sometimes I do envy you men. It must be really wonderful to be a priest. I can only imagine how wonderful – (and pray for and lament the fellows who call themselves priests and yet do not show much reverence and waste the homilies on fund raising) God bless you, Father George and your future seminarian.

  2. meshugunah

    Please let this young man know I’m praying for him, just as i pray for you and Fr Gordon, and my pastor (and a lot of other priests…)

  3. elizdelphi

    I LOVE the moving story of the young man. May God bless him and may he persevere in seeking his vocation.

    I have long wished to hear your homilies Fr George. If it ever becomes possible please do put them online. Maybe people could PayPal you money for the arm-and-a-leg internet bandwidth. Put the homilies in MP3 format. If adequate donations don’t come in, then stop doing it.

    I have never at all been drawn to the idea of myself or any other woman as a priest because to me every priest is the image of Christ the Bridegroom and a woman is not an image of my bridegroom (or of the Father). But lately I have wanted to be a virgin martyr (which is equally, but far, far more sadly impossible to me…) and I have been thinking about St Therese talking about that desire to be a priest (and a missionary, a soldier, a doctor, etc), and the fact that what animates that and all vocations is Charity, and “my vocation, at last I have found it! my vocation is Love!” There would seem to be no danger in desiring the same Charity as some vocation we cannot have.

  4. sanfelipe007

    “I’d like to put my homilies up on line, but it is simply impossible here.”

    You read my mind! Oh, well, how about the text? Or do you “wing it?”

    Also, I think some of us would like to pray for this young man in order to sustain him during his formation. When can you provide us a name?

  5. Father George David Byers

    Actually, a number have said they are interested, but I better wait on the names. If you said Jesus’ vocations, Jesus will know who you mean. 😇

    If there was a good compression program perhaps to upload to YouTube audio or some such thing….

  6. sanfelipe007

    What you need, Father, is a “Duline” (not me) of your own. Some one (not me) to whom you could send your video on a thumb drive, or whatever, who (not me) would then upload it to a youtube channel set up for you. Is there anyone (not me) interested in helping Father out? [Cue Hymn: “Here I (not me) am Lord”]

  7. Father George David Byers

    @ sanfelipe007 — It’s not that hard!

  8. Monica Harris

    Holy Rosary Church in Portland posts the audio of the sermons on youtube, usually 8-12 minutes long, but with picture of the altar /church. I really pray and hope you could do this, Father Byers! At least, once in awhile.

  9. Would love to hear your homilies, Father. We could use the spiritual boost! No pressure though (push, push).
    Wonderful video. Thanks for posting it.

  10. Liz

    This is so neat and encouraging! We will pray for this young man in our rosaries. It makes me want to cry, it’s so beautiful. I feel like I have to fight these days to not get down about this and that so hearing this is a joy. Thank you for you wonderful priesthood, Fr. George. God bless and keep you always, Liz

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