Sunday, March 22, 2009

Nothing Extraordinary - One Man's Call to the Priesthood

Last Sunday Michal Bebjak, a second year seminarian in our diocese, gave a talk on his call to the priesthood and his decision to enter seminary. Michal was a regular guy going to university for engineering when he stumbled on a club for catholics. The club was about as organized as most campus clubs (i.e. not at all) but he kept coming back and one of his friends invited him to go to a weekend retreat. It was there one of the priests first asked Michal if he'd ever thought of becoming a priest. Michal said, "sure but never seriously," and the seed was planted.

He struggled with the idea for several months and then prayed that God would help him make his final decision. The next time he went to mass the gospel came from Matthew 9:35-38. In that passage Jesus says, "The harvest is plenty, but the labourers are few" as he is calling for people to spread the Word. That's a passage that's almost always quoted when we pray for more young people to enter the consecrated religious life. Michal said it was nothing extraordinary but he's feeling rewarded everyday about his decision to follow Jesus this way.

I thank God for choosing Michal and for allowing him to respond. The young man is caring and mild mannered and really seemed to love the people in the congregation even though he'd never met most of us. I don't think I captured it here, but I felt very encouraged and strengthened by his story and I could see that the rest of the congregation was too. I think the unspoken but powerful message was that we can all follow God and hear his direction for our lives, we don't need to be extraordinary.

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