Wednesday, May 02, 2012

i do, i do, i do, i do, i do

Norman Rockwell -
Boy and Girl Gazing at the Moon, 1926
"love me or leave me, make Your choice but believe me
i love You
i do, i do, i do, i do, i do
i can't conceal it, don't You see, can't You feel it?
don't You too?
i do, i do, i do, i do, i do" (ABBA - I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, 1975)
three years ago, i said my I Do's, to God and to you, the People of God - i was ordained to the holy priesthood of Our Lord Jesus Christ.  the terrible two's are now over, and now, ... a whole new world.

imagine.  boy meets girl.  boy falls in love.  boy says "i love you."  and the girl says, ... (pause), thanks?!.  awwwwwwwwwwkward!  indeed, this happens all the time.  love is a funny thing.  however, everything changes, when both are at the point of saying, "i love you", and, of course, i do, i do, i do, i do, i do!

last Sunday - as part of the Pastoral Vocations committee - i attended prayer and adoration at the Cathedral, for all vocations in the Archdiocese of Ottawa.  it was beautiful.  many different types of vocations were present, and some gave their witness - a sister, a brother, a married couple expecting their first child, and a friend continuing to listen to God's voice in her life.  all their joy reminded me of the one vocation - to know better, to love more, and to follow more closely God in Our Lord Jesus Christ.  we all experience at one point the boy-meets-girl dilemma!  someone says "i love you" first, and the other is not quite ready.  that's our life with God!  "I love you", He says to me.  hmmm, ... thank you?!  awkward!  we get uncomfortable.  we look around to see if anyone else is looking.  what do i say, or what do we do now?  our vocation begins even before birth,
"before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations." (Jeremiah 1:5)
and, finally the vocation really begins, when we can say in return, "i love You too."

that point for me was late 2002, in December, early 2003.  much has happened to help me grow - the good.  the bad.  the ugly.  and at every turn, i hear Our Lord asking, "do you love me?" (Gospel of John 21) things are less awkward now, because i am now in a conversation with Him.  the question is nothing like boy-meets-girl wondering do you love me yet, ... do you love me yet, ... do you love me yet?  Our Lord knows our hearts, He does know that I love Him (that we love Him).  but He asks Peter the same thing, "do you love me", three times.  Peter says "yes, i do", three times.  the third time, however, it is not awkwardness he feels, but rather, sadness.  Peter knows Our Lord is asking more of Him, which he is not quite ready to do (but eventually will).  Peter loves Him as a friend, but much more is asked of him, of me, of you.

thank you for all your prayers throughout these years!  continue to pray for me that i may grow to know Him better, love Him more, and to follow Him more closely.  i pray for all of you as well.  indeed, "i love you", because you are my family, my brothers and sisters in the Lord.  peace.

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