“Brothers and sisters since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses” (Hebrews 12:1)
Twelve years ago this week, my late husband was ordained a deacon. I was blessed to spend 6 years or so in seminary formation with him! I met, prayed and studied with an amazing group of men (later deacons) and their wives through that process. Even to the day that he was ordained, my husband was surprised that he was chosen. The others, he thought, we so much better than him, so much brighter, so much holier.
This week at Holy Name Passionist Retreat Center there is a retreat for priests of the diocese. I have enjoyed watching them arrive. Such a variety, tall and short, stout and lean, young and old, and God is using them all. Such a great and varied ‘cloud of witnesses’!
Here at the retreat center we are blessed by the Passionist Religious Community. In our variety, single, married, deacons, priests, religious we are all called.
My thoughts go back to the youth ministry quote, “God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.” That others may seem holier, brighter or better, is insignificant. We are ALL called to be a ‘great cloud of witnesses’!
The letter to the Hebrews continues. “let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us, while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)