Jesus instructs His apostles to “fear no one.” This seems easier said than done. We each have certain fears that are a part of who we are. Experiences we’ve had form us and shape us into people who may find it hard to live without fear. Sometimes fear is a good thing; it helps us navigate situations we encounter and use our judgment to protect ourselves from harm. But we must never allow fear to run our lives. Rather we should believe as Jesus implies; that God the Father is aware of our situation and will protect us. Oh, bad things may still happen to us, but with the knowledge that God is with us we will be able to cope. This belief in a caring, loving Father can help us overcome our fears and live lives that are fruitful. Lives where we are not bound by fear but full of God’s love.
One of our parishioners, Arturo Vigueras, a seminarian for the Diocese of La Crosse will be ordained a transitional deacon this coming Tuesday, June 23rd. I have the honor of vesting Arturo at his ordination and am asking you to pray for him as he takes this important step toward ordination to the priesthood. I’m sure he will face some doubts and fears in the next year prior to his priestly ordination, so it is important that we support him in our prayers. I remember Arturo’s dedication to the faith when several years back he assisted with forming some children so they could be initiated into the faith. His faith impressed me and I off handed mentioned to him that he should consider the priesthood. I was pleasantly surprised when he announced to Phil Lawson, our Director of Catechesis and Evangelization at the time, and myself, that he was looking into priestly formation later that year. Now, after several years of hard study, discernment, prayer, and God’s grace, he will be taking one of the final steps to becoming a priest.
Later this week we will also have a priest ordination. We need to remember these men who have chosen to serve the Lord when we pray as well. We pray that their vocation is fruitful, holy, and joyful. They will also be tested in their new roles as everyone is when they start something new. Even though they have gotten a taste of what the priesthood is like in their formation, nothing like living the lifestyle brings it to reality. Being a priest can be challenging but rewarding. So let’s keep these men in our prayers this week and beyond. And have no fear!