When my younger brother entered seminary, he was thirty-three and I was thirty-nine. As beautiful as his vocation was and as big a blessing as it was to my family, I had a very distinct sense of losing him.
I watched over the years of his preparation as he gave more and more of his worldly goods away. He had worked in middle markets management, had a career as a professional golfer before that, had once been engaged, drove a Porsche. It was no small feat to give up the world he had known for the stark simplicity and sacrifice of the priesthood. It was a beautiful transformation to behold and clearly filling him with unspeakable joy.
Still, I missed him. Missed being able to hang out with him more. His first parish assignment was a “mega-church,” thousands upon thousands of families, along with a K-12 school. He was working grueling hours with all of the responsibilities you would expect for a priest, including walking a family through the unexpected death of their young daughter in a car crash. Students who attended the funeral had conversions as a result of his homily. He was where he belonged. And that knowledge was deeply satisfying.
But—and this is so like Jesus—there was more.
When you have a brother who enters seminary, you lose him—that’s true. He no longer belongs to my family; he now belongs to the Church, to everyone, to you. But what I had not anticipated was how many other brothers I would gain. His brothers—as seminarians and as priests—became my brothers, too.
In the relationships that have been forged through my brother’s vocation, I now have dozens of priest-brothers as real to me as ever my own blood. My brotherly cup overflows.
Sirach, says the Lord, gives back to the generous sevenfold. In the Gospel of Saint Mark, Jesus says the Father will give back a hundred times more. It’s true, sister: the Lord cannot be outdone in generosity.
Can you think of a time Jesus surprised you, repaying you a hundredfold? Thank Him.The Lord cannot be outdone in generosity. // Liz Kelly Click To Tweet
Lord Jesus, comfort my heart for that which I’ve lost by reminding me of what You’ve given me in return.
Thank you for being here.
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