Fr. Christopher Etheridge, IVE
Originally preached for the Feast of the North American Martyrs
In a letter to Fr. Jerome Lalemant three years before his martyrdom, St. Isaac Jogues asks Lalemant to pray to God that He “may give me a generous constancy to persevere in his love and in his service. This is what I should like to have more than anything else.”
It’s important to see why Jogues longed for a generous constancy.
Fr. Alberto Barattero, IVE
Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
When I was a child I wanted to go with my father to fish, and my father always said, “when you are twelve I will take you fishing”. So, when I was twelve years old I was happy because I could fish with my father, and this day came.
The night before, my father and I began to prepare all the things we needed to fish. My father had more than one rod, so I took one of them and my father said “this one doesn’t work” so I asked him why. He explained to me the different types of fish and places to fish. Thus he explained to me that for a particular fish you need a special rod and special kind of bait and for other fish another type of rod was needed, etc. He explained to me a lot of things a fishermen must consider in order to be successful.
The same reality applies to our life as priests.
Fr. Nathaniel Dreyer, IVE
Friday of the Second Week of Ordinary Time - Memorial of St. Fabian & St. Sebastian
Today’s Gospel presents Christ calling His apostles. Although the passage is short, and from the shortest Gospel, in the space of three verses we have the story of every priestly vocation and the model of every priestly life. These words apply to all Christians, who are priests by baptism, but in a special way to ministerial priests, and those who are studying to become one.
Mark gives us the story of every priestly vocation when he writes, “Jesus went up the mountain and summoned those whom he wanted and they came to him.”
In the Old Testament, when God did something important, He did it on a mountain: Mount Carmel, Mount Sinai, Mount Jerusalem, Mount Moriah. There’s something about a mountain that seems to touch heaven; we could say it’s the place on earth that’s closest to heaven. It’s from here that Christ calls His apostles, meaning, they must go up the mountain to encounter Him. Christ calls, and He doesn’t call the most qualified, the most intelligent, or the most capable. He calls “whom He wants,” and “they came to Him.” We too must climb the mountain of perfection to be with our Lord. It might seem like an impossible task, but just as Jesus wouldn’t have called His disciples up the mount to Him if He knew they couldn’t climb it, with God’s grace, we can climb our mountains to God.
And what is it that Jesus wants these men to do?
What does He call and ask of them?
Fr. Timothy van Zee, IVE
Wednesday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time
An accusation often leveled against priests and seminarians is that we don’t do anything. There are not many, if any, tangible results that are easily seen by outsides. In the eyes of the world there is just not much to show for our eight years in the seminary or in our day to day lives. Sometimes it is hard for us even, as seminarians and priests, to remember the extremely important things that we do each day.
So I want to put a day in the seminary in its proper perspective.
You wake up and do spiritual reading. You learn the deepest truths of reality from the men who have dumbfounded the rest of the world. Many worldly people boast of their knowledge of science but their science still can’t explain the miracles these spiritual writers performed on a daily basis. Science and medicine still can’t explain Padre Pio’s stigmata, bilocation, healings, etc. and he did these things almost every day.
You pray the rosary and you go to adoration. Many worldly people brag about meeting important people. They will tell you all about working at the White House and the day the President passed by. Every day we have a conversation with the Queen of Heaven when we pray the rosary and afterward we meet with the King of the Universe for an hour, face to face.
Priests of the Institute of the Incarnate Word