Holy Thursday- Dreams

Holy Thursday April 14, 2022

Tonight, we remember the celebration of the first Eucharist
Tonight, we celebrate the institution of the priesthood
We witness Jesus wash the feet of the apostles
The first priests…

What are your dreams? 
What is your vision for this church? 

Pope Francis and Bishop Zurek asked us all to dream about the church in our synod meetings
I went to many of these meetings 
I heard many of the same joys and concerns at every meeting
Concern for the youth
The struggles of different cultures and languages
The beauty of the liturgy
The thankfulness for a church, a place to worship

What are your dreams? 
I heard a young lady answer this question
And I thought it was the best answer I had heard

What was her dream?
Full churches

Full churches
Wouldn’t that be beautiful?

But, how do we get full churches? 

I want to tell you my dream…

My dream is for more local vocations
My dream is for more local priests in our churches
More deacons 
More religious vocations like nuns and brothers
And more marriages

I am thankful for external priests like Fr. Anthony
But it is hard for the external priest to understand us
And it is hard for us to understand the external priests

My dream is that all parishes provide and produce seminarians for the priesthood
Men for deacon formation
And men and women for religious communities like the Sisters at Prayer Town
My dream is that we have more marriages in our churches

I am convinced that if we had our own local priests
Priests from places like Gruver and Spearman
Priests from every parish in the Diocese of Amarillo
Our churches would be full

Dream a little more with me…
What if? 
What if every parish in the Diocese of Amarillo committed to providing a seminarian every ten years?
What if every parish like Cristo Redentor and Sacred Heart had a married couple in deacon formation every ten years? 
What if every church had a young man and woman discerning the religious life every ten years?  

What if there were more marriages?
I believe our churches would thrive
I believe our churches would become full

It would be hard…
After all committing to more local vocations would be going against the American dream
We would be encouraging our children to pursue work in the church
Rather than pursue work in the world

We would be encouraging the pursuit of treasure in heaven
Rather than the pursuit of a good job, a fine home, and a nice car
Our priorities would have to change
The American dream would no longer be our goal
After all the American dream is not the Catholic Christian dream

We would be encouraging the pursuit of Christ…
We would talk about vocations with our families as we sat around the table
We would encourage our young men to be priests 
Discerning the priesthood or religious life would be talked about more than what college we should attend 

We wouldn’t postpone or delay a marriage, until we could afford a big wedding party
We wouldn’t worry about the cost of children
Marriage would come before living together

My dream is that all the parishes in the Amarillo diocese produce seminarians
And that our diocese be full of home grown priests
Priests that speak our languages
Priests that know our culture
Priests that know how to ride a horse
Priests that have driven a tractor
Priests that have played football and basketball
Priests that love to eat good Mexican food as well as chicken fried steak

My dream is that our priests are one of us
They “get” us
Because they are us

When we follow our vocation, we are following God’s calling for our lives
When we follow our vocation, we serve our fellow man
Priests, deacons, religious brothers and sisters, husbands and wives are all servants of God
They all serve the church

Tonight, Jesus gives us a model of servanthood
Jesus, the leader, washes the feet of the disciples
He serves them

Tonight, when we go to adoration
When we go and sit with Jesus
Listen…
Listen to your heart

Is Jesus calling you to serve
Is Jesus calling you to serve the church 
Is he calling you to the priesthood, the diaconate, or the religious life
Is Jesus calling you to marriage?

Tonight we eat with him
We sit with him
We pray with him

For tomorrow… we face the cross… 

About dwinger

Former farmer, now college instructor
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