June 10, 2018
In my homiletics course at the seminary, one of the first things I learned was that a preacher is always preaching to himself first. In other words, the message of a preacher always comes through the lens of his own experience, and the message is something that he himself needs to work on! Because I come to you with my own experiences and lenses through which my faith has developed over the years, I want to share a bit about myself with you now, so that when I start preaching, you will have the context behind the new guy speaking to you!
I was born and raised in Burlington, Vermont. I received my Sacraments and went through the religious education program at Saint Mark’s Parish in Burlington. I went through the Burlington public school system for my entire childhood, which provided me with many opportunities to pursue my interests in singing and acting. I still enjoy singing today, along with my new hobby of golf (though it would be a stretch to call me a “golfer”).
Although parishioners at home had told me from a young age that I would make a good priest, I ignored them, although my faith was always important to me. I do not know what happened, but everything changed for me after Confirmation. I cannot say when, but once the thought of my becoming a priest became a real possibility in my mind, I could not get it out of my mind! The more I researched Google about priesthood, the more I wanted to know. I became much more involved at my parish. The best part was that, in becoming more involved, I experienced a great joy that has never gone away and a peace with God that has only grown stronger.
I often tell people that, as Christians, we need to believe three things. First, that everyone is looking for God. Everyone seeks happiness, and God is the source of true happiness. Therefore, everyone is looking for God, whether they admit it or not. Second, that Christ is the answer to the questions the world asks and to the unhappiness we experience in life. If God is the true source of happiness, then everything else, good as it may be, will ultimately come up short of the real happiness our hearts desire. Lastly, if we believe that everyone is seeking God and that we have the answer in Jesus Christ, then we need to have a desire to share that answer, that person, with everyone we meet. This sharing is not done only in words, but in the way we live our lives. As we receive the joy and peace that only God can give, people will want what we have!
So that is me and a bit of my outlook on life. I look forward to sharing these next seven weeks with you as we journey closer to our God together.