I looked at my calendar today and realized that I have been ordained for exactly one month. Now, I don’t believe in any of that hocus-pocus that says the ordained person is somehow of a different nature from the lay person. That’s what I call a power-trip and an inflated ego. I’m no different from you, from the Pope, from our earliest bipedal ancestors.
But, in one sense, I am different. In the course of this month, the black shirt of a clergy person has brought me to all sorts of scenarios that a layperson wouldn’t have encountered. I’ve been to hospitals, federal courthouses, coffee shops, wedding receptions, and funerals with this black shirt and white collar. I made eye contact with a nun, and we both instantly understood the others’ spiritual/sartorial situation. I’ve put my arm around a near stranger who was grieving at a graveside, simply because I represented a big Something.
Please, don’t think I have a big head. It’s the farthest thing from that. Instead, I realize how little I am and how great God is. I’ve been ordained for 1 month; I have 563 months to go until I have to retire at 72. I pray that I am 563 times more humble by then.