Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Mk 10:46-52
October 24, 2021

Over the past month, The Diocese of Saginaw has laid to rest two of my fellow “senior priests.” The funeral Masses for Fr. John Ederer (44 yrs. ordained) and Fr. Harry Sikorski (65 yrs. ordained) were fresh in my mind as I sat down to reflect on this Sunday’s Readings. The words from Hebrews 5:1-6 “took flesh” as I considered the lives and ministries of both men.

Especially powerful was the concept of being “chosen.” They were “taken” from their families, classmates, and friends, selected to “represent” their communities before God.

No one takes this honor for himself, but only when called by God.

“The Call” is simply this:

Sacrifice your own dreams and ambitions…put aside your own wants and needs and desires…and use your gifts and talents in the service of others.

The celebrations of the lives and ministries of these two were occasions to consider all the ways in which they selflessly responded to God’s invitation to serve. Neither was credited with performing a “healing miracle.” But each, in their own way, committed themselves to helping people see…see how to live a better life “here and now.”

Through their preaching and teaching, counseling and consoling, and through the countless other ways they lived out their “calling,” these two men, chosen by God, offered a vision to those struggling to see.

They committed their lives to giving others a glimpse of the Reign of God.

I found one story about Fr. Harry, for some reason, to be particularly moving. He is said to have purchased, with his own money, a used van. He outfitted the vehicle as a moving bicycle repair shop. He would drive through poor neighborhoods, making stops to help kids patch a tire, tighten a loose chain, or do much needed general maintenance on their bikes.

As the story goes, Harry wouldn’t do the work himself, but would show the kids how to do it…talking them through it and guiding their hands. I can almost hear him saying:

See? This is how it’s done.

When Harry drove off, he would leave behind a child with a clearer vision of their own skills and abilities. He would inflate more than flat tires. This simple act of kindness helped to inflate the lives he touched with The Holy Spirit. Now that’s a healing miracle.

How humbling! How inspiring!

But it’s important to remember that all who are baptized in Christ are “chosen.”

We are “taken” from the rest of humanity. We are selected to “represent” our communities before God.

No one takes this honor for themselves, but only when called by God.

And much like “The Call” to ordained ministry, Baptism is a challenge and an opportunity to search for ways to sacrifice our own dreams and ambitions…put aside our own wants and needs and desires…and use our gifts and talents in the service of others.

When we are reborn in the Spirit, we are empowered to make miracles. Each and every time we interact in a Christ-like manner with someone whose life is in desperate need of repair…or whose mind or heart requires maintenance…we are given the opportunity to say what Fr. Harry said:

See! This is how it’s done!

So, in the coming week, be on the lookout for repair jobs. Look for opportunities to do miracles. Use the gifts God has given you to do the work God has chosen you to do. Help the blind to see the Glory and Wonder of God!

It is what you have been chosen to do.