God is Good!

Seek the Lord while He may be found!

Keep Your Eyes Fixed On Jesus

Ordination Day May 6, 1944
My Mother and me!

Someone may ask me, “How did you persevere in your 68 years in the priesthood?  You have lived through many stages of life from teen years in the seminary up to senior citizen status at present.  We can understand how youthful enthusiasm and dreams of saving the world could move you through the early years in the priesthood; however, for the long haul, when the bitter reality of life has gripped your heart, something – a powerful motivating force – had to come into play.  You have gone through two different Churches, the pre-Vatican II one and the post-Vatican II one.  The big exodus of priests in the 60s must have disturbed your mind about continuing in the ministry.  What kept you going?

I would answer that I agree with all the above statements.  My response may appear too simple.  I left the seminary at Ordination time with the words of St. Paul emblazoned on my heart:  “Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus.” (Hebrews 12:2)  See how the Lord persevered in His work as Messiah, even though He saw the sufferings and disappointments He must undergo!

St. Paul lived out his own advice.  “In shipwrecks twice, scourged with whips many times, betrayed by brethren often, chased out of towns.  I have been hungry and thirsty . . .”(2 Corinthians 11:25) Paul persevered in his vocation.  All through my priesthood, I have tried to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus.  If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t be here today as a priest.  In all the perils and struggles of the Priesthood, he stood as a role model for me, as my Savior and Messiah.

At different times, things like vanity, ambition, and the attractiveness of women would fight to take on a greater appeal than the Master.  A bell would sound in my heart.  I knew that the time had come to go back to the drawing board – to my original plan of action – to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus.

How did I do this?  I built up His appeal and beauty in my heart by sharing my life with Christ more deeply in prayer, by some forms of penance, and by reading His life in the New Testament.  My many pilgrimages to the Holy Land helped me to appreciate the preciousness of my ministry as a priest.  I could not give up my calling as His ministry for some earthly gain.  To these efforts, the Lord always responded with love and peace.  I would be the last one to say that these pulls and tugs of life in the world were easy to deal with.  The human heart was made to love and be loved.  I can easily understand why many priests left to get married.

Our readers can learn from my life story!  In any vocation we find dangers and challenges.  In married life commitments are made to be kept all through life.  Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus.  We don’t want to trade the friendship of Christ for a passing whim.

Fr. George Mc Kenna

May 12, 2012 - Posted by | Bulletins

1 Comment »

  1. What a great post filled with a simple thought and strategy to start each day with steadfast look at Jesus!

    Comment by evanlaar1922 | May 12, 2012 | Reply

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