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Strive for Greatness

01/16/2018 | Comments

Strive for Greatness

          I was away part of last week attending a Rally for the Serra Club.  I am privileged to be the local chaplain for the Serrans, who do so much to promote and pray for vocations.

          The conference was pretty interesting.  For me the highlight was attending Mass at the Newman Center (Campus Ministry Center) for Arizona State University.  The building is relatively new, and it is a very impressive place.  Mass was celebrated by Bishop Thomas Olmsted, Bishop of Phoenix, and preached by Bishop Andrew Cozzens, the Auxiliary Bishop of St Paul and Minneapolis. 

          It was a simple daily Mass but a very beautiful experience.  Everything from the music to the altar serving really took us from our everyday experience and worldly cares and helped us to focus on the eternal.  The Mass helped us transcend our everyday experience and focus on the banquet of heaven.  That’s what Mass should do.  Mass shouldn’t be like everything else we experience through the week.  It shouldn’t be something about which and during which we understand absolutely everything.  Mass has an element of mystery.  It should cause us to experience a glimpse of the divine, especially as we receive Jesus’ Body and Blood in the Eucharist, which is the source and summit of our sacramental life.

          Not only the Mass, but the entire visit to the ASU Newman Center helped encourage me for the important work we are doing here to build our own Newman Center for the Diocese of Colorado Springs.  I often think very few people really understand how impactful this project is for our future.  It won’t be easy, and it won’t be cheap, but it will be something that changes the landscape of our city and our diocese for many future generations.

          One of my goals for campus ministry this semester is to strive for greatness.  As we begin a new year and a new semester, and as we get very serious about the plans our Diocese has to build a proper Newman Center of our own, it’s time to elevate everything we do.

          As Director of Campus Ministry, and as someone who has worked with young adults for the majority of my priesthood, I am used to hearing people’s low expectations of college students.  At times, I too am guilty of not expecting much.  I hear lots of excuses from people: “students are busy;” “we can’t expect them to make time for things outside of class;” “we’ll just have to make due.”  As we begin 2018, I believe that’s not good enough for us.  We were made for more.

           Some times, challenging one another to strive for greatness might be painful.  Not everyone appreciates being called to more because that often requires sacrifice.  But if we don’t challenge one another to be more than we think we can be, we don’t truly love one another.  There will be some who aren’t ready for this challenge, but for those of us who are, let us pray for one another.  We pray that the Lord who created us for greatness will inspire us to seek greatness and help us abandon our worries and our excuses to be everything He calls us to be.  Here’s to a new semester!