Friday, May 18, 2012

You are worth it

Congratulations to all graduating GW seniors!! The entire GW Catholic community applauds your many accomplishments and wishes you the best for the future. For GW Catholic seniors, we will see you at the Baccalaureate Mass tomorrow (5/19) at St. Stephen’s, 5:30 pm, with a light reception in the Parish Hall afterwards.

DC Hood game tonight! I will be joining other priests and seminarians for an outdoor basketball game against Holy Redeemer in Kensington, 6 pm. Go ‘Hood!

They taught us in the seminary that the primary task of a priest is to teach. The main purpose of my post last Friday was to teach. It was to bring an important teaching to an all-important discussion in our country. I knew that in presenting the teaching and in the way that I did, I was taking a risk. I was risking criticism, personal attacks, condemnation, and hatred. But, it was worth all of that to proclaim the teaching in a firm, clear, and passionate way. You are worth it. I love you so much, GW students, that I am willing to risk everything for you. You know that I love you because I have sacrificed everything for you. I laid down my life for you, my friends, six years ago in becoming a priest.

Coinciding with one of the comments from last Friday’s thread, my love for you requires me to say no to some behaviors that are harmful to you. God has revealed these to us in the form of the commandments. God is the first person to love us and God is the first person to say no to some behaviors which are hurtful. It is because He loves us that He says no to our sin. For three years as chaplain, I have explicated why acting against the commandments is harmful. It is because I love you and want what’s best for you that I have done this. If I didn’t love or care about you, I wouldn’t talk about God’s commandments… I would join the world in saying do whatever you want.

But, I always say yes to you, the person. People on this campus who know me know that I have consistently been available for all students for three years. Celibacy frees me to be always available for you. I have given up everything – wife, family, career – to be available for you. I am playfully ridiculed for being available 24/7 for Confession. That is my policy for anything. I am always available for you, no matter what your religion, sexuality, race, or ethnicity is. I have been open to all GW students and the Newman Center has been open to all. That will continue as long as I am here. Even if you disagree with me… even if you hate me…I am available for you.

You command respect. You are a human being. You are a person. You are a child of God made in His image and likeness. This gives you amazing dignity. I respect your dignity as a child of God and I honor it through respect, openness, kindness, and love. Christ gives the greatest example of love in laying down his life on the Cross. And yet, that love is seen as “foolishness” to the world (1 Cor 1:18). It is that love that I have tried to offer you. It is a love that says I will give up everything for you…I will risk it all for you…you are worth it….I love you so much that I will even risk being rejected by you.


Anonymous said...

Fr Greg,
You are doing a great job buddy. I don't have to remind you of scripture:

"Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you [falsely] because of me.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you." Mt 5 11-12

Adrienne, Jude and I praying for you.


Anonymous said...

Fr. Greg,
What a blessing your are to GW!! We miss you so much down in St. Mary's. You have been in our thoughts and prayers (especially lately with GW's choice of a speaker). God chose you to lead the lost to Him. You wear His armor well.