By Deacon Robinson Olivares
As I wait to be ordained a priest of Jesus Christ in two weeks, I cannot help but feel in awe of how the Lord is preparing me to receive the grace of being ordained. By being ordained to serve all of God’s children, I hope to offer many people the opportunity to encounter the unrelenting love of Jesus and his unbounded mercy.
I want to give back to God’s beloved children what I have received from the Lord, namely his Divine Mercy. This makes me extremely happy because the Lord Jesus Himself said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35)
While I wait to be ordained a priest, I remain dependent upon the Lord’s help to continue to help me to live up to my most fundamental calling, to live as a son of God in my own family, in society, and in the Church. That said, one of the biggest challenges that I have had to overcome is my shyness when speaking to people. While growing up, that was such a big challenge for me because I was very awkward in striking up conversations with people. I have, nonetheless, mostly overcome my shyness by learning extrovert skills.
I have done this through God’s providence, especially through my professional work providing technical support to customers, the many years of working with youth groups and with young adults in the parish and in retreats, through the human formation I received in the seminary, by interacting with the homeless in the streets.
Also through the summers and weekends of parish ministry that I have done as a seminarian and as a deacon — especially preaching, baptizing children, and ministering to families at wake services. And interacting with people in parishes, especially greeting them after Mass, visiting the sick, taking the Eucharist to the homebound, and giving them God’s blessing.
In a way, the Lord has been helping me to be more docile in sharing his Gospel. This makes me feel happy because I can more readily and easily speak with people about their own life story and help them along their own journey of encountering Jesus, the only one who can save us from every destructive pandemic, whether it be physical or spiritual, who can transform our lives so we live in the love and service of God and our neighbor, and in so doing, welcome us into the Kingdom of Heaven.
Pray for me, and all my future brother priests, and be assured of my heartfelt prayers to the Lord for all of you.
Deacon Robinson Olivares is a transitional deacon serving at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Church in Bayside.