Fr. Tony Stubeda
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Father Tony Stubeda

                                                                 “I Must Stay at your House"
Some days I wonder if God really understood who he was calling when he called me to be a priest. There are times when I think that I do not have the right skills, talents and experience to fulfill the duties of my ministry. I find myself thinking that I am not the right person for the job, and that perhaps somebody else would do much better than I do. Once I stop feeling sorry for myself, I pray some, buckle down and attack the tasks in front of me with renewed hope and energy. In the end I do not pretend to know what God was thinking when he called me, but I am certain that he sent me here for a reason, and that in everything I do he offers me help, perseverance, joy and possibilities. My encounter with the Lord sustains me, and I trust in his choice in the midst of my own doubts.

In today’s Gospel Zaccheus climbs a tree to see the Lord. He is not that interested in hearing him, following him or changing his life. He has heard of Jesus and his curiosity is enough to move him to take a peek at the Lord. Much to everyone’s surprise, Jesus, from among all the people surrounding him along the way, chooses the little man, who despite his stature is a big sinner, hanging in the branches of a tree. He looks into Zaccheus’ heart, and declares, “Today, I must stay at your house.” In that simple declaration Jesus changes Zaccheus’ life into a witness to God’s mercy.

This week we celebrate National Vocations Awareness Week. We remind ourselves, our friends and especially our children that Jesus calls each of us to become his messengers and presence in the world. We are all called to give witness to his presence among us. Whatever path we choose in life, whatever career or job we pursue, we all are called to remember that Jesus has looked us in the eye and asked to live in our hearts and lives.
We especially pray that more young men will hear the call to priesthood in the Diocese of New Ulm. We invite every family to encourage their sons and daughters to ask themselves, “What is God’s plan for my life?” Every person among us is called, chosen and sent.

We may wonder about our skills, our abilities and talents. We may doubt our abilities, but we should not make the mistake of thinking that we are not uniquely qualified to witness to the Lord. May this week of prayer and reflection prepare us to rejoice when the Lord looks us in the eye and declares, “Today, I must stay at your house.”