|Father Isaac Orozco|
When I started this job on April 1st, Palm Sunday, I could see the promise of several impressive candidates for seminary. It appeared to me that in the course of the next five years the Diocese of Fort Worth could have as many as 40 men studying for the priesthood.
The biblical symbolism of 40 inspired me, and I began to work hard to make the number a reality. Visions of the future of our Diocese bustling with priests enticed my ambition. Being part of the creation of an expansive presbyterate to hear more confessions, teach in schools, be more available and the like seemed like such a noble cause. I could taste victory.
Unfortunately, the focus on numbers turned into a fixation and I couldn’t stop thinking about how I might reach that number in order to prove how great a job I have been doing. It got to the point that it kept me up for several nights, and I noticed that my mind was subconsciously running scenarios in my head that would help me get there. That was ridiculous. It’s not about the numbers. If anything, I should return to the biblical symbolism of 40 for guidance. Whether it was 40 nights of flood, 40 days in the wilderness or 40 days in the desert, the symbolism of 40 is powerful because it means, “a sufficient amount” for the task or goal at hand.
And now that I am sleeping better recalling that God’s work doesn’t depend on me totally, I gain solace knowing that I can still reach the biblical 40, and that God will provide sufficient workers for his vineyard.