Sunday, February 21, 2010

Gratitude for the Gift of the Priesthood

We are still in the Year of the Priest, so some thoughts to help remember this special year are in order.

Our shepherds, the priests, are appointed by Christ to guide souls. All the powers given to His Church He has placed in the hands of His priests. He chooses these men, His priests, from among the people. Priests are called and sent to minister to the people. “Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me.” (Lk 10:16) The dignity of our priests comes from Christ who appoints them as His representatives.

We, as the lay faithful, should see Christ Himself in our priests and try our best to overlook any faults we might notice in them. After all, a priest is a man and still is fallible and capable of making mistakes (who isn’t?). Nevertheless, this shouldn’t prevent us from seeing him as anointed by the Lord.

This sacrament configures the recipient to Christ by a special grace of the Holy Spirit, so that he may serve as Christ's instrument for his Church. By ordination one is enabled to act as a representative of Christ, Head of the Church, in his triple office of priest, prophet, and king. (Catechsim of the Catholic Church paragraph 1581)

“Without the priesthood we would be deprived of the Holy Eucharist; we would never have the consolation of hearing in the name of God, “Thy sins are forgiven thee” (Mt 9:2). If there were no priests, the churches would be deserted, schools would become secularized, there would be no nuptial blessings, the dying would be deprived of final consolation, children would be abandoned to evil; all men would become totally immersed in misery, with no one to raise them up and lead them to God, with no one to pray to Him in their name and for their welfare.” (Divine Intimacy, by Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary of Magdalen, OCD)

Think of all the times in our lives that our priests accompany us in our lives: soon after our birth at the baptism font; in the confessional when we have failed in charity; when we get married, he is there; when we need to understand some truth, or when we need to know how to live a good life, he is there to instruct and give example; he is there to bless us in our efforts and in our last moments he is there to offer strength.

Many priests work in ways unseen and unknown to us, they are often misunderstood, and never really fully appreciated. And yet what he does for us is priceless and indispensable.

“Every Christian ought to be grateful for the gift of the priesthood: in the first place, we should be grateful to Jesus who instituted it, and then to those who perform its sublime duties. We must express this gratitude, not only in showing reverent respect and filial docility to God’s ministers, but also by assiduously offering our prayers and good works for priestly vocations.” (Divine Intimacy, by Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary of Magdalen, OCD)

Pray for Priests.

1 comment:

  1. God has greatly gifted you
    I enjoyed visiting your blog
    God Bless;