Lord, give us good priests!
Nowadays, we have become accustomed to recalling some professions that society needs, and there is a lack of them. We celebrate the day of builders, railway workers, teachers, and the like. Our Church all over the world also commemorates one vocation, the priestly. I ask everyone not to accept this consideration as an exaltation, a preference for a priest, but we to all realize a serious need that we can express with an idea or slogan: Lord, give us good priests! Let us translate these words into even more sincere prayer, for today, more than ever needs more priests than in the past.
The Gospel draws our attention to this by saying, “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me” (Jn 10:27).
As we follow the texts of Sunday gospel readings, we feel the wonderful concern of the Lord Jesus for the Church here on earth, for our brothers and sisters. Last Sunday, we read about the events after the resurrection of the Lord Jesus when he appeared for the third time to the apostles on the shores of the Sea of Tiberius. At this meeting, Jesus asked Peter a question – do you love me? – to which Peter had to answer three times. We know that Peter was so impressed that he realized the seriousness of his Master’s words and wept at the last answer. Christ appointed Peter the first pope, the first bishop among the apostles. Because he went to preach the teachings of the Lord Jesus to Rome, where he also died, our faith is called Roman and Catholic because we are followers of the teachings of the Lord Jesus.
We know that the Lord Jesus did not stop caring for His Church even after His ascension, that He promised her the Holy Spirit, which happened on the tenth day after the Ascension. The Holy Spirit is the one who still directs his Church through the visible head of the Church-Pope.
Also, the Holy Father John Paul II. On his travels around the world, today’s gospel often used the words of today to emphasize, as a representative of Christ, the need for new vocations, namely religious and priestly.
The fact that Jesus used the analogy known to the listeners of everyday life – sheep listen to the shepherd and follow his voice – is not unworthy of us. We feel that this is not about reducing human dignity but also about a wonderful comparison, a wonderful idea. We know that a good shepherd is willing to do his best not to lose a single entrusted sheep.
The Lord Jesus died for all. Jesus is the Shepherd, and we are his flock. That is why we understand the words of the Gospel: “My Father, who gave them to me, is greater than all, and no one can snatch them from my Father’s hand. The Father and I are one “(Jn 10:30).
When we follow the events in the Church in our country in the last years after the Second Vatican Council, we find that the attitude of the priest has changed not only relates to unbelievers but also believers. The priest of the 21st century is aware that it is not to serve him but serve him. However, many people misunderstand this. Some would like to go so far that the priest would like to see him as his vassal, run to nod his hand, comply with them above all, renounce his precepts, conscience, respect their power, position strength. The priest today must be especially aware that he is working with two great gifts of God, that not only a he-the priest but also his surroundings, the people, have the gift of reason and free will. That is why the Church today does not want to exert pressure, make threats but rather teaches, explains that a believer or a baptized person has rights in his faith and duties. When we realize this principle, no one will say that a pastor “must” if your life does not indicate that you are a believer!
As the priest respects the teachings of Christ, so he must demand it from his believers. Many look at the priest incorrectly. Some underestimate him; others attribute to him what he does not have at all. A priest is first a person who, consciously and voluntarily, after preparation in a seminary, receives the priest’s power from the bishop’s hands, which he does not receive from the bishop but Jesus Christ himself. However, this thing does not deprive him of his human weaknesses and imperfections. He retains his temperament, abilities, hereditary traits, and other positive and negative traits. That is why, especially today, those who see only mistakes in the priest must remember the words of St. John Mary Vianney, who said, “Believers have the kind of priest they ask for,” which means that criticism without help, good advice, words of recognition, understanding, and prayer is little. Many people, in turn, want from the priest what he cannot. The priest is only a mediator of grace.
Lacordaire says: – A priest is a man to whom Jesus Christ has entrusted all people. –
Francois Mauriac expressed the meaning and, at the same time, the priest’s power in this way. – I don’t ask anything else from the priest to give me God.-
Giovanni Papini wrote: – The salvation of the world is in the hands of the priest! Christianity is the only medicine that can heal humanity, and the priest is the only doctor who can distribute it.-
Otília Mosshammer explains: – The profession of a priest is something entirely different from the profession of a doctor, teacher, or engineer. The science the priest is to learn is the folly of the cross. Priesthood means continuing in the work of Christ, in preaching the truth, in leading believers to eternal life, the goal, in giving grace in the sacraments. He has power like a spathe priest is the mediator between God and men. And the priest himself must be aware of this. He must not forget that it is a precious vessel in which God Himself hides.
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