We have celebrated the year of Priests so gracefully and prayed for all the Priests. We may have heard many talks, read many articles, and perhaps, attended seminars or discussions during the year dedicated for priests. Though the word ‘Priest’ became a scandal and a laughing stock for many, yet the grace of God flowed into the Church, as always, through the instrumentality of priests. There has been an increase in the number of vocations to the Priesthood in many parts of the world.
Pope Benedict XVI while inaugurating the year of the Priest said, “This year is meant to deepen the commitment of all Priests to interior renewal for the sake of a stronger and more incisive witness to the Gospel in today’s world.” If a survey is conducted to check whether this year brought about an interior renewal in priests, the answer would be an emphatic ‘yes’. This affirmation is the result of the unceasing prayers offered by simple lay faithful throughout the year for the precious gift of priests to themselves. The priests were prayed for during the Holy Eucharists, during the recitation of the rosaries, during the adorations, and in many other ways.
Fr. Denis G. Pereira mentions in his article in The Examiner that a Priest is called to change his approach in today’s fast-faced world. He adds that the Priest of today can be visualized as A Farmer of hearts – making the human hearts aware of the seeds of inner holiness and divine destiny implanted in each person; A Prophet of beauty – by teaching others; A Healer of Fears – by preaching forgiveness of sins; A Midwife of Mystery – by assisting people to discover themselves as God’s poem of love; A Voice of the Silent – by speaking on behalf of the oppressed; and, A Sign of Compassion – by reaching to the brokenness of people and drawing them to God.
Let us earnestly continue to pray for our priests that they may strive to imitate the High Priest, Jesus himself; may they become Christ-like in their thoughts, words and actions; and, may they radiate and glorify the image of Priesthood in today’s world.
Rev. Br. Vijay Crasta
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