Humbly submit your will to God (Thy Will be done) and consecrate yourself to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through Mary and Joseph.
“I am the good shepherd.
A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
A hired man, who is not a shepherd
and whose sheep are not his own,
sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away,
and the wolf catches and scatters them.
This is because he works for pay and has no concern for the sheep.
I am the good shepherd,
and I know mine and mine know me,
just as the Father knows me and I know the Father;
and I will lay down my life for the sheep.
I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold.
These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice,
and there will be one flock, one shepherd.
This is why the Father loves me,
because I lay down my life in order to take it up again.
No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own.
I have power to lay it down, and power to take it up again.
This command I have received from my Father.” JN 10:11-18
Happy Good Shepherd Sunday! Thank your priests today for all they do physically and spiritually for you and your parish. Our souls would be dead without them.
Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep. I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I will lay down my life for the sheep.” Jn 10:11-18
A priest is called and accepts his call from God. He then lays prostrate before the bishop at ordination on the altar to lay down his life for the flock of the diocese he will serve. The bishop and all priests of the diocese will lay their hands on the head of the transitional deacon/soon to be priest passing on the authority Jesus gave the Apostles. He wears black to signify that He has given up His life, died, for Christ so that He may lead and shepherd His flock, the Church.
Sometimes we criticize a priest because of their homilies, personality, what they do or don’t do, whether they are approachable, a good finance person, good with the kids, etc. None of these things, although they are important, even come close to the importance of the spiritual things a priest gives us. Our souls would be dead. We would not have the grace of God to sustain us. They are the instrument God chose when Jesus instituted the priesthood at the Last Supper. Their hearts have been changed.
The priest is “in persona Christi” in the person of Christ during Mass and in the confessional. Jesus says the words of consecration through the priest. We would not be able to receive Jesus without our priests. We would not have our sins reconciled with God. We would not be able to receive our last rites before we die. Babies that don’t make it after birth would not receive Baptism, anointing of the sick, or last rites. Young people would not be able to receive Confirmation. We would not have someone trained to cast out demons. Religious brothers and sisters would have no one to bring Jesus to them. Hospitals would not have priests to do Mass, anoint the sick, or do emergency baptisms. We would have no pope to lead and guide the Church. No bishops to run our diocese.
Most importantly, we would not have a model of Christ in black who has been chosen to lead the flock. We are talking about salvation issues here. Yet, many times we focus on the human shortcomings or the good attributes of a priest’s physical abilities. They have laid down their life for their sheep. Pray for them and all of our seminarians. Invite them over to eat and spend time with your kids. They are truly a gift from God. They give all! They give all for you and me!
If you feel a little tug to be a priest, I ask you what nobler vocation is there. You get to save souls on a daily basis. Don’t think it will adventurous enough, a priest can see in one day what other people never see in a lifetime. God performs miracles through you everyday. It is worth going to seminary to discern!
Thank you God for giving us our priests to sustain our souls! Amen.
Be a servant, become a saint!
Prayer for Priests
By St. John Vianney
God, please give to your Church today
many more priests after your own heart.
May they be worthy representatives of Christ the Good Shepherd.
May they wholeheartedly devote themselves to prayer and penance;
be examples of humility and poverty;
shining models of holiness;
tireless and powerful preachers of the Word of God;
zealous dispensers of your grace in the sacraments.
May their loving devotion to your Son Jesus in the Eucharist
and to Mary his Mother
be the twin fountains of fruitfulness for their ministry.
Prayer for Vocations from EWTN website
O Holy Spirit, Spirit of wisdom and divine love, impart Your knowledge, understanding, and counsel to youth that they may know the vocation wherein they can best serve God. Give them courage and strength to follow God’s holy will. Guide their uncertain steps, strengthen their resolutions, shield their chastity, fashion their minds, conquer their hearts, and lead them to the vineyards where they will labor in God’s holy service.
GOD our FATHER,
WHO wills that all men be saved
And come to the knowledge of YOUR Truth:
We beg you to send
Laborers into YOUR harvest,
And grant them grace to speak YOUR Word
With all boldness; so that YOUR Word
May spread and be glorified,
And all nations may know YOU,
The only GOD, and HIM WHOM YOU have sent,
JESUS CHRIST YOUR SON, Our LORD. Amen.
Our Lady, Queen of the Americas,
And Mary, Mother of the
Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word,
Pray for us.