Reflections on the Priesthood (4)
How does Jesus feel about His priests? How can we make a comparison in human terms that will do justice to the feelings of the Savior for these men?
Imagine first how the Father felt toward Jesus. Jesus was His beloved one, of one and the same divinity, perfectly committed to the will and goals of the Father despite terrific hardship. At total personal cost, Jesus pursued the Father's goals.
The Father's goals often did not make sense to those who worked with Jesus. The world viewed Jesus as foolish at times. The world persecuted Christ. Christ persevered despite everything. Nothing the world threw at Christ diverted Him from the path the Father had chosen for Him.
Imagine how the Father viewed His Son.
The Father views each priest in the same way. They are part of Him as Jesus is part of Him. Each priest will rest with the Father in His heart. Not near His heart, but in His heart because truly when a priest pursues ordination, he is pursuing oneness with God.
Jesus Christ shares a brotherhood with each priest. He stands with the priest, in union with God and through the Holy Spirit. When the priest speaks for God, God sends the grace to accompany the words. The fact that the recipient of the priest's speech and counsel may not be open to the Holy Spirit present in his words in a given moment or in an immediate moment in no way diminishes the divine at work.
In other words, the priest cannot take a lack of receptivity on the part of those to whom he speaks as evidence that he, the priest, is either ineffective or lacking the presence of Christ in his vocation.
This is important, particularly during this time when so many do not serve. I see that some priests are discouraged and do not proceed with an awareness of their value to each of us, a value which has eternal consequences. The fact that people do not recognize the truth is no reason to stop speaking the truth because someday, with God's grace and when they are ready, these people will think back to the words of the priest and they will recognize these words as truth.
One who sows seeds must be content to leave the seeds to germinate at the correct time. It is for the farmer to reap the harvest and Jesus Christ Himself will collect the harvest at the appropriate time for each soul.
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"In Cordibus Jesu et Mariae"