Today we mark the day of the institution of the Holy Priesthood by Jesus Christ i.e. the birthday of the Catholic Priesthood. Whether in public or in private, we renewed our priestly promises and resolved, as contained in the ritual:
· To unite ourselves more closely to Christ and become more like him;
· To give up the pursuit of pleasure and profit;
· To faithful minsters who celebrate the Holy Eucharist and other liturgical services with sincere devotion.
Let us constantly keep this in view throughout the year and note that;
To unite ourselves to Christ and become like him, involves sharing in his passion. Our ministry is a challenging one, and a priest is not exonerated from suffering. Hence the need to turn to Christ, especially, in these days to plead that he brings an end to the corona virus pandemic; grants solace and healing to those experiencing agony, anguish, grief and misery as a result of the pandemic and other challenges of life; and assures those who feel currently abandoned by the Church that he is Emmanuel (God with us) and, therefore, still with each person wherever, and in whatever situation he/she is.
Our world is characterized by the relentless crave for pleasure and profit. Here too a priest may fall prey to it. Let us, therefore, continue to pray that God will assist us to overcome this and other temptations in the daily exercise of our ministry.
Furthermore, the world has become obsessed with drama and acrobatics. A priest may also like to be on the spotlight. Let us pray for the courage to avoid turning a liturgical celebration into a theater, and the grace to celebrate the Holy Eucharist and other liturgical services devoutly and reverently as priests of the Latin Rite.
Rev. Terwase Henry Akaabiam