Above is a picture taken in June after the first Mass of Fr. Patrick Moser. Fr. Moser spent a summer as a transition deacon at Sacred Heart Parish. It was a joy for me and my brother priest to welcome him to the priesthood and celebrate with his family.
In this continuing time of confusion, error, neglect, and abuse within in the Church it’s fair to ask: why would a man say yes to this in 2018? The answer may appear difficult to find but in reality it’s not that complicated.
Jesus made certain promises:
- That he would never leave His Church
- That he would give shepherds through whom he would watch over and feed the flock
- That he would give bread that would feed us on our journey to the Kingdom by transforming us bit by bit into his likeness
Any priest worth his salt will tell you he is not worthy of the vocation to which he has been called. That aside, he has a moral certainty that Jesus will not fail his Church and that the grace of the Sacrament of Holy Orders is more than powerful enough to make Jesus present wherever God chooses to send him.
These are excruciatingly painful times for the lay faithful and priests who strive to be faithful and sacrificial. Why do these horrible things continue to happen by men whose very job is to KNOW BETTER about good and evil?! We can try to apply a diagnosis but, in my opinion, it really comes down to men living authentically as men. There can be no more excuses. Priests accept Holy Orders and the celibacy FREELY, and though living it out is difficult, the grace of God makes it not only possible but JOYFUL!
This week Archbishop Lucas will be gathering with the bishops of the United States to discern a way ahead. He is asking for our prayers. This is a pivotal moment in the life of the Church not only in the United States but across the world. I pray that a prophet will rise up among the bishops to speak truth where all too often there has been bureaucratic double speak and empty promises. I pray that they make the decision as a group to become fathers instead of CEO’s. I’m begging the Holy Spirit to make them humble and BOLD in proclaiming the essential message of salvation instead of watering it down. I’m asking the Father to convict their hearts to be men rooted in truth, goodness, and love and that this would diffuse to all priests throughout the world.
The priesthood is beautiful and through it all, even in this dark time, I’m profoundly grateful to serve God in this way. Jesus is giving us all the opportunity to repent – turn away from our sins and receive his forgiveness. My need for this repentance puts me at the top of the list. Lord, turn our hearts to you! NOW IS THE TIME!
Why priesthood in 2018? Because God is faithful and he will never abandon his people. Jesus, bring healing to all victims. Jesus heal your Church. Jesus, heal the priesthood. Jesus, meek and humble of heart, gives us more shepherds with your heart.