Thursday, April 19, 2007

"He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you." (John 20:21)

How meaningful are these words and how great mission. So great that St John Chrysostom once said Our Blessed Lord in this way elevated the minds of His disciples and granted them power through the Father and His own mission. And remarkably, before He sent the Apostles to evangelize the world He demonstrated the glorious wounds on His hands and side as if to instruct them: "Do what I did out of obedience, even to the death". The Master call was followed by thousands of priests, who tirelessly served the Lord for the salvation of souls, and many of them became martyrs! During Ordination ceremony, Jesus, Son of the Eternal God, says to every priest: "I send you". Therefore, ordained Catholic priest can honestly face the faithful and like Moses solemnly declare: "HE WHO IS, hath sent me to you." (Exodus 3:14). Let us meditate on the power Our Blessed Lord gives to the priest. He gives him the highest possible power: "As the Father hath sent me, I also send you" (John 20:21). It is the whole divine authority of the Eternal Father in these words. There is nothing more powerful. When we think about it we can only feel respect for Catholic priest. For there is Christ and God the Father who support him. Let us restrain from noticing some ordinary human weaknesses in priests, but instead let us focus the eye of faith on Christ the Lord in them. We should not tolerate slanders or detractions so often used against Catholic priesthood, and we can be sure that the Lord will recompense our good efforts to defend them: "With all thy soul fear the Lord, and reverence his priests. With all thy strength love him that made thee: and forsake not his ministers. Honour God with all thy soul, and give honour to the priests, and purify thyself with thy arms" (Ecclesiasticus 7:31-33)