A priest recently shared a poem about being ‘among the Apostles’.
In it, he imagines himself to be on the ‘sturdy boat’, and to be part of the destiny of these fishermen, which are ‘so-blessed’. He hears Christ’s invitation to ‘Come and follow me’. He imagines walking countless miles with Christ and being’ truly free’ and the moments when Christ smiled at him. He describes what he felt when he was chosen as trembling in the Spirit’s love. He describes his ordination and him now standing among the Twelve, “for I am now his priest!”
He shares his thoughts with his local faithful, about the issue of priestly celibacy to be challenged in the Pan-Amazonian synod in October:
“Clearly, the opponents of celibacy do not understand the nature of God as Three persons loving each other infinitely, nor the love of God the Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Now since the nature of God is love, we can only stand in wonder at the Person of Jesus Christ, who is God and Man, bringing the infinite Love to earth. …
Celibacy is more a fruit, than a law: if the priest truly knows Jesus of Nazareth and His mission, then he will want to be one with Him and take up that mission. Jesus Christ is enough for his heart, for he has taken into his soul those words of Jesus at the Last Supper: “I have told you this that my joy may be in you and your joy be made full.“
No wonder young John had to be by His Cross, with His mother. By the miracle of his ordination, the priest is made into Another Christ, and thereby continues on earth God the Son’s sacrificial love for God the Father, and this is what is protected by celibacy.
To allow all the sadnesses and griefs of mankind to seep into one’s being , and there to understand them by the power of Christ’s Mind working:and to turn the sadnesses and griefs to hope, and the joys of man to foretastes of heaven –and then to hand it all back to man to show him how to long for God –this is life’s pinnacle and the place where the priest stands:And when all this is done – to meet Him, whose Cross we shared so intimately.
Grant, Almighty Father unto these thy servants the high office of priesthood.”