Years ago Bishop Fulton J. Sheen wrote a book entitled, The Priest Is Not His Own.
The priest is not ordained to make money, amass possessions, receive worldly honors, live in comfort and leisure. He is called to live as alter Christus, another Christ. Our Lord gives the guidance, For the Son of Man has come not to be served, but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45).
It must be so. For, how can a priest focus on Christ, making Him known, offering the sacraments and guiding His Flock to heaven if he is focused on himself?! How can a husband or wife live a life of love and total self-gift if focused on oneself?! One cannot love if focused on oneself. One cannot be fulfilled if focused on oneself. One cannot experience true joy if focused on oneself. Pride and selfishness do not fit into the equation of love. And, yet, all of us must struggle with pride and selfishness! It is Jesus, and only Jesus, Who gives us the grace to grow in humility and love.
Our Lord speaks of Himself as the Good Shepherd Who leads His sheep – protects, nourishes and guides. Jesus has left us priests and bishops to be shepherds for His people. Again, a shepherd is one who is there for his sheep – to protect from errors that would enslave, to nourish with the Truth and the sacraments and to guide according to the teaching of Christ and His Church. A priest is only as good a shepherd as he is close to the Good Shepherd.
Every May and June priests celebrate their anniversaries to the priesthood of Jesus Christ. May 20th Fr. Bork celebrated 26 years of priesthood. Fr. Peter and Fr. Carr both celebrate 20 years of priesthood this year. Fr. Peter’s anniversary is May 24th. Fr. Carr’s anniversary is June 9th. Please remember all of us in your prayers.
I would like to thank Fr. Peter for his help as a brother priest this last year. As he will be heading back to full-time work with his religious order – Dominicans – I thank him for his fraternity, generosity and overall presence at Holy Trinity. In particular, his teaching and preaching ability have been a gift to us. Please keep him in your prayers.
God bless FRVW