Jesus’ Priestly Plan: Weekly Message for 11-06-2018

Dear Friends in Christ,

This is Vocation Awareness Week in the U.S.

In earlier generations the week might have inspired any number of young men to seriously consider the priesthood.

What about now?

In 2018, more than a few of the faithful wonder whether the priesthood is even tenable. Isn’t it time, they might think, to leave it in the past?

The answer is no.

The priesthood is Christ’s. He is the “one mediator between God and the human race” (1 Timothy 2:5) whose sacrifice on Calvary won us redemption. Because of Our Lord we have a chance at salvation.

In his wisdom Jesus invites simple men to share in his priesthood as part of his ongoing plan for the salvation of souls. Priests by their ministering of the sacraments and preaching of the Word are special conduits for the grace of God that sustains the faithful on their journey toward eternity.

That Jesus calls weak, fallible men to this task is evidence in itself that it’s not human ingenuity but rather Christ himself who fuels the priesthood.

And to paraphrase Pope St. John Paul II: if the failings of individual clergy and religious have brought the Church to its knees, that is a good position from which to pray for holy vocations.

So the idea of Vocation Awareness Week isn’t as out-of-step as some might think. Rather, it’s a week to prompt all of us to think about what we will do to help the Church move forward.

Priests for the Church are a key part of Jesus’ plan, not ours. Belief in the priesthood is belief in Christ. (For a bit of inspiration turn to our Retreat Guide “Called and Chosen.”)

And pray for vocations. Encourage the young men who show signs of interest in the priesthood. Our Lord might be waiting to do marvelous works through them.

In Christ,

Father Edward McIlmail, LC
Ask a Priest contributor

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