Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Have You Hugged A Priest Today?

This year 2009-2010 is the year of Priests, Cardinal Claudio Hummes said that: “Each and every one of the world's 408,000 priests should feel loved, respected, valued and supported in his vocation to bring the Gospel to an increasingly secular -- but still open – world,” CNS. So many priests in our society have been blamed for crimes that they have never committed. We as lay people are obliged to help the pastor care for the church. This can be compared to doing chores at home. The house belongs to everyone, everyone is cared for there. The church is the people and the building is where the people are feed by God. It is not just the pastor’s responsibility to care for everything. Cardinal Hummes said “that showing support for priests includes sharing responsibility with them for parish life and for mission. Sometimes laypeople help their priests, but think that if things don't go well, it's the priest's responsibility -- it's his church. But, no, the church is all of ours.” A parishioner taking responsibility for a ministry: Religious education, Youth Ministry, RCIA, Altar Society, or even Nursery is a good way to give the church family support and take an active role in the parish community. Also taking an interest in the financial stability of your parish, it is not just the pastor’s job to balance the books, it is the people’s obligation to tithe and provide the means to support themselves, because they are the church. This year is a great opportunity for Catholics everywhere to take a step back and appreciate all the sacrifices that priests make in order to care for their souls. God has given priests the task of caring for the spiritual life of the faith community, but He never said that they are to do it alone. Rather Jesus called us all “The mystical body of Christ,” so helping each other should come naturally. Furthermore if we want to fully realize ourselves as members of the Church we must truly love one another as Jesus taught us and this year gives us the chance to do this in our own community. Answer Cardinal Hummes’ request, love the priests in your life as Christ told us to.

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