The vocation of priesthood is one of the hardest and the most misunderstood vocation. Its hard because unlike any other work that you have to come to office from 8 am to 5 pm or 8 hours a day, unless overtime calls for it, the vocation of priesthood is 24/7. And unlike any other work which you just need to accomplish maybe a lot of paperwork’s or have to take care of something, in priesthood you don’t only take care of administrative matters but you need to take care of souls. Souls that you need to tend so that they may find their way back home. Once lost it is forever lost. A priest is accountable for thousands of souls.
And unlike any other employee who waits for a paycheck very month a priest has none to wait. He is sustained purely on the mercy of the good Lord. While for many employee there is what they call “thank God its Friday”, for a priest Friday does not mean a weekend rest but a weekend loaded with ministry work.
We see priests wearing that sweet smile every time we see him, as he greets us during the procession as the mass commences, but have you ever asked, what then after the mass is over? When all the church goers have gone home, the priest is left all alone in the convent or in his room, with only the Lord left to console his lonely soul. I could hardly imagine the life in solitude of those who were assigned in remote parishes. On the other hand, when a priest indulges in simple merry making we would call him immoral or is degrading his pastoral life. Well we should not forget that priesthood does not stripped out his social being. He needs to relax also, of course within the limits.
The thousands of good priest are forever bound by the stigma brought by some lost priest. Their great works and sacrifices are forever hidden by the mistake of some. In today’s world were morality is a matter of relativity, the priests are seen as enemies, as tormentors and as social deviants. They are often seen as antagonists. To many, the priests are but a distant creatures. But I tell you, you will understand more their importance first when you have your kids to guide on your own and second when you lay there in your death bed.
We a quick to criticize our priests. Sad that even we Catholics criticize them, but let us ask our selves, what have we done for them. Did we ever ask our self if our parish priest is doing ok, have we ever thought of his welfare? Did we ever offer a prayer for him, a prayer that is truly from our hearts?
While our priest is tending on our physical and spiritual needs; Let us not forget, that he needs our prayer. His sustenance depends on our prayers.
Let us love our priests for their service to us is beyond this mortal world. He is our best companion in times of trial. Let us not revive what the old people have done to the prophets of the Old Testament, otherwise, the Lord may once again utter, “I have sent you prophets to instruct you but what have you done to them, you have persecuted them.”