“The Lord anointed us in Christ with the oil of gladness, and this anointing invites us to accept and appreciate this great gift: the gladness, the joy of being a priest.”
At the Chrism Mass in Saint Peter’s, Pope Francis spoke about “priestly joy,” a joy, he said, “which anoints us,” an “imperishable joy,” a “missionary joy.” The joy which anoints priests, the Pope said, “has penetrated deep within our hearts, it has shaped them, and strengthened them sacramentally.” It is a joy that can never be taken away; although it “can lie dormant, or be clogged by sin or by life’s troubles … deep down it remains intact, like the embers of a burnt log beneath the ashes, and it can always be renewed.”
Pope Francis focused especially on the third feature of priestly joy: “Priestly joy is deeply bound up with God’s holy and faithful people, for it is an eminently missionary joy.” This joy, he said, “arises only when the shepherd is in the midst of his flock.” There, his joy is “guarded” by the faithful, by “God’s faithful people” who are able to protect and embrace their priests, to help them open their hearts “to find renewed joy.” Priestly joy, the Holy Father continued, is guarded, not only by the flock, but “by three sisters who surround it, tend it, and defend it: sister poverty, sister fidelity, and sister obedience.” Explaining these three “sisters,” the Pope said that because the priest is poor “in terms of purely human joy,” he must seek his joy “from the Lord and from God’s faithful people.” The priest must go out of himself, seeking God and the people of God. “Going out of ourselves,” he said, “presupposes self-denial; it means poverty.” …(article continued at news.va)
Let us pray, particularly this day, the day of the Lord’s Last supper, for all those priests that are in our lives; all those priests who have been a blessing and especially for all those priests who are struggling with loneliness, disease, depression or great moral strife. Without priests we do not have the Sacraments. May God bless each priest in his call and mission to serve our holy mother Church.
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