I have been a priest for eighteen years this year. It is not easy but I tell people that it is the world’s best-kept secret. How a priest enters the life of people and family in their happiest moments and their most difficult moments, is beyond compare. In the words of Christ, “Anyone who has left family, land and houses will receive 100 more in this life.”
Yet, for many families, doing the will of God is not an option. For several reasons: There is no money in the priesthood, the priests have many scandals, the priesthood is very hard, and many reasons more.
In the Gospel, when Jesus was gaining popularity, his relatives were not comfortable with His mission. They thought he was better off as a carpenter.
That is why, three things about the priesthood:
- The primary source of the priesthood is the family. Typically, in the many vocation stories, the seed of vocation is planted by either the mother or the lola. There are also many vocation stories about the father being an ex-seminarian and his prayers and desires have greatly influenced his child.
- God cannot be outdone in generosity. If the parents wholeheartedly offer their son to the priesthood, God will take care of the family. There are so many stories of a son being the breadwinner before entering the seminary, and therefore the initial loss of income to the family. In all of these though, God never abandoned the family.
- A good priest is a source of blessing to the family. Let us remember that not all blessings come in material form. There are many other blessings that cannot be accounted for. Also, the family is always reminded of their spiritual life, which is most important.
In this Mass, we pray for more priests. We remember the words of St. John Bosco, “The best gift God can give a family is a priest. The best gift the family can give God is a family.”