April 17, 2016
An old nun who was living in a convent next to a construction site noticed the coarse language of the workers and decided to spend some time with them to correct their ways.
She decided she would take her lunch, sit with the workers and talk with them. She put her sandwich in a brown bag and walked over to the spot where the men were eating.
She walked up to the group and with a big smile said: "And do you men know Jesus Christ?" They shook their heads and looked at each other very confused.
One of the workers looked up into the steelworks and yelled out, "Anybody up there knows Jesus Christ?" One of the ironworkers yelled down: 'why'?
The worker yelled back, "Cos his wife's here with his lunch."
I began to hear the call of the Good Shepherd as I became an altar server in grade 3 through the encouragement of a nun. The nuns were my first teachers in all my elementary school years. Once a month, the parish priest had a nice meal for all altar servers on Saturday evening. Of course the nuns were the best cooks. Since we were so poor I really enjoyed the meal and wanted to become a priest because of those meals... Vocation began in a strange way, don’t you think? The way which God uses to call us is not important. The importance is how we respond to his call.
It is a bit difficult to talk about the vocations in the Catholic Church nowadays. We often hear about bad priests and bad religious people; but there are thousands and thousands who live a humble but dedicated life. What do you understand about a priest? Do priests work only one hour a day and one day a week, as many children think? Here is something about priests even though many of us do not live up to this ideal.
Everything a priest does in his ministry flows from what he becomes at his ordination: presiding at Mass, absolving sinners, anointing the sick, proclaiming and explaining the Good News with authority, giving blessings, and his whole pastoral and financial leadership of a local community of faith. But we cannot define a priest primarily by the things he does; it is what he is that matters first and foremost. The priest does what he does because he is what he is: a priest of Jesus Christ. A priest is a living sacramental sign and instrument of Jesus Christ as Head and Shepherd of his Church. He is a ‘walking sacrament’ or ‘living icon’ of Jesus as Teacher of his disciples, a High Priest of his priestly community. The priest is Christ’s ambassador, his authorized representative among his disciples. The Lord entrusts him with his own continuing ministry. He puts his trust in the one he chooses, and makes him a steward of his presence.
Pray for the priests, nuns and those who answer the call of the Good shepherd in a religious life.