cently I watched a Saskatchewan Arts Showcase where an entertainer was introducing a fellow performer to the audience. "He tries to keep me humble," he said. "He tells me, 'You don't suck.'" What consoling words to hear! But thank you readers for not telling me that.
In last week's article "Through the eyes of a grandfather" I introduced a theme I would like to elaborate on. I said, "Through Baptism we all partake of the priesthood of Jesus Christ." Ours is the role to minister to others and proclaim the Good News.
I indicated that my grandfather had not heard about Vatican II and the challenge given to lay people to participate more seriously in the priesthood of Christ.
I would like to quote a challenging instruction Father Rudolph Novesosky used in one of his homilies about priesthood. Part of his discussion covered the theme of priests being overworked and suffering "burnout". Some priests are alcoholics; some are impatient. All of them are human.
Number 1. Priests are human and make mistakes. We cannot expect them to be perfect.
Number 2. Most priests are overburdened today. As you are discovering, more and more responsibilities are being given to you, the laity. If you do not do them, they will not get done.
Number 3. Religious leaders need your support and understanding. We are in this work as partners. I, for one, have appreciated the advice and criticism given to me. It has helped me grow.
I would like to thank you for the support and respect you have given me. It is quite an awesome responsibility to be chosen to speak for God. When I think of the work I do as a priest, I am humbled When I give a homily, I always hope and pray God's word will come through.
I wonder why God chose me. I hope I won't screw up. So I ask you to keep praying for me and for all religious leaders. God has given me certain gifts and talents. I am responsible for them. I appreciate them and am thankful. Thanks also to all of you for your support and friendship. It makes my work enjoyable.
You and I are chosen by God for a certain role in this world. We have talents and gifts to develop and use. We pray for each other and assist each other in carrying out that ministry that is specifically ours. No one else can do what is ours alone to do.
Whether you are a worker, a homemaker, married or single, young or old; no one else walks in your shoes and can do what is in your hands alone to do. When we work with the Holy Spirit in our lives we don't suck at what we do.
As Mother Teresa said, "What I do you cannot do; but what you do, I cannot do. The needs are great, and none of us, including me, ever do great things. But we all do small things with great love, and together we can do something wonderful."