Laudetur Jesus Christus! Gelobt sei Jesus Christus!
Sia lodato Gesù Cristo! Praised be Jesus Christ!
Today we celebrate the First Solemn Mass of Fr. Henry. Please be sure to always pray for him as he prepares to begin his formal priestly ministry in a few weeks! His brother, Deacon Edward Hoffmann, will be ordained in about a month, so be sure to keep him and all those who will be ordained on May 15 in your prayers!
Today on the Traditional Calendar is Good Shepherd Sunday. Good Shepherd Sunday is next Sunday on the Ordinary Form Calendar. With the recent ordinations, first Masses, and another upcoming ordination and First Mass, this is a suitable Sunday to consider the importance of vocations to the priesthood.
St. Pio (Padre Pio) said that it would be easier for the world to exist without the sun than without the Holy Eucharist. We know that there is an obvious link between the Holy Eucharist and the priesthood. Without the Holy Eucharist and the Holy Sacrifice, there would be no need for the priesthood. Without the priesthood, there would be no sacrifice and no Holy Eucharist.
St. John Vianney taught that if a priest and an angel were passing, he would first acknowledge the priest and only after the angel. Thus showing the great dignity that the Lord has entrusted to the priesthood.
It is unfortunately very true that priests and bishops have failed terribly throughout history and in particular today. They were not living up to the dignity that had been given to them. They became wolves rather than shepherds. Many have been scandalized, their faith destroyed and led astray by these examples. For them, we must pray and offer penance. They are still priests, just as we are still baptized, even though they mar that image within them.
However, the failings of some priests (even Judas himself) can never detract from the dignity of the priesthood because it belongs to Jesus Christ. He allows others to share in it, but it remains perfect because of Him. Thus, even the most sinful priest still confects the Sacraments because Christ works through Him.
Every priest is human, has their owns sins and flaws. However, this shows God’s great power to work with such created beings and still accomplish His will. Pray for priests, especially for the priest who baptized you, has heard your confessions, given you Communion, and confirmed you.
For all young men not otherwise married, you should consider a vocation to the priesthood. Yes, the life can be difficult and requires sacrifice. But that is done as a sacrifice for the Kingdom of God and is given to us as a gift from God to accomplish the mission entrusted.
We all must do our part to promote vocations. Being careful in how we speak of priests, ensuring our children know the stories of our saintly priests, and that we encourage our children to at least consider this sublime vocation—always praying that the Lord give us shepherds after His own heart!