Today, we celebrate the death of Our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Celebrate!! It would not be much of a celebration if we did not have Easter Sunday to look forward to, because in this death is the seed of His Resurrection, when without a doubt, sin and death had been conquered by God made man.
But, on this day, and in this year set aside to pray for and to honour our faithful priests, our alter Christi, I came across a meditation by Jesuit priest Father Karl Rahner, which a priest friend of ours, who was at one time our pastor, had on his prayer card for the day of his ordination, May 8, 1971. This particular priest is Father Jim Mockler, and here are Rahner's words:
"The priest is not an angel sent from heaven, he is a man chosen from among men, a member of the Church, a Christian.But also on this day of all days, we are reminded of many priests that we know and love, as they seek to do God's will in their daily lives, in the midst of criticism, usually unfounded, but as mere men, ordained by God to bring good news to the captives, to set them free. We lift up in prayer particularly in no particular order, but all having a place in our hearts:
Remaining man and Christian, he begins to speak to you the word of God.
This word is not his own, no, he comes to you because God has told him to proclaim God's word.
Perhaps he has not entirely understood it himself, perhaps he communicates it poorly, but he believes and despite his fears, he knows that he must communicate God's word to you .
For must not someone say something about God, about eternal life, about the majesty of grace in our sanctified being; must not someone speak of sin, of judgement and of the mercy of God?
So my dear friends, pray for him. Carry him so that he might be able to sustain others by bringing to them the mystery of God's love revealed in Christ Jesus."
Father Sam Johnston of Ridgetown, Ontario
Father Jim Mockler of St. Peter's Cathedral in London, Ontario
Father Michael Prieur of St. Peter's Seminary in London, Ontario
Father John Pert of St. George Parish in London, Ontario
Father Francis Jayaseelan, C.R. of St. George Parish in London, Ontario
Father Clement Agamba, Parochial Vicar, of St, Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Tucson, Arizona
Father Tim Moyle, of St. Anne's Parish, Mattawa Ontario
Father Dwight Longenecker, Chaplain to St Joseph’s Catholic School in Greenville, South Carolina
Father James Farfaglia, of St. Helena of the True Cross of Jesus Catholic Church in Corpus Christi, Texas
and all the other fine priests that we have known over the years, and who have influenced our journey of faith.
Though it is the year of priests, we should also remember those who have been called to minister as Deacons in the Church, and we remember particularly in our prayers:
Deacon Keith Fournier of the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia, and Catholic Online
Deacon George Sebok of Holy Family Parish in London, Ontario
Deacon Jim Donovan-Panchaud of St. George Parish in London, Ontario
Deacon Bob Hartman of St. George Parish in London, Ontario
and all the other deacons who have been bringing the good news of salvation to those they encounter.