June 25th Pastor's Message
Read this week's message from Father Don
When I was ordained a priest on June 28, 1986 (along with Frs. Gregory Smith and Damian Cooper), we chose as our ordination motto a quotation from the Letter to the Hebrews: “Let us not lose sight of Jesus.” It is a saying I have gone back to again and again over my years of priestly ministry.
Keeping Jesus before our eyes
As the priest must strive to keep Jesus before his own eyes so he must also strive to keep Jesus before the eyes of his people.
The priest is to be a constant reminder of Jesus and his message. He is to be “Jesus in the midst of the people.” He is to speak the words of Jesus, to offer the compassionate healing of Jesus, and to model the self-giving of Jesus. This is a humbling task for every priest is aware of his own weakness.
Jesus invites his people to follow him and this is also the role of the priest, to call people to move forward in their spiritual journey, to lead the people where Jesus wishes to take them. We are to stay with Jesus and not fall behind, not lose sight of our Divine Leader who goes ahead. Increasingly this is the role of a parish priest, to challenge his people to keep moving, to keep growing, to stay close to Jesus.
Over my years of priestly ministry, I have worked hard but grown slowly in my ability to effectively lead people to Jesus. Fortunately, at this point in my life, I feel more confident in my leading. I am less afraid of it and more inspired to tackle it seriously. Please pray for me that I might effectively lead you in your following of Jesus and that we might move forward together, our eyes fixed on the One who has called us to Himself.
And please join me in thanking God for the 37 years he has allowed me to serve him.