By Kaelanne Jordan, firstname.lastname@example.org
Archbishop Jason Gordon has thanked priests of the Archdiocese of Port of Spain for the incredible sacrifices they made on a daily basis especially during “difficult times” where they were tested and sifted like wheat. He hoped that as they renewed they priestly promises, they would remember their call to priesthood and the reason they gave themselves to the vocation—as an offering of love.
“…The priest does [this] every day when he awakes, when he ministers, when he buries the dead, when he listens to confession, when he says the Mass, when he sits and counsels….” Archbishop Gordon said in his homily last Monday for the annual Chrism Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
The special liturgy also involved the blessing of sacred oils to be later distributed to delegates from parishes, religious congregations, schools and ecclesial communities for use during the liturgical year.
He urged the contingent of priests gathered to not be discouraged in what is happening in the world. He hoped that they would recognise that they have given themselves to God and even imperfect as they are, God uses them for sacred purpose and He still has a purpose for each and every one of them.
Archbishop Gordon compared priests as a “lover”, one who isn’t perfect, but possess the intention to love, in spite of their shortcomings and imperfections.
“A lover. That’s what you’ve been called to be, a lover. He’s supposed to be one who experiences this incredible love of God and brings this love to all His people.”
He mentioned that in the Passion reading from Luke, Jesus already recognised that His disciples would not be “perfect”. “He already knew that they would get it wrong, already knew that they would be tested and sifted like wheat, already knew that they would not live up to the high expectation that they have been called to….”
In this vein, the Archbishop maintained that the priestly vocation is a “precious” vocation. He reminded his brother priests that even in the moments where they rise early for Mass or have four or five Masses a weekend, do it with love, “because that’s what we’ve been called to.”