March 13, 2007

A Good Question for the Good Lord on Good Friday

I recently told a Church group about incidents of priests receiving bigoted slurs from passersby in public. [Slurs such as the following. "Child molester!" "How many children have you molested today?"]

Members of the group have written me messages of solidarity and appreciation.

However, though receiving slurs is not desirable, it doesn't push me down.

In all the sacraments, you and I— who are sinners— have all signed on with the entirely innocent Christ who was "slurred" with the sins of all humanity.

For a priest or any Catholic to receive public slurs because of the sins of some priests is a small, Small, SMALL participation in the mission of Christ.

Furthermore, the Rite of Priestly Ordination expresses and gives the mission of the Son of God to a Catholic man, making him into a sacramental instrument of Christ the Priest, Christ the King, Christ the Prophet of the Father. Jesus said, "Much is to be demanded from those to whom much has been given." Those who have received priestly ordination in Christ ought to be held to a higher standard of responsibility. It does not matter if those holding priests responsible are Catholic or not.

Are innocent priests to pay for the sins of the guilty? Ask the Holy Son of God that question on Good Friday.

To choose to eat vegetables and meat is to choose that plants and animals should die so that you can live.

To choose to eat the Body of Christ and to drink the Blood of Christ is to choose that Christ should die innocently for your sins. By DARING to receive the Eucharist, we are the Good Friday mob, shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”

Since we are in Christ, what are we to do now?

We are to work to purify the entire Church, to deepen our individual and collective conversions. As a part of that, we are to imitate Christ who did penance (even unto death) for the sins of others.

You may not be guilty of child molestation. I am not guilty of it.

However, are we "guilty" of imitating Christ who— though he was innocent— suffered for all the guilty?

If we receive unjust treatment in the media and the courts of law, we may rightly denounce the injustice. If the injustices can be remedied, then thanks be to God.

If not, then we take up the Cross and offer it up for our sins and the sins of the whole world.


Anonymous Bob Farrell said...

According to Mt 5:11, if you're slurred because you're a priest, isn't that a blessing?

Maybe a heartfelt "thank you" would be in order. That might really throw them for a loop.

3:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, good question. I guess if your not getting "beat up" a little or a lot--your not trying, your not following Christ. Let us embrace our crosses daily and follow Him!

3:33 PM  
Anonymous Kevin said...

Fr. S, that's just nasty. I'm sorry you gentlemen have to go through all that. Be assured that for every slur you receive, you have a hundred people standing behind you.

9:49 PM  

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