The mystery of the priesthood

Honor your ‘father’ on Priesthood Sunday
By Fr. Thomas Langer
Priests are mystery men. They come in assorted sizes, ages, weights and collars. They are found everywhere – speeding along, perspiring over, walking by, kneeling on, praying over, laughing with, preaching to, teaching about, pardoning for, and playing baseball with.
Little children run to them; teenagers marvel at them; aged folk turn to them; lay people treasure them; non-Catholics stare at them; and Mary watches over them. A priest is Prudence in a T-shirt; Fortitude with a breviary in his hand; Justice on a ball diamond; and Temperance at any party. He is Faith with a blueprint; Hope with a sense of humor; and Charity with a golf club in hand.
A priest may be anything from a contemplative monk in a monastery to a magazine editor on Wall Street, from a labor mediator to a TV personality, from a student to a professor. Formerly known as the boy-around-the-corner, he’s a member of family, yet belongs to none. He penetrates secrets, shares sorrows, heals wounds. He has the trust of a child, the kindness of a best friend, the sternness of a tightrope walker, the authority of an encyclopedia, the versatility of a commando, and the salesmanship of a Fuller Brush man.
A priest is a humble creature – a mystifying worker at all professions. His hours are the longest; his salary the smallest; his Boss the best! He likes good pastors, the smiles of children, a good sermon; a cooked meal, and the name “Father.” A priest is all things to all men in the sight of God.
He may be misquoted, mistaken, and misunderstood, but he’ll always forgive –because he’s a mediator, a peacemaker, a go-between heaven and earth. It’s no wonder God loves him. He’s a man standing at an altar, clothed in holy clothes, who, while being aware of his own nothingness, speaks to God for us and to us for God. And although his greatest act is to offer sacrifice, his most consoling one is to say to me, “Go in peace - Your sins are forgiven.”
This column was reprinted from Our Sunday Visitor.

Don’t forget your priest this Sunday
Priesthood Sunday is Oct. 29. It is a day to reflect upon and affirm the role of the priesthood in the life of the church.
Please consider sending a card to your pastor or take the time to tell them how much they’re appreciated.