Sunday, September 7, 2008

Something for priests to think about

Not to denigrate the laity, but something particularly for priests to be concerned with ocurred to me during the First Reading today at Mass:

Ezekiel 33:7-9
Thus says the LORD:
You, son of man, I have appointed watchman for the house of Israel;
when you hear me say anything, you shall warn them for me.
If I tell the wicked, “O wicked one, you shall surely die, ”
and you do not speak out to dissuade the wicked from his way,
the wicked shall die for his guilt,
but I will hold you responsible for his death.
But if you warn the wicked,
trying to turn him from his way,
and he refuses to turn from his way,
he shall die for his guilt,
but you shall save yourself.

Notice, if the prophet fails to instruct the wayward, and that wayward person stays in his/her sins, the prophet is held responsible.  HOWEVER, if the prophet instructs, but the wayward person is obstinate in his/her sins, then the prophet is no longer held responsible.

As priests, I think we all need to get back to this, the identity that my path to salvation, to heaven, necessarily involves helping others to get there first!  If, especially as a diocesan priest, I am just concerned with my own things, I will be held responsible for the waywardness of the souls in my care.

I recently heard a quote from Fr. Corapi: "I'm not going to Hell because of your ignorance!  You may desire to stay in your ignorance or obstinance, but it isn't because I haven't told you!"

Pray for your priests that they have the courage of Ezekiel, help him to have that courage by supporting him when he drops a tough homily on the crowd.


Adoro said...

Uh oh, very good point.

Um...does that duty apply also with regard to your friends? That doesn't bode well..I'd better shape up!

In all seriousness, it is a very good point, something I'll remember in my prayers.

MJ said...

You always have my prayers and support! However I think it applies to us as laity too. At least in the respect that if we see or know of someone that is struggling with their faith or on the wrong path, it is our duty to say or do something not just look the other way. We are our brothers keeper.

Anonymous said...

Have you read Bishop Walker Nickless' remarks about abortion, voting, and the common good? He says clearly that as a bishop he's responsible for the souls of all in his diocese, and MUST teach clearly & publicly on this subject. God bless him! I hope all our priests and bishops take the Ezekiel readings to heart.