Wednesday, June 20, 2012

"What Lay People Are Looking For From Their Priests," Part II

A continuation of my recent address to the priests of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati ...



2.     We need you to be dynamic about the faith and the Sacraments.

This point is similar to the first but deals more specifically with the 7 Sacraments of the Church, for which you have such a privileged role with each. 

What a treasure you have been given to baptize children, offer the Mass, stand in the Person of Christ to forgive sins, confirm young adults in the faith, witness the vows of couples who enter the Sacrament of marriage, anoint those who are ill or facing surgery.  And all of this is possible because of your own baptism, your own First Communion and moments of Reconciliation, and the laying on of hands by the bishop to ordain you a priest.

Our Sacramental life is a beautiful reality, and one which we should celebrate.

It seems a great irony that the parishes that offer Confession multiple times per week have long lines of penitents waiting to receive the Sacrament, while the parishes that limit Reconciliation to half an hour before Saturday vigil Mass are the ones with an empty confessional. 

Why is that?  We show the importance of the Sacrament of Reconciliation when we give it time, prominence and frequent mention.  When the laity know the gift they have been given, they are more likely to want to receive it.

This is simply one example.  But if you are dynamically passionate about the gift of the Sacraments, the laity will grow to understand what a gift has been entrusted to them.

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