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Fourth Sunday of Easter

Today marks the beginning of the ‘Week of Prayer for Priestly and Religious Vocations’ and for the intention of priests. Each of us should note at this time that concern for a good priest is an expression of concern for our own faith. For a believer who cares about religious life, it cannot be a matter  of indifference which priest they meet on the roads of their lives. Any priest will wisely absolve and will celebrate a Mass. However, something very important in a person’s life is an encounter with   a good, wise, and pious priest. It seems, however, that we do not have much choice, that we meet priests as they happen to be sent to us.  It is important to realise that every priest is an instrument in the hands of God. It is He who sends him to the people. By praying for the intentions of priests, we can ask for better and more fruitful meetings.  When we prepare for confession, after an examination of conscience, after the act of contrition and the purpose of amendment, it is important to ask God for enlightenment for that priest who will give us absolution.

Before Mass, it is necessary to ask God that the time spent together listening to the word of God preached as part of the homily will be  best used.                                                        We remember with gratitude the priests we have met on the paths of our lives. We remember the priest who brought us into the community of believers by administering Holy Baptism, but whose name is unknown to us. We remember the priest who prepared us for the sacrament of the Eucharist, who blessed our marriage. We recall those priests who united us  to God in the sacrament of reconciliation and penance, those who gathered us around the altar  of Jesus Christ during the Holy Sacrifice.                                                      We are aware that there were many of them and they were different people – some very good, saintly, average, and those who, by their actions did not build up, but even shocked – each of them needs our prayers. For those who have gone to the Lord, it will help them to achieve salvation. Today there is a lot of talk about priests. In certain circles, there are more bad opinions heard than good ones.

If mistakes are made, they cannot be defended and covered up. It is about the truth. But it should also be noted that some, through such imprudent preaching, deliberately try to destroy trust in the priest. The world does not choose means – even resorting to lies or slander – just to destroy trust   in the priest. We know how accusation can destroy                    a person’s life. The sheep will scatter when   the shepherd is missing.   Let us also pray for numerous and holy vocations    to the priesthood. Let there be no lack of shepherds concerned about the sheepfold entrusted to them by God.