This is the second week in a row that my local parish priest emphasised how the Gospels of these 2 weeks and Pope Francis' inaugural wish tie together. What was that wish? That we, the members of the Church, take care of each other. We should take care of each other the way the Good Samaritan took care of the injured man on the road. We should take care of each other by showing hospitality the way Martha and her sister Mary did in this week's Gospel. He is right. We should do these things. Many times neighbors do not treat each other well. One might make life difficult instead of easier for the other. But that is not what we are called to do. In contrast I've seen another neighbor help a family just by bringing their trash to the curb when the family was with their child in the hospital battling a serious illness. That IS what we are called to do.
However, I want to take this a step further. I feel we should extend this care and hospitality to our priests. Our priests sacrifice everyday to bring us God's Word, the Eucharist, His Mercy and forgiveness, and many other things we don't "see". Several times in confession a priest will ask at the end, "And please pray for me,"
Wow. Our priests need our prayers and support. They not only face the battles, prejudices and injustices in daily life, but they face a spiritual battle. Remember, they bring us the life-saving Eucharist. They are on the front lines of the battle! They need our prayers.
Now, having heard that call from the pulpit to take care of each other, I felt a deeper call. A call to take care of our priests. How can I do that? Prayer. I plan to incorporate all priests in every prayer I utter and every prayer in my heart.
We are all called to live in Heaven with God and to become saints. If I ever reach that, God willing, I will continue to pray for our priests. They need us. And even more so, we need them