Sunday, June 6, 2010
NEW PRIESTS: "FATHER"
On June 5 it was my privilege to ordain to the Sacred Priesthood three wonderful men: Raymond Marquez, Bao Nguyen, and Larry Revilla.
Although we only had three candidates this year, the number of new men considering the priesthood and the number in the incoming classes are a hopeful sign for our Archdiocese.
My theme for the homily was that on their Ordination Day they receive a new title: "Father." For the rest of their lives they will be approached and addressed by that endearing new title, a title that resonates through the Hebrew Scriptures and especially in the Christian Scriptures.
Jesus so often specifically addresses his Father in heaven by name. When multiplying the loaves and fishes, he "raises his eyes to the Father." When in the Garden of Olives, he tearfully prays, "Father, if it be your will, let this cup pass me by. But not my will, but yours be done." And on the Cross he prays, "Father, forgive them." And finally, "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit."
As priests we are approached so often by people: "Father, I'm really have problems. Can I speak to you?" Or in the hospital, "Father, help us to understand this terrible illness our father is enduring."
And almost daily, "Father, can I have your blessing?"
Most precious of all, "Bless me, Father, for I have sinned."
Yes, and occasionally, "Father, can you spare any extra change?"
We priests need to live out the dignity and awesome meaning of our title, "Father." As I near retirement, I look forward to being known once again by the name I love so dearly--"Father."
May our Father in Heaven bless our three new "Fathers" with grace and blessing over their entire priestly lives!!