This past Sunday, Divine Mercy Sunday, the priests of the Cathedral sat down for a late dinner after the end of a packed day. We all reflected on how much had taken place on that day, including:
- Regular Sunday Masses
- Reception into Full Communion of the Catholic Church of one of our RCIA candidates
- Baptism of the youngest daughter of the young woman received in #2
- Baptism / Confirmation Party for #2 and #3
- Divine Mercy Service, during which MANY confessions were heard
- More Confessions before the 5:00 pm Mass
- Family of Faith Teaching Meeting
While there was hardly a moment to take a breather in between all of these event, we all agreed how life-giving that day was because all of the events of the day were connected to our identity and mission as priests, a mission we are so privileged to share with all of you here at the Cathedral.
The Sacrament of Holy Orders (which bishops, priests, and deacons receive) falls under a category of sacraments known as Sacraments at the Service of Communion. The Catechism describes this sacrament, as well as Holy Matrimony, in this way:
Two other sacraments, Holy Orders and Matrimony, are directed towards the salvation of others; if they contribute as well to personal salvation, it is through service to others that they do so. They confer a particular mission in the Church and serve to build up the People of God. (CCC 1534)
As I said, it is our privilege to minister to all of your needs, for we know that doing so helps to strengthen your communion with God and the Church, especially in the celebration of the sacraments. We are very much aware that our ministry is at the service of your salvation, and we want you to know that we take that very seriously. And as the Catechism suggests, it is through our service to you that we ourselves will be saved. In other words, if we are serious about wanting to get to Heave, the only hope we have is to spend ourselves in the service of your salvation. I think this point was demonstrated well in a brief conversation we had with one of our parishioners at the end of that long, yet joy-filled day. This parishioner said something like: “We cannot do it without you”, to which one of the priests responded: “Nor can we do it without you!”
During this Easter Season, we are all (clergy and laity alike) invited to recognize that none of us can be saved apart from Jesus Christ, whose Resurrection makes possible our salvation. May we thank Him for His gift of salvation as we all work together to help one another on our journey toward full communion with Him forever in His Kingdom.