The year of priests begins under the patronage of St John Vianney who was an excellent and holy priest who became known as the Curé d’Ars. He spent hours in the Confessional just being there for his people. I hope they were grateful for his willingness to offer this beautiful Sacrament.
He was a simple priest who just did what a priest was meant to do. What a great patron for our priests in this year dedicated to them. It’s a year to pray more for our priests. Do you know what, I actually think it is harder to be a priest these days. We live in a pretty nasty culture and as I certainly believe it is much harder to parent these days than it was for our parents, so being a spiritual father is so much harder.
What is a priest?
The central role of a priest is to offer sacrifice. He offers back to God some of those things he and his family-his bride and children, value most to show not only gratitude to God for all that He has given; but to remind the family that things come from God and are not the most important aspects of life. It resets the focus of the family on what is important. The priest leads the family in offering sacrifice as he is a father and a bridegroom.
Adam was the first priest. His role as bridegroom (and eventually father) was to guard the holy place (Garden/temple) and his bride, and to offer the necessary sacrifice when required. Guarding the garden wasn’t that easy it seems and the Serpent entered, getting through the hedge and making his way to the centre of the garden where the two trees stood; the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Adam and Eve were near the tree and the serpent picked on the Bride.
Adam could have spoken up for her, but it would undoubtedly have cost him; he would have to sacrifice the only thing he really had to sacrifice-his life. And he didn’t. He held on to his life and allowed his Bride to fall and even fell with her. Not a good start for the priesthood. It would take another priest to embrace the Tree of Life and offer the sacrifice of His own life on it for the Life of the Bride and her children.
Then came Cain and Abel and their priesthood-but that’s another story to be told soon….