AS I attended the First Mass of a newly ordained priest, his words during his homily impressed me. He said:
“New vestments, new chalice, newly ordained priest. These are all things that will fade away, and yet what we are reminded by the Solemnity of the Ascension of Our Lord is that while most things fade away, the one thing that remains constant is God’s invitation to join Him in heaven where nothing fades and can be fully alive and truly one with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Jesus shows us how the Spirit continues to guide us, and we can be united with God in heaven. But before we do so, our mission is to go and to teach all the nations, with the assurance that God is with us always, until the end of the world.”
The new priest connected well with the innermost longing of those attending his First Mass, which is to be with God in heaven. And he had chosen a vocation to help people realize this longing. Indeed, in the priesthood, he will show people the way to heaven, “where nothing fades away.”
Filled with joy, energy, passion, and idealism, this young priest prepared himself well to accomplish this mission. Empowered by the Holy Spirit through the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders, he would assure himself that God is with him in this challenging work.
He was a fresh face among priests, yet his “freshness” inspired us priests who had been in service for many years. It reminded us of our precious gift of priesthood and why we followed this life path.
On this Pentecost Sunday, we pray for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on all of us. We pray that we may remind people to aim for eternal treasures and God’s intimate desire for us to be with him in heaven, our true home.
We pray that many more young people may follow the “road less traveled” of the priesthood. May they be inspired to help people set their minds on things above and not merely on things of the world. May many more young people sacrifice their lives to serve God and His people!
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The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Asian Journal, its management, editorial board and staff.
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Fr. Rodel “Odey” Balagtas is the pastor of Incarnation Church in Glendale, California.