This Mass, led by Fr. Michael Corcoran, carried with it a message that resonates deeply with the calling and responsibilities of us ordained priests and all the leaders. It is a message that not only challenges but also inspires us to examine our roles and our actions in the light of our faith.
Fr. Michael humbly acknowledged the discomfort that arises when preaching this Gospel that places priests under scrutiny. Indeed, the Gospel reminds us that priests, in this day and age, must be different from those of old. We are called to exemplify Christ’s teachings not only in our words but, crucially, in our actions. We are tasked with guiding and supporting our fellow believers, helping them unburden their troubles and find solace in the Lord.
In a world where burdens can weigh heavily on the hearts of many, priests should be beacons of hope and sources of spiritual relief. We must not, as Fr. Michael reminded us, impose burdens upon others that we ourselves are unable to bear. Our mission, entrusted to us by the Lord, is to encourage and support our fellow believers in their pursuit of goodness and salvation.
Listening, as Fr. Michael emphasized, is an essential part of our ministry. Without truly hearing the struggles and aspirations of our flock, we cannot make a meaningful difference in their lives. To be effective servants of the Lord, we must extend a helping hand, both in word and deed, to those who seek our guidance.
The tradition of addressing priests with titles like “father” or “teacher” signifies respect, but it should never overshadow the reverence we hold for God. It is a reminder of our commitment to help individuals discern the meaning of our words and actions within the framework of Jesus’ teachings. It is a commitment that has guided our work, reaching far and wide, from Nsambya to Lamu.
In closing, Fr. Michael expressed his gratitude to the countless families within the FOMH who have opened their doors to our students, many of whom have gone on to become priests, such as Fr. Placide, who is now your Spiritual Papa; who stayed with the Semanda family. Your unwavering support and encouragement are invaluable in the formation of future priests and missionaries.
Dear friends, as we reflect on the profound message conveyed during the Holy Eucharist, let us remember that our mission is not merely to occupy honorable positions but to live out the Gospel values in every aspect of our lives. May we all strive to ensure that our words match our actions, and may we continue to support one another on this sacred journey of faith.
Fr. Placide Elia MHM