Seventy priests – Trappist, Dominican, Passionist and Diocesan, renewed their commitment to service during the Chrism Mass presided over by Bishop Dinualdo D. Gutierrez on 19 April 2011 at Christ the King Cathedral.
The Cathedral “overflowed” with parish delegates to lend support to the priests.
Outline of Bishop’s homily.
Priests serve as prophets, priests and pastors.
a) Prophet. God sent Jeremiah “to tear up and to knock down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant” (Jer. 1:10).
Uproot corruption, principal cause of poverty and environmental destruction.
Knock down the Mining Act of 1995 and HB 4244. Both are anti-life, violate human rights and environmental justice.
Plant the Good News. “I did the planting, Apollos did the watering, but God made them grow” (1 Cor. 3:6).
Like the Apostles priests continue the building of God’s Kingdom (cf. Lk. 9:32).
This Kingdom of God “means righteousness and peace and joy brought by the Holy Spirit”. (Rom.14: 16-18).
Priests also build a “just and charitable social order” (Benedict XVI address to Bishops of thePhilippines, 29 November 2010).
Priests administer the sacraments, specially Eucharist and Penance.
“The Eucharist is the efficacious sign and sublime cause of that communion in the divine life and that unity of the People of God by which the Church is kept in being” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1325).
Eucharist and Penance are closely connected. John Paul II writes: If a Christian conscience is burdened by serious sin, then the path of penance through the sacrament of reconciliation becomes necessary for full participation in the Eucharistic sacrifice” (Ecclesia de Eucharistia, n. 37).
Both are needed to build a just and charitable social order.
c) Pastor or Shepherd.
Shepherding is an essential service. Benedict XVI declared: “foremost role is to be a shepherd to his flock” (May 26, 2010). QuotingSt. Augustine, Pope continued: “it is a labor of love to graze the flocks of the Lord”.
The Good Shepherd lays down his life for his sheep; knows his sheep and his sheep know him; protects his sheep from thieves and wolves; pastures them. (cf. Jh. 10: 1-18).
Priests nurture their flock with the Word of God and the sacraments. Defend the rights of people to: life, dignified life, a healthy ecology.