Looking to the readings for the 13th Sunday tomorrow, I was very much struck by the familiar verse of the Responsorial Psalm: "You are my inheritance, O Lord".
Having been "on the road" and incomunicado for nearly two weeks, the latest scandals from Rome, involving priests and former priests, money and sodomy, hit me with full force. Such is not and cannot be the way of the prophet or the priest; we belong to Christ; our hearts are to be set on Him alone. Where are all these "double lives" coming from?
Fortunately, neither was I born with the proverbial silver spoon in my mouth nor do rich benefactors seem to find me irresistible. By the grace of God, I have been spared much, as I don't have the material means to be tempted to amass more either legally or illegally and gambling has never been an attraction. Nonetheless, who among us is spared from setting our sights on something or someone short of the Lord Himself as our portion and cup, our prize? A pittance could very well be a miser's downfall and another man's hell.
Yes, we, especially secular priests, must strengthen our resolve. Those in authority must be more vigilant in guarding access to the sheepfold, barring the way to the ignoble hireling and the thief; yes, the temple must be cleansed. But we priests must also be more honest in examining our consciences and rooting out all forms of self-indulgence; we must seek the desert experience and dependence upon Him alone. St. Jean Marie Vianney remains our benchmark.
If I might risk offending in expressing myself thus, and lay people must help rather than hinder their priests on the path to holiness. Parishioners must become more solicitous in praying, in storming heaven asking God to make their priest holy, worrying less about whether Father gets out for a good dinner from time to time.
"You are my inheritance, O Lord". Let me never forget and let my people sustain me on the path that leads to His Kingdom!
PROPERANTES ADVENTUM DIEI DEI