Saturday, 02 May 2020 18:05

Priests called to be Good Shepherds in time of COVID-19

In his message to priests on May 1, 2020, Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila, reminded priests that they are called to share the sacrifice offered by Jesus in the presence of a Eucharistic celebration commemorating His life and death to the Holy Cross.

The message, with the title "How can we be Good Shepherds during the Quarantine Period?" was posted on his personal Facebook page as a reflection for Good Shepherd Sunday, the 4th Sunday of Easter.

"We have always been reminded that the priesthood is not ours. It is the priesthood of Jesus Christ. We share in his priesthood; we exercise his priesthood. Jesus is our High Priest, and his priesthood is forever, because he offered that one perfect sacrifice to God once and for all to reconcile us to God," the bishop said.

File Photo of RCAM-AOC

Since churches are closed due to the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) period and the faithful rely on live streamed masses, Bishop Pabillo appealed to his brother priests to offer their sufferings, along with their respective communities to the Lord especially in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

"We do this especially when we offer the mass. So even if there are no mass intentions, even if there are no people, even if there are no cameras, we celebrate the mass because here we exercise our priesthood by offering our pains, anxieties and difficulties, and those of our people, together with the offering of Jesus Christ," he said. 

"We exercise the priesthood not only during the mass but also when we pray. Here we unite ourselves with Jesus, the Good Shepherd. Spend time in prayer, and we have time during the lock down. We can do now an important part of our priesthood – to be intercessors for our people," he added.

The prelate also stressed the relevance of the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament during this time the crisis to supplement the pre-occupation of external pastoral activities. Moreover, becoming a Good Shepherd also entails them to help the needy in their difficulties.

"We do not lose our priesthood nor diminish it because we cannot do external pastoral activities. The pastoral work that we can do, and is very effective though hidden, is to offer the sacrifice of the mass and to pray for our people, especially in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Here we are united in a special way to Jesus, the chief shepherd and guardian of our souls," he added.

The 4th Sunday of Easter was also designated as the World Day of Prayer. The purpose of this day is to publicly fulfill the Lord's instruction to, "Pray the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into his harvest" (Mt 9:38; Lk 10). (Hazel Boquiren and Jheng Pado/RCAM-AOC)


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