The Priest and His Mother

A woman called a conservative radio program the other night, discussing various attacks on Catholic doctrine; mainly the priesthood.

Something she said jarred my memory.

Celibacy is a beautiful thing, Jesus was celibate.

I was always close to my mother.

Yet, because I chose marriage and a lovely wife, my affections for a special woman were divided and expanded.

The Catholic Priest has only his mother as the woman in his life.

Through the years I’ve always been impressed by the sincere devotion young Priests have for their mothers, often driving long distances to see them on their days off from Parish life.

These women are set apart.

Like Mary, they accepted a hard life for their sons.

Like Mary, a sword pierced their souls.

Like Mary, they weren’t always the first person on their son’s “to-do” list.

Matthew 12:46-50 is an often misunderstood passage that anti-Catholics like to use to try and bring Mary down to earthly status.

While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.”

He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

What critics too often do is point to this passage and say something like;

You see…Mary was no more important than those common folks in the crowd…she’s not special at all.

If one were looking at this from a strictly human perspective, they’d be right.

Let’s try looking at it from God’s.

Christ gave up His life in Heaven and Glory for the world.

By so doing, the atonement, through His precious shed blood, lifted the crowd up, equal to the status of His Mother; redeemed and privileged…family.

Our Priests must do the same.

In his life of celibacy and loneliness, he offers daily that same sacrifice.

His chosen vocation, which requires a life away from his loved ones, commutes Christ’s altar of forgiveness to a crowd of common sinners, lifting them up to the status of His brothers.

A Catholic Priest, like Christ, is a man of sorrows.

Pray to Christ.

Pray also for His servants.

Their mothers would approve.


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