The role of the Laity in the Mission of the Church
Priests are servants of God tasked with the responsibility of guiding the flock. We cannot separate the life of a priest from leadership. The two have to go hand in hand. No life; no leadership!
Separating their lives and responsibilities is like talking about the Holy Spirit without pointing out sin! The same temple (our souls) that ought to house the Holy Spirit sometimes harbors sin instead!
I know you are not here to find out how to help someone else.
But did you know that the answer to your problem may lie underneath a simple sacrifice towards another person?
Burdening yourself with someone else’s load stores up treasures for you. It’s just a matter of time and you will be able to harvest the rewards. Look at this verse!
Jeremiah 29:7 – Work for the good of cities where I have made you prisoners. Pray to me on their behalf because if they are prosperous, you will be prosperous too.
In line with the life of a priest, even the one you would be tempted to talk about the most can become a better person through your prayers.
The Life of a Priest in Society
The general perception is that priests are exempted from sin; which is not the case! They live in the same world; use the same vehicles; visit the same malls and interact with fellow human beings at different levels of their duties!
They are not in some world of their own presumably between earth and heaven!
As Satan hovers around, priests are bound to experience the same challenges as the rest of us! The devil tries his tricks on them too only that their spiritual maturity helps guard them more than most of us!
I’m not trying to justify any mistake made by church leaders. But when we make a fuss out of our own understanding of any issue at hand, we are the losers. My point is; let us not hype too much when we hear a priest has stumbled. As Catholics, we have a job towards the stability of our leaders.
If you occasionally trip, what makes you think the religious leaders are saints?
Remember slipping doesn’t only mean physically engaging in an inappropriate activity; it could just be a spoken word! I have never understood why a Catholic would opt to taint the life of a priest because of a mistake! You will agree with me that it is a common phenomenon.
The Truth about Priests
They understand God more than we think. While we are busy spreading a rumor about a priest, God heartily accepted his repentance. The priest may be so gifted to the extent that none of his mistakes goes unnoticed. He confesses as soon as he commits the offense!
Do you know what that does to him?
It keeps the Holy Spirit and the priest bumper to bumper. His spiritual life is under lock and key. He seals any loopholes before the devil discovers them.
Isn’t he smart!
It’s unfortunate that we may not realize how such defamatory statements affect our lives. The more we malign the priests, the sweeter it becomes, and the wider the gap between God and us.
Is it not a sin to defame their character irrespective of whether they are right or wrong?
Imagine what we do to that person who is struggling to grow his faith and admires that particular priest as his mentor! We break him into pieces and push him away from the church.
Would we then sit back and expect God to happily answer our prayers?
That is food for thought!
Bible References Concerning our Relationship with Priests
We may unknowingly suffer the consequences of mistakes we could have easily avoided. Here are some Bible references concerning our nose poking into the life of a priest.
Sometimes I like to call the Bible a power bank because it answers purely every question concerning the life of a priest in relation to the laity.
Numbers 12:9-16: Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses. A dreaded skin disease immediately sprouted on Miriam’s body. Aaron began to plead with Moses on her behalf but she had to face the wrath.
Numbers 12:7-8 sends chills to my body. It says; It is different when I speak with my servant Moses; I have put him in charge of all my people Israel. So I speak to him face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he has even seen my form! How dare you speak against my servant Moses?
Numbers 21:5-9: When Israelites spoke against God and Moses, the Lord sent poisonous snakes. Many Israelites died out of the snake bites. Moses pleaded for the Israelites and God came to their rescue. Do you notice it is the same Moses they spoke ill about interceding for them!
2 Kings 2:23-24: Two she-bears tore forty-two of the boys who mocked Elisha to pieces. Elisha was a prophet through whom God performed one of the greatest miracles of the time. He made impure water pure and since then, there were no more calamities associated with that water. (2 Kings 20-22).
1 Chronicles 16:22 – Don’t harm my chosen servants; do not touch my prophets. This is basically a warning repeated two times in the Bible with exactly the same words as you can see below.
Psalms 105:15: Don’t harm my chosen servants; do not touch my prophets.
David, on the other hand, said; “the Lord forbid that I should try to harm the one whom the Lord has made a king!” (1 Samuel 26:11). He was referring to Saul.
I suppose we should be as careful as David. What we say about our priests should never destroy any single soul including our own. David’s obedience to God is one to reckon considering he was one of God’s favorites.
The Unseen reality in the life of a priest
It’s hard to be a leader because we often expect too much from leaders. We queue at their offices with our baggage seeking solutions to our problems. Protocol demands that they give service irrespective of whether something may be amiss or not.
You and I can share our challenges unlike them! The same concept of a parent and child applies. No matter what we may be experiencing, we have to be strong for our kids.
The life of a priest also demands strength and courage irrespective of the tears behind the scenes. They need our support.
Facts about Priests
The more we expand our network, the more enemies we make.
A priest is a public figure with a large network. He may know a few people but the fact that he is known to many certainly exposes him to the evil one. Wickedness tries to infringe on the life of a priest and only gives up if it finds a barrier.
How lovely would it be to know our prayers are included in that barrier? Not forgetting that we also get a piece of the cake!
Furthermore, priests are human and they are therefore vulnerable to temptations. As we cry out to God for our sick, let’s keep in mind that spiritual disability is the worst of illnesses.
It goes without saying that if a leader is spiritually sick; his followers are likely to become victims too.
What would the world be like with crippled church leadership?
On a serious note, priests need our prayers.
I have saturated your mind with tons of verses that condemn the defamation of priests. Whether it is new to you or it’s a reminder, too much inspiration without correction is like trying to fill a broken bucket with water.
It calls for devotion to religious life on our part to be able to understand how exactly we should handle priests.
The life of a priest is too delicate without our prayers.