It is 24th January 2019. We celebrate the memorial of St Francis de Sales, Bishop and Doctor of the Church. The readings are from Hebrews 7:25-8:6; and the Gospel from Mark 3:7-12. We all look up to a priest who reminds us God and able to connect us with God. We too are suspicious about those priests who directly engaging themselves in active politics and running businesses under someone’s name. The Church is constantly interceding and looking for a priest who is a mediator between God and people; and a mentor for the people. A priest must make sacrifices for his own sins and failures and those who are entrusted to him. We all wish to see our priests holy and humane. Personal sacrifices and prayers are the keys that unlock the knots of a challenging life. Jesus remains as a model for all the priests who offered himself as a sacrifice. Every priest validly ordained and entrusted with the ministry must continue the memory of that sacrifice of Jesus. When a priest mind revolves around the worldly pleasures, he will surely find it challenged to be in the presence of God and to bring God’s people closer to God. The responsorial Psalm prays, “Here I am, Lord! I come to do your will.” (Ps.30:8,9). The Gospel presents us with the busy life of Jesus, a successful preacher. It aptly fits our theme of the Arch Diocese that Evangelisation through holiness. Holiness is in itself evangelisation. Jesus is the “the ideal High Priest” (Heb.7:26) through His sacrifice on the Cross. People are looking for a healer and a teacher and they rightly found it in Jesus because of His holiness and closeness to God. The unclean spirit recognised the power of Jesus and Jesus outrightly refuses their testimony. Priests must not be satisfied with testimonies, appreciation from those he ministers; he must strive to please God and be recognised by God alone. The testimonies of the demons cannot make someone holier than God. Jesus wanted God’s people embrace God and walk in God’s light through their faith not some shallow and peripheral display of faith that looks for miracles and healings only. Let us allow our priests to remain holy. Let us not bombard them with a false appreciation while he needs a gentle admonition on things that he is doing or failing to do. The objective to relate with God needs to come through our personal holiness that keeps God as the primary provider and protector. May the Lord continue to bless each one of us to live in holiness and allowing others to live in holiness especially our priests. May you have a good day God bless you.

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