We priests need to be honest and admit we like attention and affirmation. One of the main reasons for not preaching the prophetic Gospel of Jesus Christ in its entirety is that we do not want to be shunned and criticized by the parishioners or get in trouble with the bishop who object to Jesus’ teachings. This is because we have the human weakness of wanting to be popular and avoid being hated or disliked for speaking the Catholic truth or offering the Holy Latin Mass that many Catholics love and others hate.
The same is true when it comes to celebrating mass.
Here are 10 ways Father So and So can be popular:
1) By being funny and entertaining the people, somewhat like what happens on TV.
2) By keeping his homily short.
3) By being good looking.
4) By bringing all the children into the sanctuary where their parents love to see them in the show too.
5) By introducing all the visitors.
6) By acknowledging the choir and musicians.
7) By announcing anniversaries and birthdays.
8) By talking about sports and letting everyone out early to see the Super Bowl.
9) By never talking about sin, hell, abortion, birth control, divorce and the devil.
10) By never ever saying the boring Mass in Latin that “no one understands” with his back to the people.
So no wonder most Catholic priests and people hate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass because the only place where the personality of the priest comes out, is in the homily.
Let us be very honest and admit we like to be the center of the show. We like attention and adulation. That is our fallen human nature.
The Holy Latin Mass said Ad Orientem diminishes the personality of the priest and the people and puts all the focus on the Sacrifice of Jesus on the altar. And this is precisely why it does not sit well with priests and people who today, more than ever, want to be the center of attention.
The Holy Latin Mass is only about adoring Jesus. That is how God designed it and has been offered for hundreds and hundreds of years. It has only to do with adoration of God.
God gives us love, forgiveness, family, food, nature, help, nature, pets, time and the hope of spending eternity in unexplainable bliss forever in heaven. I ask, in all sincerity, is it too much to offer one hour of our life to adore and please God in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass? Right after Holy Mass we can again be the center of attention and do “what we like and what we want”. Is it too much to ask to at least give one hour a week to what God wants and God likes?
Priests come and go. Jesus lives on in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Popular priests come and go too. Jesus is always the second Person in the Blessed Trinity. Priest have left the priesthood thinking that they are so special. But once they have left the priesthood, they are just one more person. Yes they will always have the indelible mark on their soul. But what they incorrectly assumed was there charm, they soon find out, was no more than that of the office of the priesthood.
They were loved, respected, cooked for, invited to dinners and talked about because of their priesthood. May we who have not left the priesthood humbly remind ourselves that the glory goes to Jesus and His priesthood. We are nothing more than His instruments. If not we may be sorely reminded by some event that could take place.
There is no greater office than to be a priest. But the dignity comes from God and not ourselves. May we never forget that. Thank God for the Holy Latin Mass that put God way above the priest and the people assisting the re made present of the Holy Sacrifice of Jesus on Calvary.