Priests: Called for the Divine Ministry
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock”. (V: 24)
“The priesthood is the love of the heart of Jesus.” Said St. John of Vianney. Priesthood is a challenge as well as a possibility. Contemporary techno-media savvy world demands a greater challenge to the vocation of the role and responsibility of the priest. The concluding remarks of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount explain the reality of trials and storms in a Christian life. To withstand against the storms of life both the priest and his folks have to follow the divine principles. Based on the parable about “building a house on a solid foundation”, let me reflect the three aspects of the ministerial challenges of a priest.
The Practitioners of Truth
Hearing the words of Jesus is an essential beginning to live a Christian life, but it is not enough. Jesus wants His words to be put into practice (v; 24). The Hebrew word for ‘Hears’ is ‘Shammer’ means both ‘to hear’ and ‘to obey’. In a turbulent world, the priest will re-affirm the Divine promise that those who hear and obey the word of GOD, will not fall and stand like a house built upon a rock.
Be Aware of the Folk Religion
Folk religion is that one makes us feel comfortable and spiritual. It keeps us in our comfort zones. It helps us avoiding pain or inconvenience in life. The inconvenience of moving outside one’s comforting zone is often disturbing but when the storms arrive it will save us from losing everything. Priesthood is always embedded with a prophetic call to do away from the comfort zone of folk religion.
Discharge the Awesome Authority
Amazement and Authority (in verse 29), these two words are the two ingredients missing in the modern church. The Greek word for ‘authority’ is ‘EXOUSIA’ means power or freedom given to Jesus. This power is what every priest should have, when he addresses the people of God. The ministry of the word by a priest must be with an undoubted authority. As Aristotle pointed out that “every speech should include ethos (reputation), logos (content) and pathos (emotion)”. That kind of ministry of the word definitely makes amazement to the people.
Thought of the Day: People of God have to encounter the challenge of the Folk religion. Priests of the modern world can empower the people to build the church on the rock of faith through their awesome ministry.
Prayer: God of love, help us to build our lives on the rock of faith so that the storms of the false religion don’t allow us to fall down. We thank you for the wonderful ministry of our priests. Bless them with your Grace and authority so that people may amaze at them. Amen.
Rev. Ansan Thomas, Vicar, Melbourne Immanuel M.T.C