Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Vows Renewed

The standard practice in my diocese (and likely in others as well) is to have the clergy gather together on Tuesday in Holy Week to renew their ordination vows.  This morning, I was with my colleagues and friends as we all (bishops, priests, deacons, and nuns) renewed our vows.  As a priest, I specifically responded affirmatively to this question:
Do you reaffirm your commitment to respect and be guided by the pastoral direction and leadership of your bishop, to be diligent in the reading of Holy Scriptures, to minister the Word of God and the sacraments of the New Covenant, to undertake to be a faithful pastor to all whom you are called to serve, to pattern your life in accordance with the teachings of Christ and to persevere in prayer, both in public and in private?
I have been a priest for nearly two years, and it is always helpful to come back to the vows I made at my ordination.  Hopefully, I have done a good job of upholding them.  Hopefully, I can keep in mind that my life should be an example to others that Christ died, not so that we could feel better about ourselves or consider ourselves above others because we are "saved", but so that we could be closer to our God and creator.

This Holy Week, my prayer for all of you is that you can find this message in the cross.  Though it was once used as a symbol of death and persecution, it should now be for the whole world a sign of love and acceptance in spite of the fact that we have done nothing to deserve it.

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