Fr. Manny Duetao
In a party there was a dashing young man, so attractive, so gentlemanly in behavior, so neat and becoming in his bearing that a certain young lady could not help being just silent and observant of this very attractive Romeo. And so she approached him and with all the prudence of a beautiful thing that she herself was also gifted, she asked: “Can I ask you an impertinent question?”
The young man gently raised his eyes to see no less than a real Juliet before him with a plate of sweeties in her tender hands. “Yes, sure, lady why not?” he answered in his deep baritone voice that made her little heart inside tremble with some feeling beyond understanding!
Shyly but firmly she asked: “Are you married?”
The young man, again in that deep voice like a distant rolling thunder, in his very gentle manner answered the
beautiful thing before him: “Lady, I happen to belong to a group of people known in our society as unwed Fathers!”
“What do you mean, sir? I don’t understand what you wanted to say!” the lady responded in real surprise and wonder.
“I mean I am a Roman Catholic priest and I happen to be the new assistant in this parish!” he answered her in his most beautiful winning smile that almost killed Juliet before him.
Here is a beautiful reflection on
the priesthood written by Fr. Glen Corsiga of the diocese of Dumaguete in his
book Vox Deit: “Let
me invite you to reflect with me about our vocation and the priesthood Many times I feel that the ideals of the
priesthood so clearly and powerfully inculcated in me during my seminary years
and which I have tried to live out in my ministry are now in great peril. This is because the priestly identity and
mission which priests vowed to do are fast becoming helpless. Our Evangelizaton mechanics are trying hard
to mature in four hundred years. But we
are slow in coping the needs.
Then Father Corsiga continues his reflection by pointing out Mark 6: 8.
“Why do you think Jesus instructed His Twelve Apostles to take nothing for the journey: no food, no sack, no money in their belts? Because they are to bring God alone! They are to be God’s witnesses and nothing more.
They are to bring nothing but Jesus.
Their total dependence must not hang on something or on somebody else. In other words, their attention and destiny must point only on Jesus”
(Vox Dei, pp. 107-108)
The happiness of a normal person is in his being accepted, recognized, even wanted.
The entertainment industry says that the more popular you are, the better for you. Thus everyone wants to be popular.
In fact, the very small children of our days, because of mass media, idealize movie or TV personalities more than the Saints of olden days.
This fashion of the day does not spare even the priesthood, somehow.
Our priestly vanity today seek all the eyes and the ears of our parishioners who in many cases are helpless captives to unprepared sermons delivered by showbiz personalities rather than servant-leaders.
Or how do we explain “signature projects” impractical or useless they maybe left before a transfer to another parish?
The priesthood is a rare privilege for only a few. Only the few who can leave everything and everyone that might come as an obstacle along the way. Leave even father, brothers, sisters, give up even the multi-million-dollar right to have a family of his own. (Mt 19: 10-13; 27-29) “When the heart of the priest runs dry with these values, it also ceases to become the wellspring of life. It ceases to be the heart that once knew the priesthood of Jesus.” (Fr. Glen Corsiga)
“If the life of some priests disappoint you, do not just stop from there. Instead of pointing at them with an accusing finger, pray, look at yourselves and start a few steps to begin a new direction. Start to live in the shanties of love.
Start to travel the rocky roads of peace. Start to break open the eyes of unwavering hope until we are able to renew the mission we profoundly promise to pursue.” (Fr. Glen Corsiga)
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