The vocation to the Priesthood is both a gift and a mystery. It is one of the greatest gifts that a man can be given. The ability to make Jesus Present on the altars of the Church is an incomparable gift. The ability to forgive sins in Christ’s namegift the greatest of blessings. The priesthood is a great sacrifice, but also the most wonderful life.
The Priesthood is also mystery, in that it is spiritual and divine. We don’t know why we are called by God to become Priests. We don’t have the future laid out for us in advance. We can’t know the challenges, nor the blessings. But the man who answers the call is a man willing to lower his net and put out into deep waters. The man who pursues a priestly vocation is brave enough to head out into mystery. He is willing to step off of his ground, and walk into the territory of God.
The Priesthood is a mysterious gift from God, the pearl of great price. Be open to receiving the gift. Here are some words by Blessed John Paul II on the gift and mystery that is the priesthood. These are remarks that he made on visit to Los Angeles in 1987:
“I am often asked, especially by young people, why I became a priest. Maybe some of you would like to ask the same question. Let me try briefly to reply. I must begin by saying that it is impossible to explain entirely. For it remains a mystery, even to myself. How does one explain the ways of God? Yet, I know that, at a certain point in my life, I became convinced that Christ was saying to me what he had said to thousands before me: ‘Come, follow me!’ There was a clear sense that what I heard in my heart was no human voice, nor was it just an idea of my own. Christ was calling me to serve him as a priest.
And you can probably tell that I am deeply grateful to God for my vocation to the priesthood. Nothing means more to me or gives me greater joy that to celebrate Mass each day and to serve God’s people in the Church. That has been true ever since the day of my ordination as a priest. Nothing has ever changed this, not even becoming Pope.”