Special time of grace

By Father Manuel Holguin

North Texas Catholic

12/16/2019

angel and MaryAngel and Mary

The priestly vocation is a great mystery between God who calls and the man who is called, and that is only understood from the point of view of faith.

God, in His infinite love and desire for salvation, has wanted each person to be a participant of His great plan. To save us, God has wanted to use our smallness and thus reveal His greatness through this great divine and human friendship.

In the Old Testament, it is revealed to us that, in his unceasing search for us, God promises a savior. When the fullness of time arrives, God sends the angel Gabriel to a small region of the world called Nazareth, and in His greeting to that virgin maiden, proposes the great work that the world had never imagined. God was to be born from the human race, so that we would unite with Him and thus redeem our misery.

This great divine feat reveals what we celebrate during Advent: God who always comes, God who always seeks, and God who always wants to save us. And in this desire to save us, God continues to invite the human being to participate in His blessed plan of salvation.

The call to the priesthood of Jesus Christ is closely linked to God’s intention to save us. Just as He did in the past, God calls specific men today so that in His name they may be fruitful and offer their brothers and sisters this gift of salvation. He calls these men so that Emmanuel is born in their hearts and their lives can spark the growth of new life in Christ for others.

Despite his smallness, the priest gives the life of grace to those who approach him in search of God’s greatness to be reconciled and forgiven at the sacrament of confession. Through the priest’s humble and limited hands, God becomes the food of eternal life in the celebration of the sacrifice of the Mass. This is how in the smallness of the priestly life, God does His magnificent work of bringing His greatness to men and saving them.

In Nazareth, that sublime invitation was given to the young woman who would be the Mother of the Creator, and in our time that invitation is heard in the heart of the young man who listens and discerns, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matt. 4:19). 

May this Advent, a special time of grace, be for those who perceive within them the call of God, a time of listening, a time of preparation, and a time of response. In the same way that the blessed maiden responded to the sublime voice of God, young men today can respond with generosity, “Let it be done to me according to Your word” (Luke 1:38).

Lord, give us priests according to Your heart. 

Angel and Mary

The priestly vocation is a great mystery between God who calls and the man who is called, and that is only understood from the point of view of faith.

Published (until 6/19/2030)
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