When I first entered the seminary in the year 2000, there were about 40 of us who passed the necessary stages of entry. Sixteen years later, only 10 more or less have become priests. This reminds me of an article about the reality of God’s calling in our seminary magazine before that says: ‘Many are cold, few are frozen’ or as one priest commented recently ‘Many are cold, few got up.’
It might just sound like a pun about the weather, but this actually happens to us as Christians. Being a Christian is not just a name. It is a mission. And our mission is to be Evangelisers. We are all called to be proclaimers of the Gospel. It is not just a work of the few (priests, nuns, religious, or pastoral associates) to get up and do this, while the rest can stay ‘frozen’ or just don’t ‘get up.’
Yes, to proclaim the Gospel is indeed a big task that needs to be taken seriously. Jesus just outlined in the Gospel today (Lk 10:1-12;17-20), his expectations of an Evangeliser: be a lamb among wolves (i.e. humble and unassuming, gentle but firm on the ground) before the ‘wolves’ around us (i.e. those things or even people who would attempt to make life difficult for us, or those who would try to suck the life out of us); to travel simply (unencumbered with unnecessary baggage and preoccupations); to be content, accepting and grateful for whatever blessings that may come before us; to be a person of peace (i.e. be a peacemaker and a peace-builder); and lastly to preach about the Kingdom of God, not ourselves (i.e. to show others that God is the point of our being a Christian, our reason and meaning to live).
“The harvest is great, but the labourers are few”, says the Lord. Indeed, it is great harvest for me as I reflect on my 3 years of being the Assistant priest in this parish. It is even more of a challenge for me as I take on another appointment in the harvest of the Lord being the Parish priest of 3 parishes (Kerang, Cohuna & Pyramid Hill). Though I will still be here for another few weeks before I move on to my new assignment,(I’m missing you already), yet I can’t help but be thankful to God for the blessings, the opportunities, the challenges He has given me while with you my dear parishioners of St Liborius, St Augustine and St Stephen. Thank you all for your friendship, for the care, for the love you’ve extended on to me.
I pray you all the best with your new Parish Priest. And please remember me in your prayers.
Please note, on the third Sunday of this month, if you can, we gather as a parish over shared luncheon so that I can say farewell to you all.
May you all have a blessed week.