Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Memorial of Saints John de Brebeuf, Isaac Jogues, priests and martyrs, and companions, martyrs

Romans 6:12-18; Luke 12:39-47)

Msgr. Charles King was a priest’s priest. He gave himself completely to the shepherding of souls. He did take a weekly day off and once in a while left town for a few days’ rest and recreation, but he will be remembered as giving 100 percent of himself to pastoral care. As an example, on Sundays after parish masses were celebrated, Msgr. King called shut-ins of the parish to offer his support in their trials. This pastor illustrates what Jesus has in mind when he answers Peter’s question in the gospel today.

“Lord, is this parable meant for us or for everyone?” Peter asks Jesus on behalf of his companions. In his answer Jesus implies that it is meant for his apostles not so much as missionaries but as pastors. They are to guide communities of faith providing exemplary pastoral care. Above all, they should avoid using their authority by exploit their flocks.

Pastors need the Spirit’s special support and, therefore, the prayers of the faithful to fulfill their responsibilities. When we think about it, we come to realize that such prayers redound to everyone’s benefit. Not only are the people in the pews assisted by their parish priests, but those same people also have shepherding roles. Certainly the parents among them are to guide their children, and every Christian should be conscious of leading others to God by his or her good example.