Wednesday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time
(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 learned Spanish to assist the growing numbers in his parish who could not speak English. He also sought Church unity by participating in ecumenical and interreligious movements. On Sundays after parish masses were celebrated, Msgr. King didn’t crash in front of the television but would call shut-ins of the parish to offer his support. This pastor illustrates what Jesus has in mind when he answers Peter’s question in the gospel today.
“Lord, is this parable (of a thief breaking into a house) 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 provide pastoral care so that the faithful are not stolen away by the empty promises of evil. They must also avoid taking advantage of their people by accruing for themselves the favors that the people would give to the Lord.
Pastors need the Spirit’s support and, therefore, the prayers of the faithful to fulfill their responsibilities. When we think about it, we realize that prayers for faithful leadership 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. Parents, of course, are to guide their children to holiness and all Christians should give one another edifying example.