Sunday, April 13, 2008

No supermen...

Today is Good Shepherd Sunday, and also World Day of Prayers for Vocations. Please pray for us priests. We are chosen and ordained by God, endowed with a special grace of the priesthood, but we too are human, and no supermen.

Many expect us to be all the ideal that we could be. Well, they have the right to, since we are to be transparent witnesses. But we too have difficulties.

I identify with these verses of the secular song, Superman. For me, these express our struggle - as we live our mission to bring God to humanity, and humanity to God, through our life and ministry, in spite and despite of our vulnerable humanity.

It may sound absurd
but don't be naive
Even Heroes have the right to bleed
I may be disturbed
but won't you conceed
Even Heroes have the right to dream
It's not easy to be me

Up, up and away, away from me
It's all right; You can all sleep sound tonight
I'm not crazy, or anything

I can't stand to fly
I'm not that naive
Men weren't meant to ride
With clouds between their knees
(yes, meant for heaven, but struggling to live for heaven while inescapably human and this-worldly)

I'm only a man in a silly red sheet (white sheet?)
Digging for kryptonite on this one way street
Only a man in a funny red sheet
Looking for special things inside of me (and trying to bring out the better things in all, and to lead all to the really better things)

It's not easy to be me.

Any priest would identify with these lyrics. Even with the sacra potestas (sacred power) conferred by Ordination, after a long day of ministering - giving the sick and dying hope of healing and life, admonishing the sinner to repentance, comforting the sorrowing, counseling the doubtful and troubled, encouraging the struggling, feeding the spiritually starving, praying for the living and the dead, offering humanity's prayers to God, ministering to all, we too need healing and rejuvenation, understanding and forgiveness, comfort and counsel, encouragement and nourishment, prayers and intercession.