Celebrating the gift of two new priests

It is a kind of tradition in our Vicariate. After the ordination of a new priest, all the priests gather to celebrate a thanksgiving Mass. This time it was done at St Lucia on Tuesday 04 June. The celebration was presided by Fr Dominic Mhlongo and concelebrated with us all. Of course, Fr Sfiso Mchunu OSM was standing next to him. The both shared a few words after the Gospel.

I also share some thoughts based on the texts of the Good Shepherd they had chosen for their ordination. 

"1. Be shepherds with – Be always aware of the temptation of thinking you can do without the others... being the bishop, the priests, the religious, the laity... Jesus was never a lone ranger. 

2. Build unity – You were ordained together as a sign that you share the same priesthood in the diversity of calls (one a diocesan priest, the other a religious one). The opposite of building unity is building division and it will contradict the Gospel you will preach. Gospel means good news. Building unity is good news. Building division is... bad news. It is by the love you will have for each other that you will testify to the Gospel you believe and preach.

3. Be shepherds who look for... - Look for the sick, the weak, the lost, the lazy, look for the bad ones if you want to show Jesus. If not, you will just show yourselves. You will be showing off. Keep in your hearts the image of the Good Shepherd who leaves the 99 to look for the "lost one". 

4. Prepare... always prepare. People are hungry, they want food, they want good food. They do not want junk. When you do not prepare, you underestimate the people and you will be giving them junk. At the previous ordination I said that people are not blind. Today I would say, people have a good taste. Do not dissappoint them. Remember Sunday's Gospel... "you give them something to eat...". Make sure you have enough to eat yourselves. Nourish yourselves on God's Word.

5. Reflect on the Eucharist. Everything comes from there. If you do that... it will be a blessing cause you cannot say: "take this and eat it..." without meaning... eat “me”. As I said on Saturday, the Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep and not the other way round. 

In short, make sure that by what you say and do, people come to know better the one who is the Good Shepherd: Jesus."

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Bishop of the Diocese of Manzini (Swaziland)

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