By Fr. Emmanuel Delfin
A parishioner greeted me, and then later said goodbye, “God bless you, Father Emmanuel,” emphasizing “Father”. The first thought, or emotion rather, that took hold of me was humility. As she walked away, I further reflected that to be called Father, is to be in service of this vocation, not to be inflated. I am called to be Simon the Cyrenian, and to carry this heavy cross of Christ’s priesthood - not my priesthood, but His priesthood. I then recalled those who God placed in my life, those who congratulated my ordination into His priesthood. One was a Southern Baptist, another a Methodist, and another a Muslim. This reveals to me what vocation truly is. These people in my life, who believe in God through different viewpoints, recognize that, in the path that I have chosen, there is an amazement of my choosing to return back to God in this way. Their recognition of this seems to be deeply engrained in all human beings; that the world sees the Catholic priesthood as a sign for all of us to give ourselves back to our source, back to our Creator, Our Lord. It is only when we find the path God had made for us will we find our true selves and be completely happy, no matter how easy or difficult that path may be. This path is our vocation, as priests, as consecrated brothers and sisters, as husbands and wives, fathers and mothers... As people who have embraced giving their time, their heart and their very life in the name of love, which can be none other than Jesus in his Mercy, Sacrifice, and in his Eucharist.