three men being ordained Catholic priests

Total Self-Gift | #933

Fr. Joel Homilies 3 Comments

Ordinary Time, 13th Sunday (C) Today I’m celebrating my 12 year anniversary as a priest. I accepted celibacy as a requirement for becoming a priest. It has turned out to be a great blessing in my life. Jesus makes a total gift of himself on the cross. He doesn’t want disciples who aren’t willing to make a total gift of themselves. Those who live the church’s teachings about sexuality will discover a great gift, and will themselves become a great gift. (30 June 2019)

Going Deeper: Are you open to the possibility that the Church knows what she’s talking about when it comes to human life and sexuality? Has there been an aspect of church teaching that you said “Yes” to, reluctantly, and it turned out to be a blessing?

Comments 3

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    It would be tough for a priest to have a spouse, children and family obligations, when every weekend, both Saturday and Sunday, he will be busy celebrating multiple Masses, when he must be ready at short notice for funerals, to anoint the sick and when he can be expected to be moved around within the diocese every three or six years. I really like how you speak about how celibacy is a form of total self-gift and how through this vow you are able to love your congregation in a truly “complete” way.

    I also think that the Church is correct in some others matters of sexuality too. For instance, the dangers and negative impact of pornography is increasingly recognized in society at large–and here we are talking about the negative impact on individual human relationships and on entire communities and societies too. Not objectifying others for our own pleasure and practicing self-restraint are all good practices and the Church has long taught these.

    Where I believe that the official Church is mistaken is on questions of sexual orientation. My own views have evolved on this issue over the past two decades, much like society’s views have evolved as well, as we all gain greater knowledge and understanding. The Catholic Church, especially at the local level, is evolving too on the question of how to fully include Catholics in parish life who live in committed, loving same sex relationships, and how to reach out beyond traditional boundaries within the Church, to better minister to all of God’s creation.

    1. Fr. Joel Post
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        I agree, it takes courage to be introspective, to challenge ourselves and to sometimes accept Church teachings that seem uncomfortable to us or that call us to live in this world, but not be of this world. At the same time, I also think it takes courage to give a reflection (a lay homily) during Sunday Mass such as the one a parishioner, and also a teacher at a local Catholic school, gave in my parish last weekend:

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