Friday 19 January 2024
Day of penance
1 Samuel 24:3–21. Have mercy on me, God, have mercy – Psalm 56(57):2–4, 6, 11. Mark 3:13–19.
They were to be his companions and to be sent out to proclaim the message
In previous generations, most of us were let off the hook. There were plenty of priests in parishes. In some towns, the presbytery housekeeper only cooked for the parish priest, the curates had to make do with leftovers, or fend for themselves. After all, there were others to take their places. Religious orders had so many applicants that formation personnel were hard pressed to remember all their names.
Fast forward to today and all that is reversed. Parishes are amalgamated, sharing just one priest. Country towns may have Sunday Mass once a month. What priests there are, often come from India, African countries, Vietnam, Poland or elsewhere.
So today, who exactly will be the companions of Jesus and the ones sent out to proclaim the love and mercy of God? No more passing the buck. If you and I do not respond to that call, it is likely that no-one will.