and grow like a cedar of Lebanon
الصديق كالنخل يزهر، ومثل أرز لبنان ينمي
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The next three weeks of Commemorations in our Maronite Lectionary prepare us for Great Lent through our Liturgy. This Sunday is the Sunday of the Priests, next Sunday is the Sunday of the Righteous and the Just which is followed by the Sunday of the Faithful Departed.
It was very fitting last week that in preparing for this Sunday all the priests of our Maronite Eparchy together with our Bishop, His Excellency Antoine-Charbel participated in the clergy retreat. This gave us time away from our parishes to renew ourselves and the bonds which we share both spiritually and pastorally through prayer, reflection, rest and appraisal. It helped us to focus on our mission as priests and discern the theme of the retreat: “Our priesthood - a witness of hope to the world.” It gave us time to start anew and renew our priestly journey in vigour, strength and zeal. With our Shepherd, we prayed for each other, our parishioners and the world asking the Lord to guide us in every action that we take so that it can be for His greater glory and the service of His people.
In turn I humbly ask you to pray for me, for all my brother priests that serve this beloved parish, for all the priests who have served this parish and especially for all the departed priests who are no longer with us.
I also ask you to pray that the Lord of the harvest may grant us “wise and prudent” labourers to continue this important ministry in our parish, our eparchy and in the world because the “harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few” and O’ how much we are in need of these labourers. For this intention I ask you to join me in this small prayer:
O Lord God, in order to govern Your people You willed to unite Yourself to the ministry of the priests. Grant them the grace of accepting Your holy will so that, in their ministry and in their life, they may seek only Your glory. Grant us who serve and hope to serve Your holy church the strength to follow Your call and submit ourselves to Your love and mercy that they may glorify Your holy name and that of Your only Son and Living Holy Spirit, Now and Forever. Amen.