What Does A Priest Do?
Most of the time, we only get a limited glimpse into the life of a priest. This is because, apart from how priests are portrayed in Hollywood TV shows and movies, our vision of what a priest does for us is limited to those precious few Sundays that we see him at the altar, or if we are lucky, to get a few words in with him at coffee and cake after Divine Liturgy. We often fail to understand the priest, placing him on a very high pedestal, and not too often, finding ourselves intensely disappointed with him when he fails to meet our expectations. Fortunately though, the priest is so much more than we think. A priest is truly a gift from God to us, His people, for the training that he receives and for the work that he (and his family, if he is married) engages in.
For starters, first and foremost, a priest is called to be a defender of truth - the Truth that has been given to us through the Gospel of Our Lord, and Savior, Jesus Christ. The priest is ordained to be the voice of this Truth by the hands of his bishop. He celebrates the Divine Offices of the Ukrainian Catholic Church faithfully according to the word and spirit of the fathers of our Holy Church. He preaches the salvific Word of the Gospel to the faithful, and if necessary, corrects those who would corrupt the Truth of the Gospel for their own ends.
A priest is called to be a spiritual father to all people, of all ages and backgrounds. In virtue of the life he lives, he strives to be the example of Christ for all he encounters in life, whether in Church at Sunday Divine Liturgy, making pierogies with the Church Ladies in the parish hall, or in the supermarket shopping for food, or out at the gym while working out. He is ready to bring the Mysteries/Sacraments to all Catholic Christians who request it, he is prepared to bring Christ to all he encounters. He visits the sick, comforts those who are anxious and depressed, counsels those who seek advice, forgives those humble souls who genuinely seek forgiveness, admonishes those who require of correction, and protects the integrity of the faith that has been handed down to him.
With all of these dimensions of the priesthood, one has to add that a priest may be called to do many different things, such as administering a parish or eparchy's finances, develop communications to reach out and spread God's Word by various means necessary, teach people of every age the content of Christ's message of salvation and many more. A priest might be called to serve those who are in hospitals, in prisons, in military service; he could be called to administer a parish, or even be an educator in a school or seminary.
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