Like all of you reading this, I too have found this time of crisis very challenging. It has impacted negatively on my sense of purpose as a priest with schools shut, hospitals on lockdown, quarantine, not being able to minister God’s mercy in the sacrament of Reconciliation and celebrating the Eucharist looking down on empty pews.
And yet it hasn’t been all bad. This time of crisis is also one of opportunity when the Lord is leading us to be his priests and disciples in creative ways. Given the minimal opportunities for pastoral ministry, I sense that on this Good Friday, I am being called as a priest to put my full weight of my priesthood behind the prayers for the whole world that we make on this day and to pray along with our suffering Lord for all humanity.
Never before have I felt such an intense call as a priest to pray and intercede for the human family that is united in trial against this deadly virus, which respects no boundaries. As I pray and intercede for humanity, I am more conscious than ever that this prayer of intercession for the world is at the heart of priesthood—not just for ordained priests but for the whole priestly people of God, led by our high priest, who is Christ.