ANTIPOLO City, Feb. 14, 2014—Partly tongue-in-cheek, yet totally true, a priest gives a funny homily to encourage young people and parents to consider the priestly vocation for themselves and for their children.
Be a priest
“Mag pari ka, dahil pogi ka (Become a priest because you’re handsome),” said Fr. Jun Meneses, parish priest of San Antonio Padua parish in Antipolo, to roars of surprised laughter.
In previous homilies, the young parish priest has been known to jokingly say, “Not all the good-looking ones join show business, some join the priesthood.”
Wondering aloud, he asked why parents nowadays usually encourage their young sons to become engineers, doctors or lawyers, but seldom—if not never —mention the possibility of becoming a priest.
No priests, no sacraments
Fr. Meneses, who was previously assigned to serve in a parish in Talim Island, also in the Diocese of Antipolo, said, the parents’ mere mention of the priesthood to their children as an option is already a strong encouragement to them because it opens up the religious vocations as a future possibility.
“When there are no priests, there are no masses; if there are no priests, there are no baptisms; if there are no priests, there are no weddings!” he added, stressing the role of the priests in sustaining the sacramental life of the Church.
He emphasized the urgent need for more priests, noting that there is a very low ratio of priests for every parishioner.
For example, in the parish, which has 40 chapels under it and hundreds of thousands of people in its jurisdiction, there is only one parish priest and one guest priest who occasionally helps.
He said, Christians, as the ‘salt and light of the world’, are called to keep and grow in their faith, morality and Christian vocation. [Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz]