Archbishop William Goh acknowledged the challenges that priests face in their ministries and gave them words of encouragement during the annual Chrism Mass.
Sometimes the joy of sharing the Good News “gets taken away because we [priests] are disillusioned”, said Archbishop Goh at the Mass held on Maundy Thursday morning at the Church of Our Lady Queen of Peace.
“In the process of trying to heal the wounds of others, very often we are wounded ourselves. We get hurt,” said the archbishop, addressing the crowd which included more than 200 priests and Religious.
“Sometimes, we feel that the work we put in, the efforts that we put in, are not appreciated,” he said in his homily. “And sometimes, the bishop misunderstands us [priests] so we [priests] get angry.”
Archbishop Goh invited his fellow priests to renew their calling and to “remember why we became priests”.
“We have responded to the call of God” to bring the Good News to others as there is “so much brokenness and despair” in the world, he said.
If priests feel “a lot of edginess” in their ministry, they should “take time to pray. At least one hour before the Lord,” he advised. “Otherwise, you will lose your joy.”
He also reminded priests that celebrating the Eucharist should not “become a routine”.
If every priest and layperson celebrates the Eucharist fervently, they would become like Jesus, he said.
The archbishop acknowledged that priests should ensure that “every person is nurtured by the Lord”. Nevertheless, “don’t worry too much about success,” he advised. “The Lord will make sure that we are fruitful in our love.”
During the Mass, archbishop blessed the oil of the sick and the oil of the catechumens, as well as consecrated the chrism which will be used for baptism, confirmation and Holy Orders.
In his closing address, the archbishop noted that priests “are often misunderstood. But they work really hard for you.”
He urged laypeople to “be patient with us”.
“Pray for us priests for the mistakes we make,” he said.
The annual Chrism Mass, usually held on Maundy Thursday worldwide, signifies the unity of the priests with their bishop and is an expression of the fullness of the bishop’s priesthood.
By Lorna O’Hara