During his first Chrism Mass as archbishop, Archbishop William Goh’s homily focused on how priests can still be filled with joy after 20 to 25 years in the priestly ministry.
Sometimes the longer a priest serves, the more frustrated he may become if he does not find joy in serving the Lord and His people, Archbishop Goh said.
“Those who are newly ordained, we are watching you,” he said, to laughter from the audience.
Archbishop Goh then gave three pointers to help priests find joy in their ministry.
First, he said, priests “are not worthy” and yet are called, so that should fill them with joy. Secondly, they need to rediscover the “joy of sharing the Good News”. He said that he feels “greatest joy when I preach and when I minister”, and that these are the two most important things to him as a priest.
He added, “When you start reaching out to people, you yourself will be healed.”
Lastly, he told priests to be teachers and witnesses, as “there is no greater thing that we can give to the lay faithful than to give them Jesus”.
About 900 people, including approximately 70 priests and Religious, attended the Chrism Mass held at the Church of St Ignatius on Maundy Thursday, April 17.
The priests present also renewed their priestly vows during the Mass.
Archbishop Goh appealed to the people to “pray for us priests, that God will give us the grace to grow in holiness”.
Towards the end of his homily, the bishop turned his attention to young people and said, “If you hear a calling, don’t wait any longer. Do not be afraid.
“I can tell you this: you will be wonderfully, abundantly blessed. There will be suffering, but it will be joyful suffering,” he added.
The oil of the Sick and the oil of Catechumens were blessed during the Mass, while the Chrism, used for Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Orders was consecrated.
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 Clara Lai