Fr. Wiseman Nkomo, SIP Swaziland
As we journey towards the birth of Christ at Christmas we are reminded by St Paul that “to want to be a presiding elder is to desire a noble task. That is why the presiding elder must have an impeccable character” (1 Tim 3:1-2). This dear brothers means that we as priests of the Lord ought to be not merely irreproachable, but ought to be adorned. There is nothing as adorable as a priest clothed with justice.
The experience of the new birth of Christ should also renew the adornment that each of us received at the moment of our ordination. It would be proper therefore to say that the birth of Christ is for us priests an anniversary of our ordination. This anniversary should be a time for rededication of each of us to vest ourselves with the ornaments worthy of our lives, i.e. the decorum and propriety that was in Christ. We are called to share in the brilliance that was in Christ the light of Justice. We are called to remember that as we “take and eat” so too we accept the radiance of the shape and the form of the love that was manifested in Christ. Dear brothers we are invited to take on and wear our new coat.
Christmas should be a time for each of us priests put on Jesus Christ, clothe ourselves with the royal mantle of His virtues. A time to show to the world that we are truly “the word made flesh” just like him who is our model. A time to adopt His sentiments, His manners, His life, in short a time to be transformed into him according to the measure of the grace which he continues to give to us. Let us like his Apostles hear him saying to us again “follow Me” (Jn 21:22)
In following Christ each of us agrees to take up his mission on earth, a mission that requires us to first, working towards personal sanctification achieved through closeness to Christ who calls us to himself and preparedness to receive the benedictions reserved to our apostolate. Having brought ourselves closer to Christ, we will through our apostolate bring sanctification of our neighbor, through communicating to the souls of others the divine life which is obtained at its adorable source Christ himself. Finally with both the Priest and God’s people closer to Christ whom we expect to welcome at Christmas for the renewal of our vocations we will conspicuously behold the fertility of our labours which is the Glory of God and the salvation of souls. We are all therefore invited to journey towards Christmas with expectant hearts ready to be renewed and transformed into Christ who calls us to “follow him.”