“The Priesthood is the love of the Heart of Jesus.”
-St. Jean Marie Vianney
St. John Vianney’s simple statement is profound. The priesthood is many things, but at its core, it is an expression of the love of Jesus for his people that he chooses men to extend his presence in time and space.
As a priest, I am humbled by frequent reminders that, like Peter, I was not called by God because of human excellence or outstanding virtues. Jesus works through the weaknesses of priests, placing the treasures of his own Heart in fragile vessels (cf. 2 Cor 4:7) and calling us to holiness through an ever-deepening participation in his sacrifice. Priesthood comes from the Heart of Jesus and the love of Jesus is, in a way, the matter of priesthood, because he opens the treasures of his Heart to his priests so that we can nourish his people from that fount of life.
My first year of priesthood with you at San Pedro has been a gift to me. I look back on so many life-changing experiences. I can thank God even for the moments that I felt like a failure, recognizing that God used them. God is faithful and sometimes it is the moments of struggle or fear that teach me how much I need to hear the Lord: “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”
-Fr. Nathan Marzonie, OMV