A Priest Tells the Powerful Truth About What His REAL Job As a Pastor Is

Emilio Labrador, Flickr, CC BY 2.0

I am your pastor…
You don’t need me to be your buddy but your shepherd.
You don’t need me on the barstool beside you but in the breach between you and the devil.
You don’t me to spout pious platitudes but to offer comfort and truth.
You don’t need me to be silent and turn a blind eye but to charitably correct and offer guidance.
You don’t need me to be ‘a regular person’ but a fearless leader and shepherd.
You don’t need me to tell you to be nice but to encourage you to be holy.
You don’t need me to set the bar low so you will like me but to set the bar high and then help you reach the goal.
You don’t need me to be hip, cool, or relevant by worldly standards but to be steadfast, accountable, and strong in the face of worldly standards.
You don’t need me to be entertaining but to point to the transcendent.
You don’t need me to be a Messiah…you need me to point to the Messiah.

I can be friendly, kind, charitable, empathetic to be sure. I can be bold, brave, and strong.

I know to do my job means you might get very mad at me. I can’t be so afraid of that that I leave you to destructive forces.

I have to love you more than myself.
I have to lead you to holiness, not popularity.

You need me to be forthright and charitable.
You need to be able to trust that I want what is good and holy for you.

It is not easy.
My job in the parish is very much like the role of a dad in a family. My job is to be in the breach between the flock and what would prey on the flock. My place is where Christ placed Himself.

Pray that I do this job well…that I lead where Christ would have us go.

I want to go to heaven.
I want you to go there too.
I know the way there is a narrow and winding path.
Pray for the strength and perseverance to make each step as it comes.

Originally posted on Facebook

[See also: A Priest Tells the Simple Truth About What Being a “Parishioner” Really Means]

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Fr. Bill Peckman

Fr. Bill Peckman is the pastor of Ss. Peter and Paul Parish in Boonville, MO and St. Joseph Parish in Fayette, MO.