Amid the political turmoil in Myanmar, Cardinal Charles Maung Bo of Yangon ordained 13 new priests on March 19, Solemnity of St. Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
In his homily, the cardinal admitted that the Church of Myanmar “is wounded and displaced,” but added that “priests are wounded healers, the hope of the people.”
“They are the refuge of the suffering brothers and sisters,” said Cardinal Bo in his homily during the ordination at Saint Mary’s Cathedral in Yangon.
He said the ordination of the priests is “of the whole Church of Myanmar” because the new members of the clergy come from different dioceses and religious orders.
The cardinal reminded the new priests that to be a priest is “to serve and not to show authority over others, to heal those wounded and the weak, not to wound others, to search for justice, not to kneel and surrender, but to proclaim that no powerful people are to govern the world senselessly.”
“Priests are soldiers of God’s army and fight for human dignity and justice,” he said, adding that a priest is another Christ (“Alter Christus”). Christ is the model, the savior, and the healer of all priests,” said Cardinal Bo.
“We gather and pray in words and in our heart … amid challenges, tears and blood (that) is flowing not only in Myanmar but in the world, too,” he said.
Recalling the words of Pope Francis on the occasion of the 52nd anniversary of his priestly ordination, Cardinal Bo said, “A priest is a call to holiness. It is a call to a relationship with God.”
“He is to be close to God and to be close to the people. He is to be close to his fellow priests, to his bishop and superior,” said the prelate.
He said that because Myanmar needs reconciliation and dialogue, a priest in the country should proclaim the good news, heal the sick, and bring peace.