RUNNING priest Fr. Robert Reyes exhorted the priests to be “followers of Christ and not of comfort and privilege” echoing the papal call to “be bruised, hurting and dirty.”
He said priests who do don’t live simply and don’t give time to the poor are making a scandal before the eyes of Christ and the people, as he reminded the priests of the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.
He added that priests who follow Christ’s teachings “should truly serve the poor and should possess ‘dirty nails and muddy feet’—signs of serving the people.”
“If their hands are manicured and feet pedicured; and they own luxurious car that is scandalous to the people and to the eyes of Christ,” he added.
Reyes said that priests living in luxury will lose the people and the poor will only appreciate and understand priests who share their lives of poverty and hunger.”
“For me, the challenge is to be what we are. We are priests, followers of Christ. We are not followers of comfort and privilege. If our life becomes lives of comfort and privilege, we are not following Christ anymore,” he said.
Pope Francis earlier asked the church to be “bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security.”
“I do not want a church concerned with being at the center and then ends up being caught up in a web of obsessions and procedures,” the pontiff said.
Reyes lamented that some priests, nuns and bishops choose to serve with the “rich people.”
The recent calamities that struck the Philippines, Reyes said, is “God’s way of engineering a change in a painful way.”
“The recent calamity is teaching us already, like the earthquake that happened in Bohol, the Churches were ruined; the typhoon Yolanda in Leyte and Samar, many churc-hes were devastated. These are already signs that some priests who were living in comfort and privilege are now living in poverty,” he said.