Fr. Craig and Fr. David take a deep dive into the mystery of offering Mass from a priest’s perspective. They share about their own experiences with saying the Mass, both their first Masses and in recent days during sickness. Fr. Craig shares how a Gospel passage addressed his fears of the priesthood as well as stories of epic priests over the years. Together they reflect on the feeling of unworthiness when discerning the priesthood and God’s ability to use our smallness to feed His people.
(0:12) Fr. Craig and Fr. David introduce themselves and discuss their admiration for their last podcast guest, Fr. John Riccardo. They introduce the topic for this episode, something that is very near and dear to the heart of a priest: celebrating Mass. This is something only priests can do. It defines a priest.
(1:40) Fr Craig shares about his Christmas break; he had the opportunity to slow down. He shares about his Christmas leisure. Then Fr. David shares about his Christmas; he spent the time with family. They also discuss their favorite grocery stores.
(10:13) Fr. Craig defines the Mass. They discuss the Eucharist and the power of the Cross. The Cross is the first thing processed into the Mass and is always present near the altar. They discuss how to spot an accurate crucifix. Fr. Craig talks about his experience casting crucifixes.
(17:14) Fr. David invites Fr. Craig to go through a quick overview of the structure of the Mass. Mass begins with a confession of our sins and our need for God. Then it’s the Liturgy of the Word; we read God’s Word and ask Him to let it take root in our soul. They discuss the transformative power of the Word of God how it’s supposed to take root in our souls.
(26:05) Preaching is one of Fr. Craig’s favorite things to do. He loves to share why he believes in God, why he is happy, and what God has done for him.
(29:00) “Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ” – St. Jerome. Fr. David suggests reading the Mass readings before you come to Mass and think about what you would preach on for that passage.
(29:45) The Mass mirrors the way the Jews would worship: offering sacrifice. The Liturgy of the Eucharist is the second part of the Mass. The Eucharist is the sacrifice that bridges the gap between God and man through Jesus. The priest is an active participant in this mystery.
(34:00) One of Fr. Craig’s fears in becoming a priest was, “Do I have enough to offer? What can I give to the Lord? And would it be good enough?” The Gospel story of the multiplication of the loaves and the fishes (John 6:1-15) spoke to Fr. Craig. The story tells how a young lad brings forward his meager offering, and Jesus feeds the people. This story showed Fr. Craig that the Lord takes what little we have and magnifies it. “If we don’t have any young men coming forward to be priests, the people will not be fed.”
(35:35) A question that came up in discernment for Fr. David: am I worthy? The answer is “No.” But the Lord does not call the qualified. He qualifies those who are called.
(36:26) A challenge: next time you’re at Mass, listen to the Eucharistic prayer. Who is this directed toward? What is saying Mass like for a priest?
(39:00) Fr. Craig shares stories of epic priests, referencing books such as “He Leadeth Me,” “With God in Russia,” and “Priestblock.”
(41:21) Fr. Craig discusses the two most vivid moments in which he is reminded that he is a priest of Jesus Christ, the moments when he feels most deeply that God is active within him. They discuss the awesome privilege to make Jesus present the same way he was 2000 years ago, and what it feels like to be “in persona Christi” as a priest. And the reality that the Mass connects us to the mystical body of Christ, His Church. Scott Hahn’s “The Lamb’s Supper” is mentioned.
(55:00) “Why couldn’t Jesus just stay on earth?” asks Fr. David. Jesus had to the bring the offering of Himself into the heavenly sanctuary, and the sacrifice isn’t complete until it’s given over to God. Fr. Craig shares that we complete Jesus’ sacrifice by partaking of the Eucharist, eating His body and drinking His blood.
(58:14) Fr. Craig shares his wisdom for men who feel called to the priesthood. Time spent at Mass and Eucharistic Adoration is the best way to spend your time. Downloading a Bible app is also a great idea.
(1:02:33) Fr. Craig closes the episode in prayer. He prays in gratitude for the gift of the Mass and the Eucharist, the image of Love. He prays for those called to the priesthood to be open to this great mystery in the discernment of their vocation.