Thursday, 19 April 2018

Selection, deselection and God's plan

Some Catholic dioceses in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have stopped taking any young men as candidates for priesthood.  To that effect, they have closed down their seminaries and formation houses.  Perhaps one or two are sent for formation to other diocesan formation centres - that too if the candidate is a 'highly recommended' one.  The simple reason for this closure?  Too many vocations! So say the Bishops.  They don't know what to do with those already priests, so why have more!  I've always found that logic strange and the whole process very confusing.  However, reading the conversion narrative of Saul (to Paul), planted a wild thought in my mind.

God chose Saul as his messenger at a very crucial mode.  Christianity was being suppressed.  The Apostles and the few fervent disciples were doing their best.  But perhaps God felt that a bit of extra boost at this time would do a great deal of good in the long run and hence, without discounting the great work already being done, he choose a man who would actually shift the gear of the whole work of evangelisation, not just in deed but in vision and text too.  Would Christianity have had the same rigour and accelerated growth without Paul?  Perhaps not!

So perhaps even this 'break' in accepting candidates for priesthood, could also be phase in evangelisation.  Just like Saul was chosen for that extra zeal he brought to the evangelisation process in the early days of Christianity, so too a lull could do some good for the very same evangelisation process today!  

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