This Sunday, the Gospel recounts how Elizabeth rejoiced in Mary's vocation to be the Mother of God. As we know, when Mary heard this rejoicing, she immediately went on to glorify God. When we point out the beauty of one another's vocations and rejoice in them, we lead one another to the source of those vocations, God himself.
I am grateful that God gives me people who love the priesthood, who know the voice of the shepherd, and who follow. Their kindness was expressive both of faith in the priesthood and in the gift of friendship. I am reminded of one of my favorite passages from Augustine's Confessions:
"There were other things done in their company which more completely seized my mind: to talk and to laugh with them; to do friendly acts of service for one another; to read well-written books together; at times to tell jokes and sometimes to be serious; to disagree at times, but without hard feelings, just as a man does with himself; and to keep our many discussions pleasant by the very rarity of such differences; to teach things to the others and to learn from them; to long impatiently for those who were absent, and to receive with joy those joining us. These and similar expressions, proceeding from the hearts of those who loved and repaid their comrades' love, by way of countenance, tongue, eyes, and a thousand pleasing gestures, were like fuel to set our minds ablaze and to make but one out of many."
Being a priest is a great privilege.