He went on to highlight examples of people, who need the attention of Priests through accompaniment, saying, “Think of the drunkards; think of the drug addicts; think of the people who live in irregular situations, who are in need of God's presence in their life.”
“As the latest document of the Holy See, Fiducia Supplicans, teaches us, you are called to be with those people as well, because they are the lost sheep who may have wandered far from the flock,” Archbishop van Megen, who also represents the Holy Father in South Sudan said, referring to the declaration that the Vatican Dicastery for the Doctrine of Faith (DDF) released on December 18 permitting the blessing of “same-sex couples” and couples in other “irregular situations”.
Alluding to the need for contriteness and desire for conversion on the part of “the lost sheep”, he said, “The grace of God works in the lives of those who do not claim to be righteous, but who acknowledge themselves humbly as sinners like everyone else.”
“With its untiring wisdom and motherly care, the church welcomes all who approach God with humble hearts, accompanying them with their spiritual aids that enable everyone to understand and realize God's will fully in their existence,” Archbishop van Megen said during the February 10 ordination celebration.
He also addressed the challenge of “expectations” on part of the people of God receiving services from members of the Clergy and underscored the need for readiness and preparedness.
“The expectations of the people of God towards its Priests are many, and at times it can be a heavy burden, and at times you may lament, like Moses did, ‘why have you brought this trouble on me, your servant? I cannot carry all these people by myself. The burden is just too heavy for me,’” Archbishop van Megen who started his service as Apostolic Nuncio in Sudan in 2014, shared.
He continued, “Many times we are not able to live up to the expectations of the people around us.”
Under the pressure of such challenging situations, he went on to say, “you will feel that you are not sufficient, that your capacities, your skills, your knowledge is not enough to handle the many demands and expectations that are directed to you.”
The Nairobi-based Vatican diplomat challenged the Deacons he was to ordain Priests to examine their readiness for what entails the Priestly ministry, posing, “Are you ready to face those kinds of challenges? Are you ready to accompany the people of God in their daily struggles?”
“Are you ready to console the parents who lose a child? Are you ready to remain with a desperate person who is suffering in his illness? Are you ready to remain with a person who's struggling with his own sinfulness? Are you ready to remain with the parents who are hurt because of the behavior of their children?” Archbishop van Megen further posed.