The Holy Father's announcement yesterday has been a humbling event for me. Pope Benedict has made me more aware than ever before of the greatness of the priesthood - how great it is in itself, how far it can go, what it achieves, and to what lengths it breaks through any notional understanding of what it is. And that I am a sharer in this priesthood!
The Holy Father, in allowing the priesthood to encompass his life, has shown just how deeply Christ has marked human life and events. What we frail men, who call ourselves priests, are taking part in is something far greater than human capacity could begin to imagine. It is indeed Christ's work; it is His Priesthood, and he gives us a part in it.
Benedict XVI's own humility in the face of the mission that he was entrusted with, is giving us a deeper glimpse Jesus Christ, Risen from the dead, right in our midst, and of His way of transforming humanity. The priesthood is about Him, not about us. This is why it is so humbling - that He has chosen all of us to be a part of what He is doing.
(I took the above photo at the Opening Mass for the "Days in the Diocese" in Barcelona, just before MADWYD.)