07 November 2022
07 Nov 2022

Teach me to be a pastor who never abandons his flock

Dehonian and a priest. A spiritual reflection

by  Zacheaus Tembo, SCJ

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“Behold I come to do your will, O God.” (Hebrews 10:7) When I reflect on these words I am filled with awe, as I realise how much God loves me to an extent of inviting me personally to partake in his Son’s Priesthood. Of course, by virtue of our baptism all are united in the royal priesthood of Christ and each of us is ‘another Christ,’ thus we share in his priestly, prophetic and kingly office.

As if that was not enough of me, in fulfilling the invitation to his mission I therefore, with confidence say these words, “behold I come to do your will, O God.” I voluntarily offer myself to his priestly office to offer my service in the name of God and for the salvation of others to participate in the Eucharist and sacraments in the church relying on God’s help who has called me. I believe each one of us has a special charism destined to him or her and we need the help of prayer and discernment to figure out what we are called to, and act up on. Through the ordained priest, Christ is present to lead, teach and care for his church and in my understanding, ordination confers the authority to act in the person of Christ, and that is exactly what I desire. Acknowledging that I am not perfect and Christ himself will perfect me, for it is preeminently clear in the celebration of the Eucharist when, through the ordained priest, Christ gathers the Church to offer thanksgiving and praise to the Father and he offers his body for the Church, in sacrifice to the Father and gives himself to us in Holy Communion. In complementing my response, “behold I come to do your will, O God,” I therefore, borrow the words of Fr. Soc, “Teach me to be a pastor who never abandons his flock. And at times when I seem to get lost, may you, the Good Shepherd pick me up and bring me back to Your Heart.” Appreciating that priesthood is first and foremost a ministry of humble service to make the faithful aware of the common priesthood shared by all, I wish to witness to my faith daily in humble beginnings serving the poor, the marginalised and oppressed bring them to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.


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