If you have ever seen a Catholic ritual in person or in a movie (think Godfather), you immediately pick up on the fact that there is a deep-rooted respect towards the ritual being performed, and the beautifully-robed Catholic priest performing it.
Even though the people we meet throughout Peru know we are not priests, they still offer us a profound level of respect, honor and even a sense of holiness. Many consider our prayers, as pastors and missionaries, more holy than theirs and consider us to be much holier than they. In one sense, we are grateful for the respect and honor of the holy office God has called us to, and yet in another sense, we want to immediately cry out against the gross misrepresentation of who we are. If there is anything that our office has shown us, it is how utterly dependent we are on our Savior, and how deeply sinful and unworthy we are.
An important aspect of our work as missionaries is to demonstrate that it is Jesus alone who saves and intercedes on our behalf before the Father. He alone is head of his Church and we are all deeply in need of his mercy.
As you pray for the people of Peru, pray that they would see Jesus as their great High Priest. Pray also that we would lead not as heroes, but as servants. That we would live our lives in the full knowledge that our training and experience only gives us greater responsibility, a responsibility to serve, protect and build up Christ’s church.
That everything we do would make us less, that he might increase.
“To the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.” Jude 1:25