Are priests supposed to emulate Christ?


I’m just wondering, are they supposed to be Christ like, as in his mannerisms, his empathy, his compassion, his way of being? It seems like if one were to be in charge of the flock, ie. the congregation, just as Jesus was while he was alive on this earth with the apostles., shouldn’t the priest himself strive to be the same?

I keep getting this passage of scripture jump out at me: John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.

Yet, I’m lucky if the priest even knows I exist, much less my name. I’ve even tried sharing my plight, only to be looked at indifferently, would Christ be this way? No, absolutely not.

I then go on to listen to sermons, on and off the radio, and they seem to come from personal perspectives, many of which are rather ego based, not at all what I would expect to hear Christ be like, in mannerisms, not that the messages are bad, but just the delivery sounds like it comes from man, not our Lord, and it seems rather imbalanced, knowing full well, it would be a struggle between man and the Christ that he’s supposed to emulate, but it doesn’t seem like the Christ element is on the surface, it’s buried underneath.


Yes, they should, as should the Bishops. And so should Deacons. And vowed religious too. This is something that married people should strive for, single people as well. Parents should also, and children too.

Yep, that about covers it. :wink:


I address the leaders more then the laymen, for they are supposed to be held to a higher standard. I do recall a priest in Tacoma that really caught my attention, he was very passionate during the homily, it felt like I was back in Christs day, his flavor was almost like Paul himself being up there.


You took the words right out of my mouth! :thumbsup:


:thumbsup: Yes, it does. Well said!

I am sorry for your experience. Pray for your priest. You might try speaking with another priest. Or, make an appointment, and speak to your priest again. Maybe he was having a bad day?? Your post reminds me how fortunate our parish is to have a wonderful priest, and another in a neighboring parish. No problem seeing either of them as being Christ-like.

God bless,


We are all called to emulate Christ.

That said, yes the priests, bishops, etc. are called to greater responsiblity in this regard due to their place as shepards and servants of their congregation.

That does not mean they all will or that any will - all the time. Priests are so overloaded these days that I suspect that they are working most of the time on “compassion overload”, leading to what I like to call the, “hug deficit”. Too much being given out and not enough coming in.
Their time is so full of the needs of others that they become “tapped out” and unable to fully concentrate, to fully give. Particularly when they are dealing with both large and small issues, the big ones take it out of them and the little ones can seem to get slighted.
They can become overwhelmed by the burdens of running a parish, all the details of this and that and the other.

So perhaps we, as lay-catholics, need to take our emulation of Christ seriously and strive to become servants of the servant. Help our priests in practical ways. Talk to them when we [udon’t have a problem. Tell them jokes. Invite them fishing or for lunch/dinner. Get involved in the parish. Give more $$ so that finances are less of a burden. In other words, give of ourselves, our resources our time etc so our priests feel loved by their flocks.



It’s the piety of the laity that should draw the clergy to constantly re-evaluate their own piety. Everything on this thread is correct, it is hard to imagine why some one would dedicate their life to the priesthood and then fail to reflect the office to the best of their ability, but some clergy seem to get lost in their own self-importance. I suppose it’s important also that we remember what a hard job they have!


Unfortunately, too many times, I’ve had the same experiences…not knowing my name even though the family was a member of that parish for fifty plus years and attending the school (unbelievable when you think about it), never a priest visit to the home, not caring about one’s plight, and being looked at indifferently. And I know of too many who feel the same.

The best sermons are on EWTN.


I feel the Lord speaking to me when I listen to EWTN’s sermons. :slight_smile: (And Mother Angelica’s Classics!!!)

We have a lot of 1 priest per parish here, and I just try to think he must be very busy. (My priest get getting my name wrong last week–twice during my appointment. laugh I’m bad at names too.)

Do you go to daily Mass where there are a lot less people? That’s a great way to get to know a priest.


Our priest gives amazing homilies, on weekends and at Daily Mass!!! I do like the homilies on EWTN, too, and listen to them every day. The best homilies are those that both teach and challenge us. It is also important to remember that homilies are not the main focus of the Mass.

… the family was a member of that parish for fifty plus years…” - however, at least in our case, priests are only here for a few years, then they are moved elsewhere. Personally, I have a difficult time learning names. As a teacher, I was grateful for seating charts!! If you are in a large parish, it is unreasonable to expect the priest to know everyone’s name. Some do better at it than others. There are only so many opportunities for priests to learn names. If it important that he know your name, join a committee, introduce yourself, perhaps several times, get involved in church activities.

Pray for your priest.


ALL CHRISTIANS should emulate Christ

thats why we're Christians


As has been said, all are called to emulate Christ.

It is also important to remember that the leaders that you are attempting to address here in this thread are people just like you and fail at times.


Exactly, and my point here being, we must at all times take a step back and decide, what we are doing in our lives, are Christ like, or Self like, and this is the thing I wrestle with myself, yet I do not place a collar on my neck to be one to emulate as being one to be like. So far, only a fraction of the clergy I deal with are Christ like, the bulk of them are Self like and this is intolerable, if I want that, I’d join some prosperity gospel believing protestant denomination, actually, I’d omit religion all together and simply become part of the world itself. I have rejected the world and it’s values long, long ago, not sure if I ever accepted them in the first place, for me to conform to the church meaning I have to conform to the world is despicable and not at all what Christ established. It’s time we separated the wheat from the chaff and we take no prisoners in the process. The concept and value of ex-communication needs to be reinstated and implemented, and we absolutely must put this into place in the here and now and not pull any punches what so ever, even if it means entire church buildings being vacated and leveled, we must do this now or else we will face our Lords wrath and the time is very, very short for us to take action here.


“Be the change you wish to see”, as the old bumper sticker says.



[quote="JRKH, post:14, topic:198806"]
"Be the change you wish to see", as the old bumper sticker says.



That is a good one James, and I agree. The main thing to remember, you will stick out like a sore thumb among the masses doing so, be brave, be bold about it, do not concern yourself about fitting in, you are doing the Lords work and it is his face you should seek, not the status quo.



Let the sore thumb brigade march proudly. :smiley:



A thought came to me, with you and other like minded people, if we could fly them all in for a mass together at one place, rocking the house in prayer, reverence, total worship, at the same time and place at once, I cannot imagine how profound the impact would be.


Short answer: Yes. Not just priests, though: we are all supposed to imitate Christ.


This does also include of course when he went into the temple and turned over the tables and tossed out the rabble as well… right?


[quote="prodigalson12, post:19, topic:198806"]
This does also include of course when he went into the temple and turned over the tables and tossed out the rabble as well... right?


Umm... no. I didn't say that we are supposed to reenact Christ's life - I said imitate Him. There's a difference.

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