Bishop Patricio A. Buzon, SDB, DD reminds clergy of "the first calling of the priesthood "which is "to be configured in Christ". According to him, “more than the mission”, a cleric is called to be an “alter Christus“ or another Christ for God’s people.
In his homily, drawing inspiration from St. John Marie Vianney, patron of parish priests, Bishop Buzon emphasized: “We are the love of the heart of Christ. Our priesthood is the sacrament, the visible sign and expression of Jesus’ own love for His own in the world.”
Moreover, he called on priests to follow the example of Jesus “who loved his own until the end and to its very limits.”
The Bishop, however, was also quick to note the limitless nature of the love of Christ in contrast to the limits of human love. He noted that the call for priests is therefore to love the people of God as Christ loves them.
“He loved them until the end, to its very limit. But we also know that the love of Crist has no end. It has no limit. Hence, the love of the priest for God’s own must also be limitless. How awesome! But is it possible? Are we capable of having such love and giving such love? Of course, we know we are not. Our love is limited. And, that is why Christ wants to love his people, in us and through us,” Buzon said.
The Bishop added, “And that is why … He rose at supper and took his upper garments and began to wash his disciples’ feet. Ano buot silingon sini? Kay luyag niya nga siya ang magpanagbuhi sa aton kabuhi, agud siya ang makahigugma sang iya katawhan paagi sa aton. (What does this mean? Jesus simply wants to live like us, so that He may love God’s people through us.) And that is the first, the primary calling of the priesthood…not so much the mission but the configuration to Christ, nga mangin kaisa kita sa iya. (That we may be like Him in his loving).
On April 14, 2022, Bishop Buzon, together with the priests in the Diocese of Bacolod. renewed their priestly promises during the Chrism Mass celebrated at the San Sebastian Cathedral.