Consider the following two examples of Malama homilies (paraphrased as closely as I can recall):
- Looking at the assembled noon-hour faithful, Fr. Malama admonishes himself - then us - thus: "Look at me! Do you think because I am a priest that I get to go to heaven? That I am closer to it than you? Nonsense! Wearing fancy vestments and saying mass everyday doesn't get me to heaven! I must earn it - everyday - by living this mass outside these wall. Just like you. It's nice that you're all here at mass today - but it is what you do when you leave that gets you into heaven. Do not think that you come to mass and get to go to heaven. You will be surprised if you get there by who is there and who is not." I recall the anger in his words - and the love - but he had the Cathedral's total attention.
- Today, the feast of St. Lucy, was another classic Malama homily: "Tomorrow will never arrive. Never. There is only today. And today is when you must confess your sins. Do not delay, do not put it off. Find a priest and tell him to hear your confession right away. This you must do." This was a man - a priest - gravely distressed by the Damoclean Sword of sin hovering over the necks of so many faithful. He didn't make the usual case for the sacrament of reconciliation, or show off his knowedge of sacramental theology; he just stood there and told us to go to a priest and confess. Today. His meaning was clear - we had the right and obligation to demand a priest hear our confession. I wonder how his colleagues feel about that?
If this is the future of the priesthood, things are definitely looking up.