Someone once told me the large colorful robe I was wearing at Mass, called the chasuble, made me look like a giant silk pin cushion. One of the nicest compliments I have been paid, I must admit. It is part of our lives as priests to be tools, and dispensable ones at that.
First, a tool. The priest at Mass offers up sacrifice through Jesus to the Father. When I offer those prayers, you stick your prayers and intentions to me, the pin cushion. That sacrifice becomes more plentiful and pleasing the more pins, or prayers, you stick in me. It is not James Wallace's sacrifice, but the parish’s sacrifice in Christ.
Which leads me to my second characteristic: dispensability. The Sacramentary, or the book that contains the Eucharist Prayer from which the priest recites, reads, “we pray for Pope N. and Bishop N.” 'N' is an indication to insert the current names. As important as the pope and the cardinal are, they come and go, hence their names are not written permanently. If the Archbishop of Chicago and the Holy Father are spare parts that can be replaced, then even more so with me! Eventually, another pin cushion will come after me and offer your sacrifice to God Almighty. I will go to another parish and do the same. It is your offerings that make the sacrifice unique and pleasing to the Father, an authentic Catholic Mass at Saint Juliana Parish.
So, please, have intentions and throw them at me when you see the pin cushion raise his hands behind the altar. It is a great privilege to be a “pin-cushion priest.”