Today the Church in the US celebrates Priesthood Sunday. Many people in our culture these days do not get what priesthoods is all about for us Catholics. They struggle to understand our current & centuries-long tradition of attaching the discipline of celibacy (remaining single) to the ministry of priesthood.
But the commandment of Jesus to love is the reason for our celibacy. It the way the way Jesus himself, the High Priest, chose to love us in his earthly life. Everyone is called a vocation of love, but we live that vocation differently, some as married & some as single (either by choice or circumstances, such as those who are divorced or widowed).
Married people live a vocation of exclusive love…they commit themselves to love one person permanently & exclusively. Single people are able to love in a more inclusive way by using their freedom from a commitment to one person to allow them to spend their time & to show their love to many people. We need both kinds of love in our world, both vocations. The call for all of us is to love, but to love differently.