So there we have it!!
We started with a bit of a review in Paragraphs 1546 and 1547
It was about the importance and the vital necessity of these two participations in the ONE PRIESTHOOD OF CHRIST
We have the baptismal priesthood and the ministerial priesthood
The ministerial priesthood is also known as the hierarchical priesthood
So how do the faithful exercise their baptismal priesthood?
Paragraph 1546 says, “The whole community of believers is, as such, priestly. The faithful exercise their baptismal priesthood through their participation, each according to his own vocation, in Christ’s mission as priest, prophet, and king.”
We bring that out into the world
Whatever YOU suffer, you get to unite that with the sufferings of JESUS
Whenever YOU work, you get to unite that to the work of JESUS
Whenever YOU rejoice, you get to unite that to the joy of JESUS
Whenever YOU worship at Mass, you get to unite that to the self offering of JESUS
THAT IS SO IMPORTANT!!
Paragraph 1547 says, “The ministerial or hierarchical priesthood of bishops and priests, and the common priesthood of all the faithful participate, ‘each in its own proper way, in the one priesthood of Christ.’ While being ‘ordered to one another,’ they differ essentially. In what sense? While the common priesthood of the faithful is exercised by the unfolding of baptismal grace-a life of faith, hope, and charity, a life according to the Spirit-, the ministerial priesthood is at the service of the common priesthood. It is directed at the unfolding of the baptismal grace of all Christians. The ministerial priesthood is a means by which Christ unceasingly builds up and leads his Church. For this reason it is transmitted by its own sacrament, the sacrament of Holy Orders.”
THIS IS SO IMPORTANT!!
Why does the ministerial priesthood exist?
For the glory of the Father
To serve and worship God
To build up the Body of Christ on earth
These are the sacraments of service
The ministerial priest receives a new power
IN PERSONA CHRISTI CAPITIS
The priest is an ICON of Jesus
THAT IS IMPORTANT!!
Paragraph 1549 says, “...the bishop is typos tou Patros: he is like the living image of God the Father.”
God is present in the priest in a unique way
Christ has marked this priest in a unique way and has given that priest a certain power
That power is meant to be ordered towards service
IT IS SO IMPORTANT FOR US TO UNDERSTAND THIS!!
Dr. Sax wrote a book called “Boys Adrift”
One of the themes/theories of this book is the way in which young men in the West aka USA and Canada, are given this image of masculinity that has essentially two options
One option is to be the slacker
No big deal
Not going to get riled up about anything
Not going to stand for anything
The other image is the bully or the brute
Gets their way all the time
Barges into the room
What are the two flaws that either the slacker or the bully fall into?
The flaw is that they are both given a unique strength
They are given a masculine strength
The slacker wastes it
The bully uses that strength to dominate others and serve himself
There is a third option
That third option is the image of Jesus
Jesus has all authority and power given to Him
He is the King of kings
He is the Lord of lords
There is no one who can take on Christ
Jesus does not use that power to dominate
Jesus does not waste that power
Jesus puts it AT THE SERVICE OF THOSE AROUND HIM
THIS IS WHAT IT IS TO BE A MAN!!
This is not an exclusive thing
Women are given their own graces and special gifts
But in the context of this book “Boys Adrift” what it is to be a man is to place one’s strength at the service of others
That is what a good man does
Not to waste that strength
Not to use that strength to dominate others
This is both male and female
Men are given certain characteristics and women are given certain characteristics
All of those gifts that God has given us are meant to be placed AT THE SERVICE OF THOSE AROUND US
The gifts that are poured upon a bishop or priest are given FOR THE SERVICE OF THE COMMUNITY
He can be a slacker priest or a bully priest who just serves himself
Neither of those is ideal
THE IDEAL IS ALWAYS JESUS!!
Does this priest love like Christ?
Paragraph 1550 says, “This presence of Christ in the minister is not to be understood as if the latter were preserved from all human weaknesses, the spirit of domination, error, even sin. The power of the Holy Spirit does not guarantee all acts of ministers in the same way. While this guarantee extends to the sacraments, so that even the minister’s sin cannot impede the fruit of grace, in many other acts the minister leaves human traces that are not always signs of fidelity to the Gospel and consequently can harm the apostolic fruitfulness of the Church.”
Even if a priest is in a state of mortal sin when he is offering Mass or giving absolution in Confession, THAT REALLY IS JESUS STILL THERE!!
It is not going to get in the way of it being the Mass
It is not going to get in the way of you being forgiven of all your sins
Anyone who has been hurt in small or very large, painful ways by a priest or bishop knows that it is true that in many other acts the minister leaves human traces that are not always signs of fidelity to the Gospel
We have been given flawed fathers
Yes the ministerial priesthood is completely unique
The amount of grace that they can bring into our lives is unfathomable
St. John Vianney said, “If we knew the reality of the priesthood, we would die from joy.”
At the same time, the failings, flaws, and sins of priests can hurt us maybe more than anything
Isn’t that true about our families as well?
To experience the love of a father is incredible
Our fathers can also be the ones who hurt us the most
The father can be the one who builds up the family more than any other
Moms in the family are so incredible
To have a strong and loving mother is such a gift
A mom who is flawed and fallen is painful
To have a father who is there and a father who loves
A father who strengthens his children
Fathers do it in a different way than moms
One is not better than the other
There is something so so devastating to families when the father is not there
When the father uses his strength for himself
When the father makes bad decisions and hurts his children
The Church is a family
The Church is the family of God
We have been given fathers and some of them are amazing
We have all known priests that we love
We all know bishops that we love
We can also know priests who hurt us
Priests better live up to the weight that is placed on them
Let’s listen to Fr. Mike’s story about Dr. Chris Thompson…
Jesus said, “If one of you leads any of these little ones to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone was placed around his neck and he was cast into the sea.”
This is the seriousness
God has given His ministerial priests this sacred power
With great power, comes great responsibility (Shout out to Uncle Ben!! Uncle Ben Talks to Peter 😉)
The priest must NEVER abuse that power
Paragraph 1551 says, “The sacrament of Holy Orders communicates a ‘sacred power’ which is none other than that of Christ. The exercise of this authority must therefore be measured against the model of Christ, who by love made himself the least and the servant of all.”
THAT IS WHAT EVERY PRIEST IS CALLED TO DO!!
Fr. Mike is a mess and is not as good a spiritual father as he wants to be
Fr. Mike is praying FOR YOU!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike and for each other!!
I cannot WAIT to see you tomorrow!!