So there we have it!!
It can be a challenge to a lot of people
Some people would maybe claim the sacrament of Holy Orders being restricted exclusively to men is unjust
Let’s listen to Fr. Mike’s story…
Paragraph 1577 says, “‘Only a baptized man (vir) validly receives sacred ordination.’”
Paragraph 1577 continues, “For this reason the ordination of women is not possible.”
The answer, and the only theological answer, is because that is how Jesus established this
You can be mad about that
We did not choose this
This was given to us
We didn’t choose bread and wine to be turned into Jesus’ Body and Blood
That was given to us
We didn’t choose pouring water or immersing in water for Baptism
That was given to us
ALL OF THE SACRAMENTS HAVE BEEN GIVEN TO US!!
WE HAVE RECEIVED THEM!!
When Jesus gave us the New Covenant Priesthood through Holy Orders, he EXCLUSIVELY CHOSE MEN
Some people say that Jesus was a product of His culture so of course He did not choose women
Judaism did not have female priests etc.
Yes Jesus is situated in time
Jesus is fully Jewish
There are many times when Jesus didn’t mind flipping over the tables in more way than one
There are many times when Jesus raised up the dignity of women
The Church is not saying that men are better than women or women are worse than men
Men and women are EQUAL IN DIGNITY and EQUAL HEIRS TO GRACE
In Genesis, man and woman are equal in the eyes of God
They are BOTH made in God’s image and likeness
Equality is NOT the same thing as sameness
Men and women are equal in dignity and different
This distinction has been lost in our culture in so many ways
We live in a day and age that wants to eradicate the differences between men and women in some ways
We don’t know how to do that because YOU CAN’T
Jesus treated women with absolute respect and dignity
Men and women are joint heirs to the life of grace
Man and woman
Male and female
Husband and wife
God calls EVERYONE to the heights of holiness
THERE HAS ONLY BEEN ONE PERFECT PERSON
Jesus is a Divine Person
Yes, He is perfect in His humanity
THE ONLY PERFECT HUMAN PERSON IS A WOMAN!!
OUR LADY MARY!!
THIS IS SO IMPORTANT!!
THE HOLIEST PERSON WHO EVER LIVED IS A WOMAN!!
The Church readily acknowledges that, accepts that, embraces that, proclaims that
Even in spite of the fact that many non-Christians and non-Catholic Christians are critical of our claim for this
WE WILL NOT BACK DOWN ON THIS!!
Jesus only chose men for the role of priests
Is that because He was culturally conditioned?
Remember that Jesus literally and figuratively upturned tables
Jesus treated women very very clearly as equals
We know that Romans, Greeks, and pagans had an abundance of priestesses
It was not as if this concept was foreign to Jesus in His humanity
If this was something Jesus wanted, He could have chosen this
Jesus elevated women in such an incredible way
Jesus brought women in as disciples
Jesus even elevated the status of children
Children had zero status in the ancient world
Men and women had status
Jesus said, “Let the little ones come to me.”
Jesus said, “If you give one of these little ones a drink of water, you are giving it to me.”
Jesus identifies with the lowest in doing that
Jesus lifts them up, elevates us
Jesus was not so culturally bound that He could not possibly have imagined female priests
Jesus did choose only men to receive the sacrament of Holy Orders to be this New Covenant priesthood
We don’t know
Why did Jesus choose bread and wine to become His Body and Blood?
We don’t know
Why does Jesus choose water to be the matter in Baptism?
We don’t know
There are ideas
Priesthood is particularly connected to fatherhood
All the way back in the Old Covenant we have the role of the father and mother in the family
Originally in the Jewish way of living, the father is the PRIEST of the family
That gets lost with the golden calf episode
Then the priesthood was restricted to the Tribe of Levi
Originally, priesthood and fatherhood are linked
The fulfillment of the priesthood and the fulfillment of the kingdom are also linked
Only men can be dads
Only women can be moms
If things were balanced and just, who has more power?
Mom or dad?
Who is more important?
Mom or dad?
They both have their ROLES
If the Church is the family of God then who has more power?
The fathers or the mothers?
Is that a question you ask about your family?
Mom and dad are both important, right?
Mom and dad are both essential
We can’t be a family without mom AND dad in some ways
This question arises more and more when we don’t have our religious sisters as present as they used to be in our parishes
If you had a parish and you have a few priests and you also have religious sisters then you do have spiritual fathers and spiritual mothers too
That’s what men are called to do in this role and that is what women are called to do in this other role
More Fr. Mike stories about Minnesota…
The gist is that religious sisters are very important and very influential
Holy Orders is always meant to be oriented towards service
It is not about power
It is about service
Every one of us can exercise whatever power God has given to us at the service of others at every moment
Some might say this is unjust that women cannot be ordained
Why does the Church say that only baptized men can be ordained?
BECAUSE JESUS ESTABLISHED IT THAT WAY!!
So if it is unjust, that means it is a sin
Jesus is God and He knows that what He established would be carried out for the rest of history on this planet
If Jesus established this and it was unjust, that means Jesus sinned in establishing an all-male priesthood
It means that Jesus sinned in excluding women from being able to be priests
Which would mean that Jesus isn’t actually God since He sinned in doing this
WE HAVE RECEIVED THIS!!
WE DID NOT INVENT IT!!
IT WAS GIVEN TO US!!
Pray for the spirit of docility and teachability
Jesus gave us the priesthood as an image of the FATHERHOOD OF GOD
IT MAKES SENSE!!
Jesus Christ gave us the priesthood as an image of HIS SELF-OFFERING AND HIS SELF-GIFT
That does not mean that women can’t image Jesus in the world
As men and women, male and female, WE ARE ALL MADE IN GOD’S IMAGE AND LIKENESS
There is this way in which God did not want to leave us without fathers
It’s something to think about
Are we teachable?
God, can you teach us?
Paragraph 1578 says, “No one has a right to receive the sacrament of Holy Orders. Indeed no one claims this office for himself; he is called to it by God.”
Like every grace, the sacrament can only be received as an unmerited gift
Paragraph 1579 says, “All ordained ministers of the Latin Church, with the exception of permanent deacons, are normally chosen from among men of faith who live a celibate life and who intend to remain celibate ‘for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.’”
That’s not always the case
There are some men in the East who are married
There are some men from other churches who are ordained and are already married and when they become Catholic they may be ordained as Catholic priests
Paragraph 1580 says, “In the East as in the West a man who has already received the sacrament of Holy Orders can no longer marry.”
While there are married men and single men who can be ordained to the diaconate or to the priesthood, they cannot be married
So even a deacon who is married and he becomes a widower, he cannot remarry
If today was a challenge for you, continue to trust in Jesus
Jesus established His Church and continues to guide His Church by the Power of the Holy Spirit
Jesus promised to lead Her into all Truth
Sometimes we see things in the news like there are going to be women priests or we are going to get married priests
THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE!!
Only men can be priests
Married priests is possible in certain situations but it is not very wise to get rid of priestly celibacy
That would not be an actual answer
It would be a band-aid that would not cover up the wound
It can be a challenge for the Lord to teach us
Does the Lord get to teach us?
Does the Church get to teach us?
Soon we are launching into PILLAR 3: HOW WE LIVE
There are going to be A LOT of challenges when we get there
Do we really want to follow the Lord Jesus not just in our minds and what we believe, but also in our actions and how we live?
KEEP ON TRUCKING!!
Fr. Mike is praying FOR YOU!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike and for each other!!
I cannot WAIT to see you tomorrow!!