Monday, April 22, 2013
Pope: The priesthood of Jesus Christ is unique!
[The Holy Father starts by reminding the people of God about the state where these chosen men will enter into, unique different from those of the laity.]
Beloved brothers and sisters: because these our sons, who are your relatives and friends, are now to be advanced to the Order of priests, consider carefully the nature of the rank in the Church to which they are about to be raised.
It is true that God has made his entire holy people a royal priesthood in Christ. [by virtue of our baptism.] Nevertheless, our great Priest himself, Jesus Christ, chose certain disciples to carry out publicly in his name, and on behalf of mankind, a priestly office in the Church. For Christ was sent by the Father and he in turn sent the Apostles into the world, so that through them and their successors, the Bishops, he might continue to exercise his office of Teacher, Priest, and Shepherd. Indeed, priests are established co-workers of the Order of Bishops, with whom they are joined in the priestly office and with whom they are called to the service of the people of God.
After mature deliberation and prayer, these, our brothers, are now to be ordained to the priesthood in the Order of the presbyterate so as to serve Christ the Teacher, Priest, and Shepherd, by whose ministry his body, that is, the Church, is built and grows into the people of God, a holy temple.
In being configured to Christ the eternal High Priest and joined to the priesthood of the Bishops, they will be consecrated as true priests of the New Testament, to preach the Gospel, to shepherd God’s people, and to celebrate the sacred Liturgy, especially the Lord’s sacrifice.
[And now the Holy Father reminds the deacons to be ordained of their unique calling.]
Now, my dear brothers and sons, you are to be raised to the Order of the Priesthood. For your part you will exercise the sacred duty of teaching in the name of Christ the Teacher. Impart to everyone the word of God which you have received with joy. Remember your mothers, your grandmothers, your catechists, who gave you the word of God, the faith ... the gift of faith! They transmitted to you this gift of faith. Meditating on the law of the Lord, see that you believe what you read, that you teach what you believe, and that you practise what you teach. Remember too that the word of God is not your property: it is the word of God. And the Church is the custodian of the word of God. [Ergo, avoid any of your wild imaginations and novelties.]
In this way, let what you teach be nourishment for the people of God. Let the holiness of your lives be a delightful fragrance to Christ’s faithful, so that by word and example you may build up the house which is God’s Church. [The pope continues to pound this message upon the priests and upon the faithful to become living examples of what we preach and profess.]
Likewise you will exercise in Christ the office of sanctifying. For by your ministry the spiritual sacrifice of the faithful will be made perfect, being united to the sacrifice of Christ, which will be offered through your hands in an unbloody way on the altar, in union with the faithful, in the celebration of the sacraments. [NOT A MEAL OF LOVE??? Darn it. No wonder his fellow Jesuits don't like him. Modernist liturgists would insist on calling the Mass "the Meal of Love", the "Agape of the Lord", the Fellowship....not of the Ring! The Sacred Banquet.....anything but to call it a Sacrifice.] Understand, therefore, what you do and imitate what you celebrate. As celebrants of the mystery of the Lord’s death and resurrection, strive to put to death whatever in your members is sinful and to walk in newness of life.
You will gather others into the people of God through Baptism, and you will forgive sins in the name of Christ and the Church in the sacrament of Penance. Today I ask you in the name of Christ and the Church, never tire of being merciful. You will comfort the sick and the elderly with holy oil: do not hesitate to show tenderness towards the elderly. When you celebrate the sacred rites, when you offer prayers of praise and thanks to God throughout the hours of the day, [the Divine Office which lamentably, only a few priests pray religiously.] not only for the people of God but for the world—remember then that you are taken from among men and appointed on their behalf for those things that pertain to God. [Priests are called to do Holy Things for God and His People. Sadly, though, some priests want to become recording artists, game show hosts, legal consultants....you can do all of those, heck you can even become president or emperor! But a president and an emperor can never be a Priest of Jesus Christ.] Therefore, carry out the ministry of Christ the Priest with constant joy and genuine love, attending not to your own concerns but to those of Jesus Christ. You are pastors, not functionaries. Be mediators, not intermediaries. [Beautiful!!!]
Finally, dear sons, exercising for your part the office of Christ, Head and Shepherd, while united with the Bishop and subject to him, strive to bring the faithful together into one family, so that you may lead them to God the Father through Christ in the Holy Spirit. Keep always before your eyes the example of the Good Shepherd who came not to be served but to serve, and who came to seek out and save what was lost.
Text from page of the Vatican Radio website
Pope Francis gave a very short homily but a rich catechism on the role and nature of the priest.
The Pope is sending a clear message. The priesthood of Jesus Christ is to perpetuate his salvific work on earth and He chose MEN, exclusively MEN for this task. SO........No Tom, Dick and especially Jane can just go out there, even though he had earned the degree in Maryhell School of Theology or SVST (Super Vandalised School of Theretics) -theological heretics for a PhD in Cosmic Wahabism (Inculturation of all religions, Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Wiccan, Teilhard de Chardin aka Pinakbet Spiritism) or Theological Feministic Rantology (aka Crying over bad experiences with dominant father figure in childhood), can just stretch out their hands and pray over anything or anyone and become PRIEST.
The role of the priest is so unique is is intimately tied to Christ's mission of saving the world.
That is why we Catholics believe that Christ saved us (when He died on the cross), is saving us (through his Church and the work of Her ministers) and will save us (at our particular and the Final Judgment).
His work continues, through the hands of the priest.
So, whatever you hear about the origins of the mano from anti-Catholic histo-revisionist Masons that it is from the kissing of the ring of the bishop's is not true. Kissing of the hand of the priest takes its cue from the rubric in the Traditional Latin Mass where the server, deacon and sub-deacon kisses the hand of the priest/celebrant, as a form of homage to the hands that bless, heal, forgive and make present Christ in our altars.
That is the hand that we kiss. The hand of Jesus Christ in the person of the priest in front of you!
That is why we call priests "alter Christus" another Christ who acts "in persona Christi" in the person of Jesus Christ. If only our priests know how precious the gift they had received, they would know why the laity would love to see them always in their clericals, would love to see them celebrate the Mass as if it were their first Mass, as if it were their last Mass, as if it were their only Mass....and why the laity must see Christ in them, not Fr. Showman in Fr. Showman....
Yes, those hands are surely committing sin just like you and me, but it does not change the fact that those hands bless, heal, forgive and make present Christ in our altars.
This is the unique gift of the Catholic priesthood, a gift under attack by the Devil because priests continue Christ's work which the Devil definitely hates so much.
Like this one, the god of the Freefarters: