Friday, February 24, 2017

Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 250 - Part I.

YOUCAT Question n. 250 - Part I. How does the Church understand the sacrament of Holy Orders?

(Youcat answer) The priests of the Old Covenant saw their duty as mediating between heavenly and earthly things, between God and his people. Since Christ is the “one mediator between God and men” (1 Tim 2:5), he perfected and ended that priesthood. After Christ there can be an ordained priesthood only in Christ, in Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross, and through a calling and apostolic mission from Christ.

A deepening through CCC

(CCC 1539) The chosen people was constituted by God as "a kingdom of priests and a holy nation" (Ex 19:6; cf. Isa 61:6). But within the people of Israel, God chose one of the twelve tribes, that of Levi, and set it apart for liturgical service; God himself is its inheritance (Cf. Num 1:48-53; Josh 13:33). A special rite consecrated the beginnings of the priesthood of the Old Covenant. The priests are "appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins." (Heb 5:1; cf. Ex 29:1-30; Lev 8).   

Reflecting and meditating 

(Youcat comment) A Catholic priest who administers the sacraments acts not on the basis of his own power or moral perfection (which unfortunately he often lacks), but rather “in persona Christi”. Through his ordination, the transforming, healing, saving power of Christ is grafted onto him. Because a priest has nothing of his own, he is above all a servant. The distinguishing characteristic of every authentic priest, therefore, is humble astonishment at his own vocation.

(CCC Comment)

(CCC 1540) Instituted to proclaim the Word of God and to restore communion with God by sacrifices and prayer (Cf. Mal 2:7-9), this priesthood nevertheless remains powerless to bring about salvation, needing to repeat its sacrifices ceaselessly and being unable to achieve a definitive sanctification, which only the sacrifice of Christ would accomplish (Cf. Heb 5:3; 7:27; 10:1-4). (CCC 1592) The ministerial priesthood differs in essence from the common priesthood of the faithful because it confers a sacred power for the service of the faithful. The ordained ministers exercise their service for the People of God by teaching (munus docendi), divine worship (munus liturgicum) and pastoral governance (munus regendi).

(This question: How does the Church understand the sacrament of Holy Orders? is continued)

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