Monday, March 13, 2017
Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 259 - Part I.
(Youcat answer) Through Baptism Christ has made us into a kingdom of “priests to his God and Father” (Rev 1:6). Through the universal priesthood, every Christian is called to work in the world in God’s name and to bring blessings and grace to it. In the Upper Room during the Last Supper and when he commissioned the Apostles, however, Christ equipped some with a sacred authority to serve the faithful; these ordained priests represent Christ as pastors (shepherds) of his people and as head of his Body, the Church.
A deepening through CCC
(CCC 1546) Christ, high priest and unique mediator, has made of the Church "a kingdom, priests for his God and Father" (Rev 1:6; cf. Rev 5:9-10; 1 Pet 2:5, 9). 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. Through the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation the faithful are "consecrated to be… a holy priesthood" (LG 10 § 1).
Reflecting and meditating
(Youcat comment) Using the same word, “priest”, for two related things that nevertheless “differ essentially and not only in degree” (Second Vatican Council, LG 10, 2) often leads to misunderstandings. On the one hand, we should observe with joy that all the baptized are “priests” because we live in Christ and share in everything he is and does. Why, then, do we not call down a permanent blessing on this world? On the other hand, we must rediscover God’s gift to his Church, the ordained priests, who represent the Lord himself among us.
(CCC 1547) 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 one to another," they differ essentially (LG 10 § 2). 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.