Thursday, March 2, 2017
Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 250 - Part VII.
(Youcat answer - repeated) 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 1550) 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.
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 1551) This priesthood is ministerial. "That office…which the Lord committed to the pastors of his people, is in the strict sense of the term a service" (LG 24). It is entirely related to Christ and to men. It depends entirely on Christ and on his unique priesthood; it has been instituted for the good of men and the communion of the Church. 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 (Cf. Mk 10 43-45; 1 Pet 5:3). "The Lord said clearly that concern for his flock was proof of love for him" (St. John Chrysostom, De sac. 2, 4: PG 48, 636; cf. Jn 21:15-17).