Friday of the Second week in Ordinary Time
Commentary of the day
Vatican Council II
Decree on the ministry and life of priests « Presbyterorum ordinis », § 2 (trans. ©Libreria Vaticana editrice)
"He appointed twelve"
The Lord Jesus, "whom the Father has sent into the world" has made his whole Mystical Body a sharer in the anointing of the Spirit with which he himself is anointed. In him all the faithful are made “a holy and royal priesthood”; they “offer spiritual sacrifices to God through Jesus Christ”, and “they proclaim the perfections of him who has called them out of darkness into his marvelous light”. Therefore, there is no member who does not have a part in the mission of the whole Body; but each one ought to “hallow Jesus in his heart,” and in the spirit of prophecy bear witness to Jesus.
The same Lord, however, has established ministers among his faithful to unite them together in one body in which, "not all the members have the same function". These ministers in the society of the faithful are able by the sacred power of orders to offer sacrifice and to forgive sins, and they perform their priestly office publicly for men in the name of Christ. Therefore, having sent the apostles just as he himself been sent by the Father, Christ, through the apostles themselves, made their successors, the bishops, sharers in his consecration and mission. The office of their ministry has been handed down, in a lesser degree indeed, to the priests. Established in the order of the priesthood they can be co-workers of the episcopal order for the proper fulfillment of the apostolic mission entrusted to priests by Christ.
The office of priests, since it is connected with the episcopal order, also, in its own degree, shares the authority by which Christ builds up, sanctifies and rules his Body. Wherefore the priesthood, while indeed it presupposes the sacraments of Christian initiation, is conferred by that special sacrament; through it priests, by the anointing of the Holy Spirit, are signed with a special character and are conformed to Christ the Priest in such a way that they can act in the person of Christ the Head.
(Biblical references : Jn 10,36; Ep 5,30; Mt 3,16; Lc 4,18; 1Pt 2,5.9; 3,15; Rv 19,10; Rm 12,4; Jn 20,21)
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