The Ministerial Priesthood

Church of Jesus Christ of the Universe

By Mauro

5 November 2020

(Translated audio)

Some people have asked us if we could give more information about the ministerial priesthood. First of all, as already explained, the minister is a man who fully lives his baptism and who fully lives his royal priesthood. When I say “he fully lives”, I do not mean that he is perfect and has no weaknesses. He is a man who seeks to live his royal priesthood and his baptism with awareness. Priesthood is a service. The word “minister” means service; it means to serve the priestly people. He is a man who has offered his life to Jesus, through Mary Most Holy, for the people. You understand that the beginning of the path of a man called to priesthood is dying to his selfishness. He must have no personal interests but be focused on the people. His knowledge of Christ, his living for Christ, with Christ and in Christ is for the people; there are no other interests, ambitions or needs. There is no gap that needs to be filled; it is a calling to which one responds in order to serve the people with willingness to give one’s life for the people.

I will say right away that for a ministerial priest it is fundamental that he is deeply united with Mary Most Holy and loves Her profoundly. If he does not feel the need to live in communion with Mary, to feel generated, protected, accompanied and guided by Mary; if he does not need to see Mary, who teaches him the feelings and actions of a priest, thinking that he can do without Her, preferring studies and theology or by emulating the saints, he will not be a good priest. He will not be a priest of Christ. Also, the priest cannot be without the communion with the people. He must not be separated from the people. He must live with the people, be part of the people who have chosen him, because the priest is the response to God’s calling. He has been chosen by the people, who confirm, promote and give him his task.

He is a man anointed by Jesus at the time of conception, by Jesus the High Priest. It is a service that comes forth at the moment of conception. With the anointment, Jesus gives him the grace to offer himself in favour of the people together with Christ.  As I have already said, it is a path that Christ has prepared, and that man can walk because He has prepared it; He was the first to walk that path, and only with Him man can walk that path. Therefore, the priest must be free of everything to serve Jesus in the people. He must be free from fears, conditioning and bonds that could limit the offering of himself and condition him. He must be free for Jesus, only at the service of the people and of no one else, no other structure. He may receive a task from a structure, but with his priesthood – I mean the profound priesthood from conception – he is not at the service of any structure. He serves Jesus for the people.

The path of a ministerial priest must lead him to have the same feelings as Jesus had. These feelings must fully blossom in a priest: feelings of mercy, goodness and justice; feelings that he has to put into practice and exercise towards the people entrusted to him, directly among the people and through his life. Besides offering his life, his first task is to promote the people’s royal priesthood. The task of a minister is to promote the royal priesthood among the people; to indicate the path of holiness to the people. To do this, as I said before, he has to be free. If something conditions him; if he has a duty that is not given by Jesus; if he is bound to someone, if he is afraid, he cannot be free and will not be able to show the path to the people; a path that often means to remain firm and determined, to refuse compromises, staying in the truth.

The priest administers the sacraments. The sacraments serve precisely to walk the path of holiness; they are not an end in themselves. One does not become priest to administer sacraments or to celebrate Mass. The sacraments and the Holy Mass are instruments with which the priest exercises his priesthood in favour of the people, to sanctify the people, to help the people. I will repeat: someone is not a priest because he celebrates the Mass, but because he is the first to live united with Christ. His life is a continuous Mass; it is loving the enemies, blessing the good and the bad, forgiving, serving, offering himself, climbing the cross for the others, having the feelings that Jesus Christ had. This makes someone a priest, not celebrating the Mass.

It is clear that to be able to live like that, the priest must be closely united with Christ. He must love Him, be espoused to Him, be free and think a lot about God’s actions and about Jesus’ life. He must have a close relationship with Mary Most Holy. He must be a man who finds a sense of balance, peace and serenity through silence and meditation. He must fully live what he teaches with complete trust and abandonment in God because he knows that God guides him, that He guides history and every human being. This abandonment is given by the knowledge that God accomplishes all things, that God sanctifies, that God transforms everything even evil into good. Thus, in this, he always finds peace, and this peace makes him a joyful, serene, balanced man. He becomes that because his life is nurtured by the Holy Spirit, by prayer and, above all, by silence. If he does not live like that, he cannot be a priest. Nowadays, priesthood has lost a lot because this is missing, the spirit is missing. Someone may have the desire, and then he may receive the calling, but if he does not nurture the calling, it will cease to burn.

To serve the people and be at the service of Jesus, sometimes the priest needs to escape people. That is because he needs to receive grace from God if he wants to give something to the people. He cannot give of himself, and thus he needs to escape the needs of the people so that he may be able to give when there is a profound need. He must not end up like Aaron who built the golden calf to satisfy the needs of the people.[1]

What must he give to the people? The life of God. He must have the courage to give the life of God, nothing else; to be a stumbling block, a contradiction, but out of love not violence; out of love for the people. He must stay in the Truth, and the Truth is one: God the Father is the Truth; Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Then, he must carry the Truth forward, keep it alive, even if it costs him his life. Also, he must be aware that he is a creature and keep it in mind, even if he is a priest of Christ; even if he has been anointed by Christ; even if he offers himself to Christ, he is a creature, and as such He needs God. As such, he needs God’s forgiveness and the people’s forgiveness. He needs the communion with the people; he needs Mary Most Holy; he needs all the instruments God gives him, because he is a creature; he is not a superman.

As a priest, he cannot have too many activities, however good and useful, because they go beyond his mission as a priest. He may start great works, but he will not do that because he is a priest. He may do those works as a child of God; they are not included in his priestly service. He must believe in this service; he must have faith against all hope. He must know that his prayer, his offering, his continuous transformation, his continuous conversion nurture and protect the people much more than his beautiful words, homilies or works. He must believe in it, because he is not the one who nurtures, but it is his union with Christ that nurtures; it is staying in the will of God that nurtures; it is living his profound identity that nurtures, even in silence and retreat. Jesus Christ showed us the face of the Father and opened the path towards the Father. The minister must walk that path together with Him, following Him, in favour of the others.

So, I think that these may be some indications for understanding the meaning of priesthood. I know they may seem obvious, but at the same time, they are fundamental for a priest. If a priest escapes these basics, he abandons his priestly service. And, as I have already said, being a parish priest, a bishop, etc., does not mean to be fully living one’s priesthood; that is an additional service given by others. To be a priest one has to be united with Christ, live for Christ, with Christ and in Christ for the others. No structure or person can assign the service that Christ entrusts to the priest. From here, a lot can be built, but this is the base from which to start.

I thank you and I bless you, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

 

[1] See Exodus 32,1-6

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