MEANING:The Sacrament of apostolic ministry.The Sacrament by which men become priests and are given a sacred power (sacra potestas) to act in total sacramental identification with Christ.
“Order” means the group or body of those who carry on certain functions. Like teaching, sanctifying and governing.“Ordination” is the sacramental act by which one is integrated into the orders of bishops, priests and deacons.
OLD TESTAMENT Through Moses God called all the Israelites to be “a kingdom of priest, a holy nation” The old testament priesthood was powerless to effect definitive salvation. It was never able to perfect the worshippers by the same sacrifices offered continually year after year.
NEW TESTAMENT Four basic dimensions :The priest is a discipleThe priest is an apostleThe priest is called a presbyterThe priest is presider at the Eucharist
Institution of the Holy Orders At the Last Supper Jesus institutedthe Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. In thisnew sacrifice the gift offered to Godwould not be a mere token gift, such as asheep or an ox or bread and wine. Thegift now, for the first time and always,would be a gift worthy of God.
It would be the gift of Gods own Son agift of infinite value, even as God himself isinfinite. In the Mass, under the appearances ofbread and wine, Jesus would daily renew theonce-and-forever offering which, upon thecross, he made of himself to God. In the Masshe would give to each of us, his baptizedmembers, the opportunity to unite ourselveswith him in that offering.
BISHOPSBy episcopal consecration is conferred to the fullness of the sacrament of Orders and together with the office of sanctifying, the duty also of teaching and ruling.
Bishops in an eminent and visible manner undertake Christ’s own role as teacher, shepherd , and high priest and act in his person.Each bishop has, as Vicar of Christ, the pastoral responsibility for a particular diocese entrusted to him.
PRIESTS “The function of the bishops ministry was handed over in a subordinate degree to priests so they might be appointed in the order of the priesthood and be workers of the episcopal order for the proper fulfillment of the apostolic mission entrusted to it by Christ.”
3 Main FunctionsTo preach the GospelShepherd the faithfulCelebrate divine worship as true priest of the New Testament
Sacred Functions Acting in the person of Christ. They unite the votive offerings of the faithful to the sacrifice of Christ their head. Make present again and apply the unique sacrifice of the New Testament.
Three Priestly Function of Minister Of God’s word Of the sacraments Of the leadership in the faith community
DEACONS “Strengthened by sacramental grace, in the communion with the bishop and his body of priests, deacons serve the people of God in the service of the liturgy, of the Gospel, and of works of charity. ”
Duties To administer baptism solemnly To be custodians and to distributors of the sacrifice To assist and bless marriages in the name of Church To bring viaticum to the dying To read the sacred scripture to the faithful
To instruct and exhort the people To preside over the worship and prayer of the faithful To administer sacramentals To officiate at funeral and burial services
A. The Spirit and the Life of the Ordained No one can authentically preach God’s word except from a life wholly conformed to it, and conversely by preaching the Word always affects the whole life of the preacher
No one can lead others into the prayer of Christ except from a life conformed to that prayer, and conversely leading others in genuine Christian prayer affects the whole life of the prayer-leader.
No one can shepherd with the affection of Christ the good shepherd except from a little conformed to such affections, and conversely shepherding the others with the affection of Christ affects the whole life of the shepherd.
The ordained ministry thus incarnates the priesthood of Jesus Christ himself. The transformation through ordination involves the whole life of the ordained because the nature of the ministries themselves.
B. Spirituality of Priest The Holy Spirit The spirit of the Lord is the principal agent in the spiritual life of all Christians, especially of priests. He creates the “new heart”, inspires and guides it with the new law of love and pastoral charity.
Following his action on Christ himself the spirit reveals and communicates the fundamental calling which the father address to everyone from all eternity through Christ Jesus, and become the indwelling principle and wellspring of its fulfillment .
The Spiritual life of Priests Vatican II declared that priests, whohave already received in the consecrationof baptism the sign and the gift of theChristian calling to perfection, arebound in a special way to strive thisperfection since they are consecrated toGod in s new way by their ordination.
Since every priest in his own wayrepresents the person of Christ himself,he is endowed with a special grace whichenables him, through his service of thepeople, to better pursue the perfectionof Christ. This means witnessing to the“radicalism of the Gospel,” particularlythrough living out the evangelicalcounsels: apostolic, pastoral obedience,celibacy , and evangelical poverty.
John Paul’s exhortation to Priests John Paul II addressed 5,000 priestsfrom throughout the world as follows:a. The priestly vocation is essentially call to holiness, in the form which derives from the Sacrament of Orders
b. Holiness is intimacy with God , it isthe imitation to Christ, who was poor ,chaste and humble; it is unreserved lovefor persons and a giving of oneself ontheir behalf and for their true good; it islove for the church which is holy andwants us to be holy.