Eschatology of Priesthood Essay
Eschatology of Priesthood
“Through the sacred ordination and mission which they receive from the bishops, priests are promoted to the service of Christ the Teacher, Priest and King; they are given a share in his ministry, through which the Church here on earth is being ceaselessly built up into the People of God, Christ’s Body and Temple of the Holy Spirit oriented to Eternal life. ” (PO, #1)
The Eschatological Value of the Priesthood Basically, this is all about ministerial priesthood- that office set apart to offer sacrifice and mediate between God and human beings, to act in the person of Jesus Christ as the Head and serve as God’s mouthpiece to proclaim His good intention to humanity. But more than being on the “ideal” side, priesthood is first and foremost oriented to service. “That office… which the Lord committed to the pastors of his people, is, in the strict sense of the term, a service, which is called very expressively in sacred scripture a diakonia or ministry” (LG, #24).
Priesthood is a ministry of service, both to the common priesthood and to Christ the “great high priest”. Servant of the People towards God The ordained ministry is always at the service of the common priesthood. “It guarantees that it really is Christ who acts in the sacraments through the Holy Spirit for the Church. The saving mission entrusted by the Father to His incarnate Son was committed to the apostles and through them to their successors: they receive the Spirit of Jesus to act in his name and in his person”. (CCC, # 1120). Priests are servants of the Church to foster its one and ultimate end.
That is, to continue Jesus’ mission here on earth. They bring people back to God- for them to attain salvation and later on be partakers of the heavenly homeland. They serve God’s flock by continuously nourishing their faith so that the people may not go astray and later on find their fulfilment in union with their creator. Through means of sanctifications, the priests are giving the people necessary hope so that they could aspire to that divine promise of Jesus that we will be with Him in Paradise. Priesthood is a lift of everyone’s faith for us to attain eternal life- that is God’s promise to us (Psalm 15).
So all these is oriented towards bringing people towards God; in the same way, priesthood is also instrumental of bringing people away from sin and to all destructions that keeps us away from heaven. Upon denouncing the call to sin and embracing the almighty power of God through their everyday life, the people have that fair chance of being with God, which is the primary end of every man. “Man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to Himself. Only in God will he find truth and happiness he never stops searching for”. (CCC, #27).
Servant of Christ Towards People Priesthood finds its fulfilment in Jesus Christ, the God who mediates between God and man. “The priesthood of Christ is made present in the ministerial priesthood… Only Christ is the true priest, the others being only His ministers” (CCC, #1545). From this sense, priests are made only sharers of that divine task of sanctifying the people for them to be one with God. For us to attain salvation and later on be sharers of the divine state, we need Christ to help us attain that position. So on the part of the priests, they are helping Jesus to carry out His mission here on earth- to bring us closer to God.
Priests are co-workers of God. They are handmaids of God to carry out God’s loving plan. Priests are fully dependent on Christ’s priesthood, who is the “eternal high priest” (Hebrew 5:10; cf. 6:20; Gen. 14:18). Priesthood is directed at unfolding of the baptismal grace of all Christians, gifts of the Lord to us. Priests are helpers of the Lord to His vineyard, so that in the end we may all partake the heavenly fruit of God’s labour. Priests are servants of Christ, first of all, to bring people to heaven. Priest as Mediator: Servant of God and Man Through the priestly ministry, a man can serve God and His people in the noblest form.
Priests serve the Church, as a stable union of human beings with a view to attaining an end by action pursued in common. And one with the Church, priesthood is the Church’s primordial asset. Priesthood is representing that we come to experience God’s saving presence, and so find our lives transformed so that we could attain salvation and in the end enter the heavenly Jerusalem. As a mediator, “every priest is called to be, above all, a man of prayer- to pray for God’s people. By his mission, he is a hearer of the Word of God; he treasures it up in his heart and ponders it.
He has made the purpose of his life to be an adorer of God in spirit and in truth, and to help all the priestly people of God to abide in the Word of the Lord, to pray and to find a synthesis between faith and life, to the honour and glory of God” (Bernard H? ring’s Meditation on the Sacrament of the Holy Orders). He made known God’s saving presence. When God and man meet- that is heaven. And that encounter is the main goal of a priest, to bridge the gap between God and man. Though he himself is both limited and sinful, a priest is entrusted by that wonderful task to establish unity.
Salus Animarum- that is every man’s goal, a priest is a servant of that goal so that in the end, he may attain his personal salvation. Priesthood is not a guarantee of heaven; rather, it is a humble way towards it. Priesthood is indeed, mediation of God and Man. It builds the communication. It forges the encounter. It is always oriented for the good of man and of God so that all, in the end find its final destiny- to be with each other. That is the eschatological value of being a priest- to help God find His lost sons and to help His sons to find the way to God again.
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 6 December 2016