Priesthood Is It Still Important?

God calls and ordained through the ministers of the church...

One of the experiences I have had was on the day I went to the market to buy foodstuffs for myself; I was inside a minibus heading to the General market, and behold, we passed a cathedral of Catholic Church, and that day happened to be an ordination mass of able young men into the ministerial priesthood. I saw many husbands material, and a lady beside me inside the Minibus said what the essence of this priesthood is; there are many girls in the society praying for good husbands; why must these able and vibrant young men offer themselves to live a celibate life. Then, the Driver replied, it is God who calls and ordained through the Bishops with the help of the Most Holy Trinity. I was shocked to hear these words from a taxi driver, and he educated us more on the need for priests in our contemporary times. I went home and pondered on these words from the taxi driver.

This phenomenon appears to put into question, from the pastoral perspective, the nature of the ministerial priesthood in our present age. The Ministerial Priesthood is so connected to the Eucharist that this priesthood cannot be correctly contemplated outside of the Eucharistic Mystery. Only through the measure of authentic knowledge of the Eucharist can the supernatural nature of the Ministerial Priesthood be sufficiently grasped. Ministerial Priesthood is another vocation that a person can have. The priesthood is an irreplaceable and indispensable vocation in the world because he exists to proclaim the truth that it is in Christ and His Gospel that we come to eternal life.

Again, the priest works for the food that endures eternal life, not the food that perishes with the end of this earthly life. It involves a person who is called by God to serve the Church and the community; these people are known as priests. The priest has always been considered a person endowed with the power to preside over the Eucharistic sacrifice and administer the Sacraments. The theology of the ministerial priesthood is basically Christological. At ordination, the priest takes on a character that configures him to Christ and acts in the person of Christ in his triple priestly function as a Prophet, Teacher, and a King. Their role in the Church is to serve the spiritual needs of the People.

Finally, the ministerial priesthood is distinct from the royal/baptismal priesthood or priesthood of all believers. The distinction lies in the fact that ministerial priesthood is different in degree from the baptismal/universal priesthood of all believers, although both are derived from the same priesthood of Jesus Christ. Ministerial priests are Altus Christus and act in persona Christi when offering priestly duties such as administering the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist. The theology of the ministerial priesthood is built on the priesthood of Jesus Christ; it is Christological in nature. 

It is, therefore, the prolongation of Christ's loving and self-giving presence in the world through the Church. The Ministerial Priest's life and mission are so linked to the Eucharistic Sacrifice that he is called to become completely one with it in order to become, himself, a sacrifice of praise, just like pope John Paul II Said; they do this in three main ways:

- Being with others in a personal, loving way that gave witness to Jesus' presence

- Leading the believing community

- Celebrating Christ's presence in the sacraments and the Eucharistic sacrifice of the Mass

- Preaching the word of God

People who are called to be Priests as their vocations generally find happiness, fulfillment, and other spiritual rewards from Christ by helping and providing service to others.

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