You Are a Royal Priesthood
May 2, 2023
You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people…now you have received mercy. (this Sunday’s second reading, 1 Peter 2:2-10)
You may have heard it said that, by grace—in particular, the grace given through Baptism—we share in the priestly (as well as prophetic and royal) mission of Christ. We are a “royal priesthood”. What does this mean, however? Although, strictly speaking, not necessary, we are mediators of grace for one another. What a privilege! God wants to make use of little old (or young) me to touch others, to love and bless others. How creative and merciful and magnanimous of God.
There is, of course, as second, distinct participation in the one Priesthood of Christ, given through the sacrament of the “apostolic ministry”, “Holy Orders”. It has three degrees: episcopate, presbyterate, and diaconate. This priesthood, centered on the sacraments and the life that flows therefrom, and only for this earthly pilgrimage, is entirely at the service of the royal priesthood, which lasts forever. In other words, the ordained ministers of the Church are but (hopefully, grateful!) “unworthy servants” (Luke 17:10) for a time. Together, we are all turned towards the great High Priest, Jesus, the “author of our salvation” (Eucharistic Prayer B, BCP, p. 369), Who lavishly showers us with blessing and with Whom we shall live for all eternity.
THE REV. DOMINIQUE PERIDANS