Saturday, February 14, 2009

"Go, show yourself to the priest."

"Go, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded." (Mark 1, 44)

Some say that priesthood is a creation of the Church and that Christ did not intend to make a priesthood. Here he acknowledges the Levitical priesthood, which he raised up and made perfect by his own sacrifice, creating an eternal priesthood which shall not pass away. The bodily healing of the stain of leprosy is a sign of the perfect healing of redemption made once for all by Christ the High Priest.

The one priesthood of Christ

"Everything that the priesthood of the Old Covenant prefigured finds its fulfillment in Christ Jesus, the 'one mediator between God and men.' (1 Tim 2:5) The Christian tradition considers Melchizedek, 'priest of God Most High,' as a prefiguration of the priesthood of Christ, the unique 'high priest after the order of Melchizedek'; (Heb 5:10; cf. 6:20; Gen 14:18) 'holy, blameless, unstained,' (Heb 7:26) 'by a single offering he has forever perfected for all time those who are sanctified,' (Heb 10:14) that is, by the unique sacrifice of the cross." (CCC 1544)

"The redemptive sacrifice of Christ is unique, accomplished once for all; yet it is made present in the Eucharistic sacrifice of the Church. The same is true of the one priesthood of Christ; it is made present through the ministerial priesthood without diminishing the uniqueness of Christ's priesthood: 'Only Christ is the true priest, the others being only his ministers.' (St. Thomas Aquinas, Hebr. 8, 4)" (CCC 1545)

Meeting Christ in the Liturgy offers a reflection for the Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time.

(Art: Christ healing a leper, REMBRANDT Harmenszoon van Rijn, C. 1657-60, Rijksprentenkabinet, Amsterdam.)

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