YEAR A: HOMILY FOR MONDAY OF THE 2ND WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: ROYAL PRIESTHOOD
BY: Fr. Benny Tuazon
HOMILY: (Heb. 5:1-10) Monday After the Feast of Sto. Niño, Memorial of St. Agnes
In today’s First Reading from the letter to the Hebrews, we have the Priesthood of Christ. While high priests were chosen from the community, Jesus was chosen by the Father. Even then, while being the Son of God, He did not experience special treatment. He experienced suffering which became His lesson for obedience. He prayed and offered supplications to the Father in our behalf. Because of that He was glorified and became our source of eternal salvation.
There is only one priesthood and that is the Priesthood of Jesus. He was chosen and sent by the Father. He became one like us and mediated between us and God. He was God’s offer of forgiveness to us and invitation to salvation. He was our Savior, He offered His life for our salvation. His death was the one great sacrifice and acme of His priesthood.
We participate in that Priesthood as a baptize person and as an ordained clergy. By virtue of our baptism, we participate in Jesus’ work of salvation. By our holy lives, we inspire others while achieving for ourselves the holiness necessary for the Kingdom. We pray for each other and those in purgatory. The power of the priesthood is not generated by is but flows from Jesus the High Priest.
It is basically the same with the ordained priesthood. In a special but not greater way, we fulfill Jesus’ priestly function. The priest is acting in persona Christi. He represents Christ in the Sacraments. In a way, he makes Jesus visible, audible, and felt. So much is expected from the priest. While he cannot fully represent Christ, he does so weakness included. His humanity does not disappear nor changed. God works in his whole person, sinner or saint.
It follows that the essence of the priesthood, because they all came from Jesus, is the same for all ordained whether pope, cardinal, bishop, monsignor, and the regular clergy. Not one is more priest than the other in the same way that baptism grants the same participation in the priesthood of Christ. Baptisms, special or common, are equal in essence. Graces are all the same and equal. Same with the ordained. While holiness is important by virtue of their vocation, all ordained priests are equal in their participation in the One Priesthood of Jesus. In other words, their sins do not, in any way lessen or affect their ministry much more the graces which should be obtained though the ministry.
At times we select our priests. It is good as long as we have a choice. Hopefully, we will learn to accept all priests or any priests when he is the only one available. Surely, we should know and cannot give the priest as the reason for not availing of the sacrament. In other words, when we face God, we cannot blame the priest. But of course, the priest has the responsibility to witness to the priesthood.
Finally, when we look at the priest and our neighbor, see Christ in them.