There are two ways of participating in the priesthood of Jesus, that flow from the baptismal grace of all Christians. The first is the common priesthood to which all baptized and confirmed are consecrated. The second is the ministerial priesthood, through the Sacrament of the Order, which is at the service of the common priesthood, a means in which Jesus Christ unceasingly builds his Church.
The ecclesial service from the order ministry, is Christ himself who is present in his Church as: Head of his Body, Pastor of his Flock, High Priest, Teacher of the Truth. In other words, the priest, for the Sacrament of the Order, acts in the person of Christ: “in persona Christi Capitis” (Read CCC 1547-1548). The sacrament of the Order complies with the mission from Christ trusted to his apostles, exercised in the Church until the end of times. It is the sacrament of the apostolic ministry that comprehend three degrees: episcopal, priesthood, and diaconate.
It is called Order because the apostolic body is organized in an order (the three grades); that goes beyond of a simple election, as each order gives a special gift of the Holy Spirit which allows to exercise a sacred power that can only comes from Jesus Christ.
The ordain is also called “consecration” because it is a “put aside” and an “invest” (clothe someone with a certain quality) by Christ himself for his church (Read CCC 1536-1538; 1 Timothy 3).
Through the grace of the Holy Spirit the ordained man is configured to Christ as priest, teacher, and pastor. Jesus Christ resurrected, by giving the Holy Spirit to his apostles, trusted them his sanctifying power (Read John 20: 21-23), and they became sacramental signs of Christ. And through the power of the Holy Spirit, they trusted this power to their successors.
This “apostolic succession” structures the whole liturgy life of the Church. She himself is sacramental, transmitted by the sacrament of the Order (Read CCC 1087). To carry out such a great work, Jesus Christ is always present in his Church, in the liturgy, in the person of the ministry (e.g.: priest), in the eucharist, in the sacraments (e.g.: when the priest baptizes, is Christ who is baptizing): “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:20…“Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the world.” Matthew 28:19-20 (Read CCC 1088). A work for which God is perfectly glorified and men are sanctified. Christ associated always the Church, his beloved wife, that invokes her Lord and by him gives worship to the Eternal Father (Read CCC 1089). And finally, a work that is protected against the powers of hell: “Jesus replied, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven’.” Mathew 16:17-19.
For additional information or to schedule a meeting to find out how you can join the Order call (954) 421-3246.