What a wonderful occasion to celebrate, being called by God as He called the Apostles to be “Fishers of men”.
A priest is a baptised man who has received the Sacrament of Holy Orders. Through this sacrament, a man enters into the ministerial priesthood which gives him a sacred power to serve. The ministerial priesthood is given to serve the common priesthood; all the people of God are called to participate in the common priesthood.
A priest is “a means by which Christ unceasingly builds up and leads His Church” ; therefore it is the mission of the Catholic priest “to feed the Church by the word and grace of God”. As such, a priest is a mediator or ‘bridge builder’ between God and humanity; he does this by participating in the one priesthood of Jesus Christ, who unites God and humanity in his very being. The priest carries out this ‘bridge-building’ through teaching, divine worship and leading the people.
A priest offers the ministry of Jesus Christ to us today. When a priest offers the holy sacrifice of the Mass, it is Christ who offers the sacrifice. When he absolves sins in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, it is Christ who forgives. When he partakes in the mission of the Church to teach and evangelise, it is Christ who speaks through him. When he offers love, comfort and support to God’s people, Christ is truly present with them.
For this reason, St John Vianney explained the priesthood in the following terms: “The priest continues the work of redemption on earth … If we really understood the priest on earth we would not die of fright but of love … The priest is the love of the heart of Jesus”.
This lovely card will help to commemorate a man’s decision to serve God and neighbour in this vocation.