Prophet Priest and King


My friend Michael shared with me an insight from Fr Michael Sweeney, OP. Be mindful this has gone through two human brains to get to your screen, so I’ve only got one little snippet: When you come to the altar to receive Christ you come as representing all the people to whom you will bear Christ when you leave. That’s the little snippet I have. This rest is meditation on that snippet:

When you walk out of the Chuch, filled with the grace of the Holy Eucharist you will encounter your community of people: family, coworkers, shop keepers, etc. A circle of “regulars” that you see. You carry Christ to them. And, when you come to the Church it is they who come with – through – you to Christ.

As members of his body, the laity all share in the three-fold ministry of the Moshiach: prophet, priest, and king. This is the priestly function: we bring ourselves (as Jesus did) as the offering before God the Father, participating in Jesus sacrifice of himself. We bear the life of Christ to the world. In our priestly ministry we offer to God our souls and bodies as our “reasonable worship”, a sacrifice on behalf of all those for whom we pray. As the Priest as Alter Christus presents the body of Christ to God the Father, so we each – also, as it were, in Personi Christi, make the same offereing each for our own intentions. And as the Priest caries the Body of Christ to us for Communion, we we carry it to the world.

You become Christ to your family, your coworkers, the people on the bus – in exactly the same way that the priest is Christ coming to you at the altar. You participate in the enternal kenosis of the Logos – for what esle could you be as you are configured into his likeness? 

This is the very meaning of Χριστιανούς Khristianvous “Christian” means “Little Christ”. Our salvation is the configuration of our entire existance in this world into the likeness of Christ. How do you preach on the boats of your workplace? How do you raise up disciples on the mountains of your lives? How do you heal the sick and comfort the afflicted on the highways and biways of your commute? How do you interceed for everyone on the cross God has given you?

How, by God’s grace in the Blessed Sacrament, are you Christ to those around you?

Author: Huw Raphael

A Dominican Tertiary living in San Francisco, CA. He is almost 59. He feeds the homeless as a parochial almoner and is studying to be a Roman Catholic Deacon. He is learning modern Israeli Hebrew and enjoys cooking, keto, cats, long urban hikes, and SF Beer Week.

One thought on “Prophet Priest and King”

  1. Father Sweeney also teaches that when we respond “Amen” to “Body of Christ” before receiving Our Lord in the Eucharist, we are essentially saying “I believe with my life.” Just consider how Christians risked martyrdom in the past (and even now) to declare their belief in Christ. In this sense, we are indeed giving our life, as Christ did, by courageously receiving Hun in the Eucharist…and then we go out to the world as Little Christs to all we encounter. Beautiful.

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