Jesus Christ, the Eternal and High Priest
Readings: 1st: Heb 10:12-23; Ps: 39; Gos: Lk 22:14-20
This brief reflection was written by Rev. Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a Member of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers and Brothers (Spiritans). He is currently working with the Spiritan International Group of Puerto Rico & Dominican Republic. He is the Administrator of Parroquia La Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Chancellor of the Diocesis of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico. For more details and comments contact him on: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today, the church celebrates the feast of Jesus Christ, the Eternal and High Priest. It is a movable liturgical feast celebrated annually on the first Thursday after Pentecost.
Approval for this feast was first granted by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in 1987.
This feast focuses on the priestly office (Munus sacerdotal) of Christ. Christ is the model for believers. This is especially, for priests who act, in the person of Christ (“in persona Christi”).
In his encyclical of 1947, “Mediator Dei” (God the Mediator) titled: Christ, Priest and Victim.” Pope Pius XII’s wrote:
“Christ is a Priest indeed. However, he is a Priest not for himself, but for us, since in the name of the whole human race, he brings our prayers and religious dispositions to the eternal Father. He is also a victim, but a victim for us, since he substitutes himself for sinners.
Both the first reading and the gospel reading of today captures the essence of this celebration. They both remind us that with only one offering, Christ made perfect forever, those who have been sanctified.
Therefore, today we are all encouraged and all called to pray that all priests would be more like Christ, the compassionate and trustworthy high priest, who continues to intercede for humanity before the Father.
So, let as thank our Lord Jesus Christ for being the Mediator before the Father. He is both the victim and the eternal priest for our salvation. May we also imitate him in his sacrifice and self-donation for our salvation.
Peace be with you all!