HomeCommentaryChrism Mass

Chrism Mass

I wish to reflect with you this morning on the meaning of priesthood. But let me not immediately proceed to the priesthood of the ordained. I want instead to begin with the priesthood that we all share as a community of disciples—whether lay, consecrated persons, or ordained. We call it the common priesthood of the faithful.

All of us who have been baptized and received the same anointing by the gift of the Holy Spirit that keeps us bonded into the living body of Christ are sharers in the one priesthood of Christ. We experience this communion in the priesthood of our Lord and Savior most intensely at the Eucharist which we all celebrate together.

We the ordained merely preside over it to represent the headship of Christ over the rest of his body, the Church; but the celebrant is no other than Christ himself present in the whole Church, head, and body together. All of us are called to act in the person of Christ.

In the Eucharist, we make an act of faith in Christ who becomes truly present in the gifts of bread and wine consecrated into his body and blood. From the Table of the Word, we allow Christ to speak to us, to nourish us with his life-giving Word, our Bread of Life.

From the Table of the Eucharist we allow Christ to feed us with his own body and blood so that by allowing him to enter into our lives, we can grow and be transformed into his body, the Church. We are called to be holy in our brokenness and in our wretchedness.

The Eucharist is not an exclusive meal for sinless and righteous people; it is rather a body broken for broken people like you and me. By his wounds we are healed and bring about healing to the world; by his death, we are brought to life in order to give life to the world.

The word in Latin for a priest is SACERDOS, which means a sacred gift because that is our common calling. In Christ, we become a sacred gift to the world. There is no other sacrifice that Christ’s priesthood teaches us to offer than our very selves, our very lives. As Church, we do not live for ourselves; we do not die for ourselves either.

- Newsletter -

Saint Paul says, “If we live, we live for the Lord. If we die, we also die for the Lord” who continues to live and die for the redemption of the world through his body the Church.

Our anointing in the Spirit through the gift of baptism brings about our communion with Christ and with one another, so that, together, we can participate in his life and mission in today’s world. That, in a nutshell, is what it means to be a synodal Church, according to Pope Francis.

In Jesus, we are supposed to recognize the God who emptied himself and embraced our humanity. He came not just to proclaim good news; he came to be himself the good news.

He is the God who has humbled himself and walked with us so that we can learn to walk with one another. He invites us to widen the spaces of our tents and become truly Catholic by being ready to walk, not just with fellow Catholics but with every fellow Christian disciple; not just with fellow Christians but with every fellow believer; not just with fellow believers but with every fellow human being and every fellow creature in this planet earth, our common home.

I therefore ask all of you to be actively involved in our diocesan synodal pastoral planning process, which is now in the consultation stage, and which we hope to complete by the end of this year 2024, in preparation for 2025, which Pope Francis will declare as a Jubilee Year of Hope.

Let me now address you my brothers in the ordained ministry, my fellow sharers in the gift of the ministerial priesthood of the ordained. Today you will be renewing your vows as sharers in the ordained priesthood. Let me remind you that our ordained priesthood is not meant to monopolize the priesthood of the Church but to share it.

It is meaningless if it does not build the whole Church in communion and participation in the common priesthood of the faithful. Our ministerial priesthood deteriorates into clericalism if it does not empower our laity Church for mission in the world, especially by building basic ecclesial communities, and a Church of the poor. It is not enough to invite our lay people to serve the Church.

The ministry that matters most is their service to the world as members of a servant Church. The active and transformative presence of our laity in society in all aspects of societal life is their more essential ministry and participation in the Church mission.

By the end of this year, I ask you dear members of Kalookan’s diocesan clergy to start preparing yourselves for new assignments, for transfer to new parishes and new ministries. With the help of your pastoral and finance councils, please prepare your communities for a smooth transition and turnover. Remember that it is the same Church we serve, wherever it is that you are assigned.

Let me also address you my dear brothers and sisters in consecrated life, members of the religious congregations that are our partners in mission in Kalookan. I wish to thank you for your presence in our diocese, and for sharing with our faithful the gifts and charisms of your consecrated life.

Finally, let me address you also our dear lay faithful, especially our lay partners in mission, and sharers in the various ministries of the Church. I pray that all of us together—whether ordained, consecrated, or lay, may grow in our common priesthood and become truly configured to the one priesthood of Christ, that we practice our leadership only in the humble and selfless spirit of servanthood, as disciples in mission representing our divine master who came not to be served but to serve and to give his life for the redemption of the whole world.

Homily of Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan during the Chrism Mass on March 28.

© Copyright LiCAS.news. All rights reserved. Republication of this article without express permission from LiCAS.news is strictly prohibited. For republication rights, please contact us at: [email protected]

Support LiCAS.news

We work tirelessly each day to tell the stories of those living on the fringe of society in Asia and how the Church in all its forms - be it lay, religious or priests - carries out its mission to support those in need, the neglected and the voiceless.
We need your help to continue our work each day. Make a difference and donate today.