The Sacrament of Holy Orders (Priesthood)
"Having therefore a great high priest that hath passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God: let us hold fast our confession. For we have not a high priest, who can not have compassion on our infirmities: but one tempted in all things like as we are, without sin. Let us go therefore with confidence to the throne of grace: that we may obtain mercy, and find grace in seasonable aid....For every high priest taken from among men, is ordained for men in the things that appertain to God, that he may offer up gifts and sacrifices for sins: Who can have compassion on them that are ignorant and that err: because he himself also is compassed with infirmity. And therefore he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins. Neither doth any man take the honour to himself, but he that is called by God, as Aaron was.” (Hebrews 4:14-16, 5:1-4)
JESUS COMMISSIONS HIS FIRST PRIESTS
- "And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world." (Matthew 28:18-20)
What did Jesus do to continue His work on earth?
To make sure that His work be continued, Jesus established the Catholic Priesthood, through the Sacrament of Holy Orders.
What is the Sacrament of Holy Orders?
Holy Orders is the Sacrament which gives a man the powers of the Catholic Priesthood.
In general, what is a priest?"For every high priest taken from among men, is ordained for men in the things that appertain to God, that he may offer up gifts and sacrifices for sins:" (Hebrews 5:1)
A man who offers sacrifices to God for the sins of the people.
Was Jesus a priest?"Wherefore it behoved him in all things to be made like unto his brethren, that he might become a merciful and faithful priest before God, that he might be a propitiation for the sins of the people.” (Hebrews 2:17)
Yes, Jesus was and is, the Great High Priest.
Who were the first Catholic priests?
The twelve Apostles, who were ordained to the priesthood by Jesus Christ Himself.
When did Jesus make the twelve Apostles priests?"Do this for a commemoration of me." (Luke 22:19)
At the Last Supper, on the night before He died, when He gave them the power to change bread and wine into His Body and Blood.
Did the Apostles make other men priests?
Yes, for example, Paul, Barnabas, Timothy, Titus, and Matthias. See Acts 13:3, 14:22, 1:24-26, and Titus 1:5.
How did the Apostles ordain other men priests?"Then they, fasting and praying, and imposing their hands upon them, sent them away. " (Acts 13:3)
By praying for them and imposing hands on them.
After the Apostles died, how were the powers of the priesthood handed down?
Before they died, the Apostles made other men bishops, who in turn made other men bishops, and in this way the powers of the priesthood have been handed down during the past 2000 years.
How are the powers of the priesthood handed down today?
Today the bishops hand down the powers of the priesthood just as the Apostles did - by praying over and imposing hands on the candidates for priesthood.
What are the chief powers of the priesthood?
They are --
To offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which includes the power to change bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ and...
- To forgive sins.
- To preach with authority.
- To administer other Sacraments
- To bless people and objects.
12. Where does the authority of the priesthood come from?
From Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity.
- "He that heareth you, heareth me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth me; and he that despiseth me, despiseth him that sent me." (Luke 10:16)
Who can give the Sacrament of Holy Orders?"For this cause I left thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and shouldest ordain priests in every city, as I also appointed thee:" (Titus 1:5)
Only a bishop.