Why do we have a priesthood? I mean, isn’t that a little old-fashioned?
In the very first book of the Bible, we are introduced to Melchizedek, King of Salem, priest of most high God. Later on, the descendants of Levi received the office of priesthood, as did Aaron and his sons.
From the beginning, priests offered up sacrifices to God.
Although society views us priests as kind of pop psychologists who happened to manage tax-exempt properties, their main job still is to offer sacrifice to God on behalf of the people. Of course the sacrifice has changed a bit since Old Testament times. In the Old Testament, the priest sacrificed a lamb. In the New Testament, Jesus, who is the high priest, comes and offers up himself.
Since the beginning of Christianity, priests share in the priesthood of Jesus and offer up the perfect sacrifice the Body and Blood of Jesus himself.
A most curious line in scripture is when Jesus tells his disciples, “It is better for you that I go.” What? It’s better for Jesus to leave? “…for if I do not go the Advocate will not come to you but if I go I will send him to you.” While Jesus walked this earth, just how much space and time did he cover? About three years in ministry and a very, very small part of the globe. Only a sliver of humanity was lucky enough to stand in his presence. Sure, they could shake his hand and could mimic him from without but once he left and sent the Advocate, he became a life to be lived from within. Through the Spirit, Jesus can cover all times in all places. He is actually more present today than he was two thousand years ago.
But no priest, no Eucharist, no Real Presence.
We have a priesthood so that Jesus may be made present in all times, in all places. Is Jesus calling you to share in his priesthood?