Monday, April 8, 2013

Feast of the Annunciation - Mary and the Priesthood

The Annunciation by Carlo Crivelli

Mary and the Priesthood  The following is an excerpt.

By her fiat in answer to the message of the Angel Gabriel, Mary consented to become the Mother of the Eternal High Priest, Jesus Christ. At that very moment of the Incarnation, Jesus also began His priestly oblation to the Father. The letter to the Hebrews places the following words of the Psalms in Jesus’ mouth at the Incarnation: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a Body You prepared for Me… Then I said, ‘Behold, I come to do Your will, O God’” (Heb 10:5-7). Thus Mother and Son, Mary and the High Priest, were united from the very beginning in the priestly, sacrificial self-offering to the will of the Father. Our Lady pronounced her fiat to all the suffering involved with being Mother of the Redeemer saying, “Be it done unto me according to your word”; while Jesus consented to His priestly mission from the Father saying, “Behold I come to do Your will”. John Paul II sees in this “perfect correspondence” between Mother and Son “that a close relationship has been established between Mary’s motherhood and Christ’s priesthood” (Gen. Audience, June 30, 1993). Mary stands behind her Son and dedicates herself totally to His priestly mission as Mediator and Redeemer of all men. Her dedication, however, did not end with Jesus’ death on the cross. This bond continues and is extended throughout the centuries between Mary and every priest who participates in the ministerial priesthood of Christ. As Mother of Christ, Mary is in a special way the Mother of each and every priest. She takes each priest into her care, just as she cared for Jesus.