...is so we may be priests like Jesus.
Easter is a great time to remember our own baptism. Baptism isn't just
a one-time event but is a source of grace that we can draw from
continuously. Part of that grace is being incorporated into Christ by
being a priest, prophet and king in his footsteps.
Each of the baptized is called to the priesthood of Jesus (called the
“common priesthood” since it's common to all the baptized as opposed to
the “ministerial priesthood of the ordained). Priests have two
essential tasks; to offer sacrifice and to be conduits of grace to the
world. While this is obvious in ordained priests offering the sacrifice
of the Mass and participating in dispensing God's grace in the
Sacraments, all the baptized are called to be priestly as well.
Our priesthood is lived out by offering our lives as sacrifice by the
way we choose to live. Being a Christian requires carrying some cross
and choosing a way of life that devoted to God's will and not our own..
This can take any number of forms but can be summed up in the virtues of
faith, hope, and love.
When we choose faith, hope, and love in
our lives we act on our baptismal grace, because it's God's grace that
allows us and prompts us to choose the good. Not only do we make
ourselves a sacrifice but living lives of virtue also allows God to pour
further grace into the world. Baptismal grace is limitless but
receiving and using it is a learned skill. The more we use it the
greater our capacity to receive it becomes.
When we live
lives of faith, hope, and love we become changed by God's grace and we
also change the world around us. Look at Blessed Teresa of Calcutta or
Blessed John Paul II. Look at Pope Francis and the shockwaves his
humble love is sending through the world! Through our baptism we have
been called to participate in pouring God's grace on the world; let's
take that responsibility seriously.
That Jesus wants us to share in his priesthood is yet another reason Catholics baptize.