The 3 M's of the priesthood

The 3 M's of the priesthood July 12, 2011

From Zenit, by way of Padre Steve at Da Mihi Animas, comes this beautiful meditation on the priesthood, whose “3 Ms” are missionary, mediator and martyr.

The source is Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai, speaking at the ordination of a friar in Rome last weekend:

The secretary of the Vatican dicastery [the Vatican’s Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples] observed, “being a missionary means being sent by the Father to love.”

The priest, he continued, must also be a mediator, as Benedict XVI has said, defining the priest as the “mediator between God and men.”

If in our earthly life “there is no lack of suffering and trials,” “the believer, and especially the priest, must learn how to await the future glory with hope and perseverance.”

“Dear Mauro,” the archbishop said, turning to the friar, “you will continue the transformative work of Christ, transforming, that is, trials and suffering into a ‘a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God.’ Through your ministry the spiritual sacrifice of the faithful is made perfect, because it is joined to the sacrifice of Christ, which, by your hands in the name of the whole Church is offered on the altar in a bloodless way in the celebration of the holy mysteries.”

The 3rd “M” of the priesthood is that of martyrdom, Archbishop Hon Tai-Fai said, on the day when the Church celebrates the feast of the 120 Chinese martyrs beatified in various groups between 1746 and 1951 and canonized by Pope John Paul II on Oct. 1, 2000.

“The Gospel,” the archbishop said, returning to the theme of the sower, “speaks of the good soil for receiving the Word. The blood of martyrs fecundates the soil for the Word. Jesus Christ is the definitive and efficacious Word that has come from the Father and returned to him, perfectly realizing his will in the world. The Sower who carries the word become the Word himself.”

In this connection the archbishop exhorted the ordinand to be a “witness to Christ, so that with his word and example he might build up the Church and be the fragrance of Christ in his teaching, joy and support of the faithful.”

“Follow the example of the Good Shepherd who came not to be served but to serve,” he said.

Amen.  Read more.

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5 responses to “The 3 M's of the priesthood”

  1. I cannot agree that the priest is a mediator between God and men. There is only one and that is Jesus Christ. The priest is empowered to sacramental work, not as mediator. Correct me if you feel I am wrong, but the Bible is very clear about this and I believe so is the teaching of the Church. Our mediator and advocate is Christ. Even when we pray to the Holy Mother we are asking her to pray to Christ.

    That statement is the only thing that stood out to me, and it is dangerously medieval sounding.

  2. Of course, Jesus is the sole mediator between God and man. However, a priest shares in the priesthood of Jesus Christ and acts “in persona Christi” when celebrating the Mass and the sacraments. In that sense, the priest acts as mediator as he is acting in the name of Jesus.

  3. Thanks Deacon Greg for the link up! Archbishop Savio visited us here in Orange, NJ a few months before he was named an Archbishop (he was just Fr. Savio then!) and I found him to be incredibly down to earth and approachable. He gave us a retreat day and was well received by the men in formation. I think he will do great things for the Church in this new responsibility. Keep up the beautiful work on your site!

  4. Maria Mater Misericordia (MMM). Pray for our Church, our priests, our deacons and all of us sinners.

  5. Not enough people use words like the Archbishops’s, so not enough people hear them. It sounded like poetry to me. Who could assent to such a charge? Only one truly called, I think.

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