I tend to leave up comments that are mildly anti-Catholic and even some that take pot shots at the Catholic faith and teachings. I delete those that take aim at the Eucharist and the priesthood.
Yesterday, I gave my priest a father’s day card. The words I wrote were heartfelt. I blinked back tears as I wrote. How does one thank the one who guides us to Jesus Christ, who brings us Jesus Christ, who stands in the sandals of Jesus Christ? How do we thank the one who has become our spiritual father, as much a spiritual father as my own preacher-father was?
How do I thank God for this gift of the priesthood? No matter where I go, not matter where I live, there is a hand that will hold my hand and help me to become holy.
And my parish priest has done this and is doing this day after day, picking me up when I fall, encouraging me when I am discouraged, and reminding me to keep my eyes on Jesus Christ.
When my husband became Catholic, a wonderful world opened up for us. Finally, we could talk about the faith without it ending in an argument (primarily because I no longer felt compelled to convert him – which can put a definite strain on simple conversation about faith).
“Isn’t it interesting how references to bread and wine seem to pop up everywhere in Sacred Scripture once you become Catholic? I mean, I don’t remember reading about Melchizedek before I became Catholic. Do you? We overlooked so many clues that make the case for the Eucharist in the Bible.”
John thought for a moment. “I know he’s mentioned in the Mass, but I still don’t think he’s in my Baptist Bible.” He was implying that this was one of those things that didn’t make it into the Protestant revision of the canon of Sacred Scripture during the Protestant Reformation (like Judith and Tobit, etc.)
And our Catholic priests are ordained in “the Order of Melchizedek”.
They are, for us, a kingly priest, blessing us and offering a sacrifice of bread and wine on our behalf – and the King (Jesus) and High Priest (Jesus) comes to us then. He comes inside of us, as the reigning King of Peace (Salem). John looked at his Bible and nodded, “Huh! You’re right. He is in there.”
So, there are a few things that are so dear to me that I don’t let them hang around the comment box. Ask sincere questions. I’ll try to answer them.
And then, I’ll say a prayer, just as I did for my husband during the years before his conversion.
May you come to see this One you love–this One you have loved for perhaps most of your life–hidden in bread and wine, consecrated at the hand of the priest, and coming to you with healing, wholeness, and depths of grace I cannot describe.
Behold, the Lamb of God.
Behold the one so like St. John the Baptist, who holds Our Lord up and draws the world to Christ.