Who is the Priest?

What does it mean to be a priest? According to St. Paul, it means above all to be a steward of the mysteries of God . . .
by John Paul II | Source:
from "Gift and Mystery"
John Paul II

In this personal testimony, I also feel the need to go beyond the mere recollection of events and individuals in order to take a deeper look and to search out, as it were, the mystery which for fifty years has accompanied and enfolded me.

What does it mean to be a priest? According to St. Paul, it means above all to be a steward of the mysteries of God; “This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Now it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy” (1 Corinthians 4: 1-2). The word “steward” cannot be replaced by any other. It is deeply rooted in the Gospel: it brings to mind the parable of the faithful steward and the unfaithful one (Luke 12: 41-48). The steward is not the owner, but the one to whom the owner entrusts his goods so that he will manage them justly and responsibly. In exactly the same way the priest receives from Christ the treasures of salvation, in order duly to distribute them among the people to whom he is sent. These treasures are those of faith. The priest is thus a man of the word of God, a man of sacrament, a man of the “mystery of faith”. Through faith he draws near to the invisible treasures which constitute the inheritance of the world’s Redemption by the Son of God. No one may consider himself the “owner” of these treasures; they are meant for us all. But, by reason of what Christ laid down, the priest has the task of administering them.



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