Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Future Pope Francis on Holy Eucharist, Priesthood, Vocations to the Priesthood

"In the last Supper we have been born as priests.  There isn't the Eucharist without the priesthood and the priesthood doesn't exist without the Eucharist.  Only the priest who has received the Sacrament of Holy Orders can validly celebrate the Eucharist, because there is something mysterious there.
"The Eucharist isn't a reunion of friends who come to pray and eat bread and wine.  The Eucharist is fundamentally priestly, because the first Eucharist was celebrated in a priestly way by the unique High Priest, in whose priesthood we ourselves participate, Jesus Christ. He was the priest and was the victim of the Sacrifice.
"Once when I was in the seminary, my grandmother told me never to forget that I was going to be a priest, and the most important thing for a priest was to celebrate the Mass.  And she reminded me about a mother who said to her son, who was a very holy priest, she told him, "Celebrate the Mass, each Mass, as if it were the first and the last."
"With what greatness the priest has to prepare himself to celebrate the Holy Eucharist.  Such a beautiful thing!  Such a great thing!  Something that fills us with joy!  And what applies to the priest also applies in a way to each of the faithful who participate in the common priesthood of all the faithful.  He can't celebrate the Eucharist, but he can participate in the celebration.  This is the greatest thing that can take place during the day.  It is the most profound, the most priestly. For this reason we unite ourselves to Jesus Christ the Priest who offers His Sacrifice to the Father.
"But back to the priest--if some of you who are listening to me  are young people, doesn't this excite you?  Don't you feel that God is calling you to this great thing--to have in your hands the Body of Christ?"
(From EWTN's exclusive interview with Cardinal-Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, now Pope Francis. In this excerpt, the future Pope talks about his devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. )

Mary, Mother of Jesus Christ, Eternal High Priest, Mother of all priests and our Mother, help us respond generously to the Holy Spirit's request, through the voice of His Church, to offer up to God Eucharistic adoration for priests.  Amen.

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