Is there a priest in the house?

Last week we considered fear, how we react to fear, how our culture/news sometimes foments fear, and, in contrast, how our Christian tradition repeats over and over, Fear not, Do not be afraid, I am with you, etc.

This week, we’ll go a different direction.   In EFM, we are reading a book by William Countryman, Living on the Border of the Holy: Renewing the Priesthood of All.  His provocative contention is that we share in a universal priesthood.  Not only that, but this priesthood that is not less than, but encompasses the other kind of priesthood – what he calls “the priesthood of religion”, e.g. Fr. Steve, etc.

He describes some misconceptions or what he calls ‘old patterns’ that often subtly misinform how we regard  priests in the church.

1.  Priest as conduit of grace, i.e. God’s grace flows through the priest to everyone else.

2.  Priest as ‘graduate Christians’, i.e. more training, education, religious knowledge.

3.  Priest as Parent, and the people are all permanent children.

4.  Priest as professional, the people are all clients.

5.  Priest as executive of an organization, the church.

6.  Priest as salesperson, or managers of retail outlets.

How many of these images have you held over the years?

He lays out a case against each of these ideas, and challenges us all to realize our roles as priests in our communities.  What do you think of that?  How does it feel to be a priest?  How does that change your thinking about your life?  Your role in the church?

A touch of humor.  You may remember the comic character Father Guido Sarducci…he had a similar lighthearted take on this – only he took it to the next level.  Never mind everyone being a priest, he started the People’s Catholic Church, where “Everybody is Pope”, where instead of the 10 commandments, they have the 10 suggestions.

Relive the moment…

Be ready to take on your own priesthood at 9:15 am, this Sunday in the library – bring a friend for companionship and some peanut butter for Community Food Connection.



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