Presbyterorum Ordinis

It has been a while since we looked at this document in relation to the life and ministry of the priest. We return to it today and look at paragraph 9. In this paragraph, priests are reminded that as well as their role as priest they are also disciples of the Lord:

“Though priests of the New Testament, in virtue of the sacrament of Orders, exercise the most outstanding and necessary office of father and teacher among and for the People of God, they are nevertheless, together with all Christ’s faithful, disciples of the Lord, made sharers in his Kingdom by the grace of God’s call. For priests are brothers among brothers with all those who have been reborn at the baptismal font. They are all members of one and the same Body of Christ, the building up of which is required of everyone.

Priests, therefore, must take the lead in seeking the things of Jesus Christ, not the things that are their own. They must work together with the lay faithful, and conduct themselves in their midst after the example of their Master, who among men “came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life as redemption for many” (Mt 20:28). Priests must sincerely acknowledge and promote the dignity of the laity and the part proper to them in the mission of the Church.

What a priest received at baptism is not overridden by the sacrament of Ordination but should be enhanced and see us ‘work together with the lay faithful’ conducting themselves ‘after the example of the Master’.