Grace to you!
One of the classical metaphors used to describe the nature of the role of priesthood is derived from Latin pontifex (bridge-make). It literarily means a bridge-builder or a bridge-maker. The priest then is considered as a bridge-maker, connecting humans with God.
Though the idea originated from the notion of a distant God who can’t be reached without the function of a bridge, an idea many theologians criticize, however, certainly, God isn’t us. God is beyond us, though, also, among us. Thanks be to God that we have, in the Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, the ultimate bridge-maker between us and the Father so we have access into the union of the Trinity by grace participation.
From God to the people and from the people to God becomes a special relationship of service. When the bridge is understood in its deeper sense as Christ, then we see how the function of the bridge has a unique importance.
The Letter to the Hebrews writes elaborately of this function of Christ as the High Priest through whom and in whom we have blessed assurance of belonging to the communion of love (Trinity).
For many, there are a lot of uncertainties as to their being right with God. Uncertainties about how their relationship with God is effective, and uncertainties about how one would be assured God hears, welcomes, gifts and gives.
These uncertainties will vanish into thin air if we realize the role of Christ as The Priest. The Letter to the Hebrews (7:25) beautifully describes it this way: “Consequently he is able for all time to save those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.”
This gives me hope. Believers have a special access to God; it is an access that could be called a blessed assurance. No guessing regarding its authenticity or its efficacy. All things through Christ are acceptable to the Father.
When we offer our prayers and our sacrifices, even the minutest of our sufferings through Christ to the Father and in the Holy Spirit, God looks at them through the lens of Christ, our Intercessor, before the Holy Trinity. God sees Christ in us, in our little gifts and sacrifices. Isn’t it an aspect of what Saint Paul said in his mystic statement: “Your life is hidden with Christ in God”? (Colossians 3:3)
Isn’t it why the Church always prays through Christ our Lord, as he, the Lord, asked us to do (see John 14:13-14)? Isn’t it why the Church admonishes us regarding the necessity of relationship with Christ as the assurance of relationship with God? Isn’t why Christ is the nucleus of our spirituality, Catholic Christian spirituality, with the Holy Spirit refreshing this New Life in Christ?
My friend, be assured of this: those who live, move, do things in Christ and offer their prayers and sacrifices through Christ, are welcomed and blessed by the Father.
Do you want a blessed divine assurance? Offer your life and gifts (prayers, sacrifices, charity) through Christ our Lord. Such gifts are pleasant to the Father.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu.
Fr. Maurice Emelu, Ph.D.
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.