VATICAN CITY, DEC. 4, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Priests must be servants of Christ, not in the sense that they do acts of service, but that their identity is that of a servant, says the preacher of the Pontifical Household.
Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa said this today during his first Advent reflection for Benedict XVI and members of the Roman Curia.
The Capuchin said that in this Year for Priests, he would dedicate both his Advent and Lent reflections to the topic of the priesthood, trying "if possible, to make our priestly heart vibrate on contact with some Word of God."
The preacher reflected on the priestly calling: "'Servants of Christ!' -- with the exclamation mark to indicate the greatness, dignity and beauty of this title. [...] We are not speaking here of practical and ministerial services, how to administer the word and the sacraments [...] in other words, we are not speaking of the service as act, but of service as state, as essential vocation and as identity of the priest and we speak of it in the same sense and with the same spirit of Paul who at the beginning of his letters always introduces himself thus: 'Paul, servant of Christ Jesus, apostle by vocation.'
"On the invisible passport of the priest, the one with which he presents himself every day in the presence of God and of his people, to the call 'profession,' one should be able to read: 'Servant of Jesus Christ.' All Christians of course are servants of Christ [...] but the ordained minister is so in a title and sense that is different and higher." More>>