Redemptionis Sacramentum 37

This section is actually quite excellent. It provides a deeper reflection on the notion of a priesthood of believers:

[37.] All of Christ’s faithful, freed from their sins and incorporated into the Church through Baptism, are deputed by means of a sacramental character for the worship of the Christian religion,[Cf. St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, III, q. 63, a. 2] so that by virtue of their royal priesthood,[Lumen Gentium 10; cf. Ecclesia de Eucharistia 28] persevering in prayer and praising God,[Cf. Acts 2,42-47] they may offer themselves as a living and holy sacrifice pleasing to God and attested to others by their works,[Cf. Rom 12,1] giving witness to Christ throughout the earth and providing an answer to those who ask concerning their hope of eternal life that is in them.[Cf. 1 Pet 3,15; 2,4-10] Thus the participation of the lay faithful too in the Eucharist and in the other celebrations of the Church’s rites cannot be equated with mere presence, and still less with a passive one, but is rather to be regarded as a true exercise of faith and of the baptismal dignity.

A baptized believer is both priest and offering: who does that sound like?

Notice that part of the priestly effort of a believer is described as evangelical: giving public witness to Christ everywhere. Also there is the explicit mention of dialogue: if someone inquires about Christ, we respond.

What do you make of the last sentence? Passivity seems worse than just presence, which isn’t so hot either. The modern Catholic congregation should aspire to an exercise of faith and–this is important–baptismal dignity. Who would have thought that merely showing up and sitting in silence would be considered undignified?

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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