Despite 'human limits,' priests maintain unique role, patriarch says
Published: April 1, 2010
JERUSALEM (CNS) -- Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal of Jerusalem reminded priests of their unique role in the church, saying in his Holy Thursday homily that the priesthood, "in spite of human limits," entitles priests to offer themselves as a "living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God." "Without priesthood, redemption is not continued and not made present and efficient," he said. The patriarch noted that it was in the city of Jerusalem that Jesus founded the priesthood for the ministry of the new covenant. "His complete obedience to his Father, expressed through the acceptance of death on the cross, was the unique sacrifice of the new covenant," Patriarch Twal said, adding the Jesus' priesthood was "manifested at the Last Supper, and accomplished on Calvary," just a few steps from where Mass was celebrated. He said the priests gave thanks for "the privilege to be and live in these holy places." In a separate Easter message released March 31, Christian leaders in the Holy Land said they wanted to offer a statement of "hope, encouragement and perseverance" as they asked for prayers for Christians who "struggle for justice, peace and reconciliation" in the troubled region.
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