Priest, Prophet and King

Last night I read the homily given by Archbishop Oscar Romero during a Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday in 1977, which spoke about the way in which the day’s celebration reminds us of the great works of the Holy Spirit. One of the works of the Holy Spirit Romero highlighted was the transmission of the “unique priesthood of Christ, who is also king and prophet” to those who have been baptized, a transmission that “enables them to be a priestly, royal and prophetic people.”

We don’t tend to remember and don’t always take seriously the idea that when we were baptized, we received an anointing with chrism as “a visible representation of the fact that this child of the flesh was incorporated into the Church, into the People of God, into this priestly, royal and prophetic people.” Yet it is something that is important to remember. Our anointing as priest, prophet and king means that each one of us – not only those who have been ordained or who occupy some other special position in the church – has a mission. As Romero put it, we lay people are “neither religious nor priests of the altar but [we] are priests in the world, prophets in the world, and royalty who ought to work so that the Kingdom of God reigns in society, in its structures and in the world.” Elucidating on what that means, Romero preached

You have to proclaim, like the prophets, like the prophetic people anointed by the Spirit that anointed Jesus, yes you have to announce the marvelous deeds of God in the world, you have to encourage the good that is done in the world and emphatically denounce the evil that is done in the world.

We are the Church. It is fine to look to the bishops and priests to do their part, but by our baptism “we are not simply spectator’s of the Church’s activity.” We are priests, prophets and kings and we have a mission to accomplish, “a royal mission that makes God dominant above all other things that exist in the world.”