“But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that have come to be, passing through the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made by hands, that is, not belonging to this creation.”
In our baptism we are anointed to share in Christ’s mission on earth. That mission is as priest, prophet and king.
In recent and not so recent years, the Catholic Church has been using the phrase “Vocation Crisis” as a way to identify the need for vocations to religious life and particularly the priesthood. Without the office of priest, our faith falters and dries up. The priest is necessary to act as the mediator between God and His people. The priest is necessary for the reception of grace.
However, from baptism, we each have a little bit of priest inside us. God is going to draw that out more in young men who are eager to guide and shepherd the flock. A local bishop once said that there is a shortage of priests, there always has been and there always will be. For the rest of us, we join Christ’s mission as priest, and as a mediator between this world and the next, every day in prayer and participation in the sacraments.
God knows what He’s doing when he calls each of us to our vocation. We definitely have faith in that.
So why isn’t He calling more of us to religious life?
Because that’s not what the world needs. Maybe the church needs priests and sisters but the Church needs families: good, holy, loving families.
When the “vocation crisis” exploded in the early 2000’s I remember hearing every day in my Catholic school how we should pray for these vocations diligently. Some of that initial push and panic has since faded and priest vocation are up in recent years but we still hear the cry.
10 years later, in the wake of what we might call a “sexuality crisis” we don’t need more priests. Especially as the supreme court rules that homosexual relationships are good we don’t need priests. Priests can do very little in their office for our country. What we need are vocations to religious family life.
God knew what he was doing when He called His people to married life. Priestly and religious vocation aren’t decreasing; married vocations are increasing.
We are each made a part of this mission in our baptism and we should trust in the Lord that He will strengthen us and call us to be priest, prophet, and king wherever we are need, in whatever vocation He has in mind.