Love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. — Romans 12:10
The ordained ministry or ministerial priesthood is at the service of the baptismal priesthood. — Catechism #1120
Sometimes a picture, or an Instagram post, is worth a thousand words.
This one captures brilliantly a theology of how the ordained ministry of priests rightly relates to the “baptismal priesthood” of the laity.
Andrew Gutierrez is a seminarian at Notre Dame Seminary, where I teach, preparing for future priestly ministry in the Archdiocese of New Orleans. He is an exceptional young man with a deep faith, a keen intellect and a servant heart, and he will soon be ordained as a deacon. His decision to be a priest is a radical commitment in today’s culture that is rightly honored, and his willingness to say Yes to the call of Jesus rightly demands the prayer of the People of God. But…
Andrew, and all who are ordained, are set apart from the world by Jesus with a core mission: to empower, encourage, equip and exalt — to serve — the “front lines” vocation of lay men and women whose mission is to consecrate the secular world to God by “risking their lives for complete strangers, enduring hate speech” for the sake of the justice, peace of the Kingdom; for the love of God and neighbor.
In keeping with this, in this Instagram post Andrew recognizes and honors his brother Martin’s life, family, work and witness, and begs prayers for his brother. In doing this, he is doing a very priestly thing. And he is
And all of this reminds me of St. John Paul II’s request to bishops and priests to recognize and honor the life, family, work and witness — the holiness — of lay men and women, so we can usher in a new era in the Church of canonized secular saints.
Particular Churches especially should be attentive to recognizing among their members the younger men and women of those Churches who have given witness to holiness in such conditions (everyday secular conditions and the married state) and who can be an example for others, so that, if the case calls for it, they (the Churches) might propose them to be beatified and canonized.
It was Andrew and Martin’s proud father, Martin O. Gutierrez, soon to be ordained to the permanent diaconate in New Orleans, who sent me this Instagram post, saying:
Feel free to use it. I am so proud of these two men and of my daughter. My daughter-in-law awesome too. Sofia is the icing on the cake.
And that’s how family in the Church is supposed to work. Such beauty will save the world.
Happy feast of St. Joseph the Worker