The new Catechism teaches that by our initiation into the Church by Baptism are raised to the dignity of the royal priesthood and are configured more deeply to Christ not only by Confirmation but participate with the whole community in the Lord’s own sacrifice by means of the Eucharist. (1322).
These are not just eloquent words but state a reality that has transformed us, beginning with the Sacrament of Baptism, and completed by Confirmation and the Eucharist. We are now different and meant by God to remain different for all eternity.
This difference brings with it a new function and outstanding privilege. It is through the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation the faithful are consecrated to be a holy priesthood. (1546). The function of priesthood that we perform is that of offering . It is not the function of ministry or service which is reserved to those who have received the Sacrament of Holy Orders.
Thus, the faithful exercise a real function of the priesthood of Christ, that is the function of offering. “The whole Church, the Body of Christ, prays and offers herself ‘through him, with him, in him,’ in the unity of the Holy Spirit to God the Father.” (1553).
When participating in the Celebration of the Eucharist, we should be conscious of our function of offering ourselves in union with the offering of Christ to the Father. We also should realize that what is taking place at the altar is the offering of Christ to the Father made present for us in its reality and is not a re-enactment or representation . For God there is no past or future only always the present so that the unique offering of Calvary is made present for us to be included in that offering as we carry out our function of offering in union with Christ our high priest.
We can exclaim “what a privilege.!” What an honor!” “What a vocation!”