In honor of the Year of Faith we have been examining the documents of Vatican II. Today we continue our journey through Lumen Gentium. The next section is called “The People of God.” It is the beginning of a self examination a little bit like sitting down, looking in the mirror and contemplating who you are in the world. This is a sampling from the first two paragraphs:
9. The “people of God” (POGs) have been those since the beginning of time who have loved God and done their best to follow Him. But the true nature of the POGs is not “me and God” but rather “us and God,” a community of believers connected as brothers and sisters who have been built up over time (by God) until it reached its fullness in Jesus Christ. Now we are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation (1 Pete 2;9-10).
Christ is the head of this body and in the hearts of all believers is the Temple of His Holy Spirit (hence yesterday’s post.) This body or Church is the visible presence for the world of the saving power of Christ. Therefore it is to be known as universal (catholic) bringing his salvation to all, in all times and all places, and constantly renewing herself in the Spirit.
10. United in Christ we all share in the priesthood of Jesus called to offer spiritual sacrifices and offering reasons to anyone who asks why we have such great hope in eternal life. Now, all in Christ share in the priesthood of Jesus. This is the priesthood of the faithful. Some from this group are also called to the ordained priesthood. Both priesthoods are essential to the life of the Church in their proper way. The ministerial priesthood stands in persona Christi confecting the Eucharist and offering it to God on behalf of the POGs. The priesthood of the people participates in Christ’s priesthood by their offerings, thanksgiving, and prayers at the Eucharist, by reception of the Sacrament, and by witnessing to it by a holy life particularly through acts of charity.