On the Catholic Priesthood

Monday September 09, 2019

The Bishop

The bishop saying Mass, administering the sacraments or preaching the Gospel is the most perfect image of Christ. He does so according to the laws of the universal church. In him the clergy and people see Christ the Bishop of eternity. "He that receiveth you receiveth me. He that despiseth you despiseth me." That relates not only to the Pope. to the bishop, but in a less degree to any pastor, to any minister of Christ. For the ministers of Christ preach not themselves but "Christ and Him crucified."

The bishop is the head of the diocese. He is the father of all the faithful in the diocese. For he brings forth his spiritual children, his priests and clergymen by rite of holy ordination. They are the images of himself. The Priests he ordains are his sons whom he brings forth to God. He feeds his children by the words of life, by good example, by heavenly food, by the teachings of eternal life.

Happy is the diocese and the clergy who have a bishop after the heart of Jesus Christ, who lives the life of the Master.

The good bishop loves his clergy; looks on them as a father on his children; he upholds the good priest; he rewards the men of God; he defends the weak; he treats them with justice, benignity, gentleness, kindness; he is clothed with the bowels of the mercy of Jesus Christ, with forgiveness looking down from on high on those who falter on the way.

Behold his name will be called blessed, his clergy and people will love him, they will uphold him; like Moses on the mount, they will stand under his weary hands, strengthening him till he gains the victory over all enemies of the Lord and of his church. Both clergy and people will love him because he is "like unto the only begotten Son of God full of grace and truth" who "for us men and for our salvation left the bosom of his Father, came down from heaven and was made man and dwelt among us: to show pastors how to rule their subjects.

Source: Christ's Kingdom on Earth, or, The Church and Her Divine Constitution , organization, and Framework: Explained for the People by Fr. James Meagher 1892

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