On reaching the top of the mountain Isaac questioned his father: “Here are the fire and the wood, but where is the sheep for the burnt offering?” “My son,” Abraham answered, “God will provide the sheep for the burnt offering.” Right before sacrificing his son Isaac, an angel from God stops Abraham. God would indeed provide the sheep for the offering, but it would take another several hundred years. Christ, the son of God the Father, would offer himself as the worthy lamb for sacrifice. In so doing, he would reunite humanity and divinity, first in his own person, and then throughout creation.
This past weekend, God provided again for his people. Rev. Mr. Daniel Mahoney and Rev. Mr. Doan Nguyen were ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Tobin on Saturday June 5. Through the Sacrament of Holy Orders these men are configured to Christ. They are capable of offering the one sacrifice which saves the world. Acting in the person of Christ during the sacrifice of the Mass they make present again Christ’s offering of himself to the Father.
Some may be tempted to compare the small number of newly ordained priests to the larger number of retiring priests. We must certainly continue to pray for an increase of vocations to the priesthood and religious life. But even one priest from God is an incomparable gift to the Church. Through him, the Mass is offered, God is worshipped, and intercession made for suffering humanity. The ordination of a man to the priesthood is one of the surest signs that God continues to provide for his people.