MICHAEL KEENAN JONES, TOWARD A CHRISTOLOGY OF CHRIST THE HIGH PRIEST
If one were to gather today in the early years of the twenty-first century a group of individuals and presented to them the task of defining in one word who Jesus was – who Jesus is – how many would answer “priest?” Furthermore, if they were asked to define in one word who a priest is, how many would respond, “Jesus?”. This study proposes to connect the two: Jesus and priest. Salvation, redemption, and mediation are constant themes running through Christology but there is often a hesitation to call Jesus a priest, as if the reference is a little too ancient, a bit too cultic, and perhaps even irrelevant for contemporary Christology.
Whether it be for Clement of Rome, or Augustine of Hippo, or Luther in Wittenberg, or perhaps even today for a critical observer in America, something of a reverse typology seems to occur: namely, a clear examination of Christ as priest gets bogged down in the shadows of mortal priests, causing something of a stand-still or psychological road-block for a priestly Christology.
This study is a historical retrieval of particular authors and their discussions of Christ as priest, discussions that often emanated from age-old tensions. The Lord’s priesthood – an important but often neglected theme in Christology – may provide a prism for any current renewal in both the baptismal and ministerial dimensions of the priesthood of Jesus Christ. He is the original model, the one from whom we always learn what being priestly is all about.
MICHAEL KEENAN JONES, a priest of the Diocese of Bridgeport, was born in 1960 and ordained in 1992. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College, and studied at the Angelicum University and at the Pontifical Gregorian University where he received a Doctorate in Theology in 2005. He is currently the pastor of the Parish of St. Lawrence in Huntington, Connecticut.
(C) PUG 2008