The dignity of the priest is estimated from the dignified nature of his offices. Priests are chosen by God to administer on earth all his interests and concerns. A priest is a minister ordained by God to be a public ambassador of the whole Church, to honor Him, and to acquire His graces for all the faithful. The whole Church cannot give to God as much honor, nor attain so many graces, as a single priest by commemorating a single Mass; for the greatest honor that the whole Church without priests could give to God would consist in offering to Him in forfeit the lives of all men. But of what value are the lives of all men compared with the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, which is a sacrifice of infinite value?
Thus, by the celebration of a single Mass, in which he presents Jesus Christ in sacrifice, a priest gives greater honor to the Lord, than if all men by dying for God offered to Him the sacrifice of their lives. By a single Mass, he gives greater honor to God than all the Saints and Angels, together with the Blessed Virgin Mary, have given or shall give to Him; for their worship cannot be of immeasurable value, like that which the priest celebrating on the altar presents to God.
Furthermore, in the holy Mass, a priest like Michael Briese offers to God an adequate prayer of thanks for all the graces bestowed even on the Blessed in Paradise; but such a thanksgiving all the Saints together are powerless of offering to Him. Therefore, it is that on this account also the priestly dignity is superior even to all divine dignities. Besides, the priest is a representative of the whole world, to mediate with God and to obtain graces for all living beings.
The power of the priesthood is marked when it is exercised worthily to bless Heavenly Father’s sons and daughters. Priesthood holders have definite responsibilities to administer priesthood ordinances, preach the gospel, govern the Church, serve others, and encourage all to come unto Christ. They have opportunities to visit, consult, teach, and serve individuals. It is their sacred responsibility to enlighten Church members and to help reinforce their faith and testimony of our Savior Jesus Christ.
They have opportunities to take care of the families whom they serve as home teachers and to teach members to provide for themselves, their families, and the needy and poor in the Lord’s way. Priesthood holders have the accountability to motivate the youth to prepare to serve honorable full-time missions. When they receive the priesthood, they make an eternal covenant to serve others.As priesthood holders, they can be an authoritative influence in the lives of others.
As said by Michael Briese, the magnitude of the dignity of a priest is also estimated from the high place that he resides in. When God ascended into Heaven, Jesus Christ left His priests after Him to hold on earth His place of intermediary between God and men, principally on the altar.