The Three Munera, Part 1: The Father as Prophet


In the introduction to this series, I wrote about how each father is entrusted with three duties, or munera in Latin, and that these three duties are modeled by Christ himself. While traditionally associated with the ordained priesthood, these duties just as much apply to the fathers of families, who also share in a priestly role, albeit not a sacramental one.
The three munera are as follows:

Munus docendi – The duty to teach, based on Christ’s role as Prophet
Munus sanctificandi – The duty to sanctify, based on Chris’s role as Priest
Munus regendi – The duty to shepherd, based on Christ’s role as King

Today, I want to look at the first of these three duties, the munus docendi, the duty to teach.
It starts with Christ
Throughout the Old Testament, God frequently raised up men, called prophets, whose sole mission was to tell the Jewish people the truth. Often, their message was a warning: Repent or face the consequences. At other times, however, God used the prophets to reveal truths about himself, as he did with Moses on Mount Saini. In essence, these men were fiery teachers appointed by God.
In the New Testament, Jesus Christ is the ultimate prophet. In fact, he is the prophetic teacher that all the other prophets foreshadowed. His mission was to reveal God the Father fully and completely to the Jews, and ultimately to the gentile world.
Jesus describes himself as a prophetic teacher, a revealer of the truth, when he is being questioned by Pilate about his mission: “For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth.” This prophetic role defined Christ’s life and ministry, and like him, we fathers are called to announce and reveal the truth about God to our families.
The family as a school
When we think of education, we usually associate it with paid educators teaching from textbooks. Religious education,


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