He has made us a royal race of priests to the honour of God, his Father.

In this text Scripture shows us Christ’s marvellous kindness and condescension.

[…] When Christ bought us at such great cost to himself – at the cost indeed of his most precious blood – it was not with the intention of making us his slaves.

His purpose was to create a royal race of priests to the honour of God his Father.

We were to be his Father’s kingdom, and priests in the service of God.

He alone was King and Priest in his own right, yet he resolved to make kings of the slaves of sin and priests of the ­children of death.

To that end he shed his blood.

O Lord our God, how wonderful is your name, how wonderful the ­majesty and honour with which you have crowned the Lord Jesus as King of kings!

You have set on his head the crowns of all those ­kings who form your kingdom, for yours is a kingdom of kings, resplendent in their regalia, each consecrated to you by the blood of Christ.

We are also told that he has made us priests who share in that sacrifice by which Christ himself triumphed over the devil and so destroyed the dominion of sin.

We do not all possess the fullness of the priesthood here on earth, with the power to bring about the real presence of our Lord’s body and blood by pronouncing the words of consecration.

But all of us are called to exercise a priestly function by offering ourselves to God according to that exhortation of the Apostle Paul:

I beseech you to present your bodies to God as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to him, since this is the service required of rational beings.

In no other way shall we be permitted to enter into the celestial Holy of Holies, by which I mean heaven itself.

In heaven the sacramental species of bread and wine, which constitute our present sacrifice, will find no place.

None of us, however, will ever lack matter for sacrifice there.

Our lips will always be able to offer a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, a hymn of rejoicing and the proclamation of God’s mighty works.

Indeed the next verse from the Apocalypse supplies us with a model for such a heavenly sacrifice in the acclamation: Glory and power to him for ever and ever! Amen.

And this is certainly what the law of justice requires of us, namely, that creatures should return thanks and praise to their creator for all the benefits they have received.

Rupert of Deutz (c.1075–1129): Commentary on the Apocalypse, (PL 169:841-842); from the Monastic Office of Vigils for Monday of the Second Week in Eastertide, Year 1.