why do catholics have a Priest when there is a High Priest Jesus ?
I ask that supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone, for kings and for all in authority, that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity. This is good and pleasing to God our savior, who wills everyone to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth. For there is one God. There is also one mediator between God and the human race, Christ Jesus, himself human (1 Tim 2:1-5)
Come to him, a living stone, rejected by human beings but chosen and precious in the sight of God, and, like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Pet 2:4-5)
And all this is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and given us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting their trespasses against them and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. So we are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who did not know sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God in him. Working together, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. (2 Cor 5:18-6:1)
Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the presbyters of the church, and they should pray over him and anoint (him) with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The fervent prayer of a righteous person is very powerful. (James 5:14-16)
The parish Priest is ordained as a priest unto the priestly people of God, and so delegated by the Bishop as Chief Shepherd/Pastor of the Diocese, all under Jesus Christ the Great High Priest.
A High Priest is the priest above the other priests; if there are no other priests, then there could be no High Priest. The fact that are priests makes him the High Priest. The New Testament also mentions the priests of The Church.
The three offices of the Old Testament priesthood are: (1). high priest – Aaron (Ex. 28:1); (2). Ministerial priests – Aaron’s sons (Ex. 19:6; 28:1); and (3). Universal priests – Israel (Ex. 19:6). The New Testament priesthood also has three offices: (1) High Priest – Jesus Christ (Heb. 3:1); (2) Ministerial priests – the ordained bishops and priests (Rom. 15:16; 1 Tim. 3:1,8; 5:17; Titus 1:7); and (3) Universal priests - all the baptized (1 Pet. 2:5,9; Rev. 1:6).
We will look at both, the Old Testament and the New Testament.
We know God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow...
Exodus 19:6 "but you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation."
...therefore, priests yesterday, priests today, priests tomorrow.
God teaches Moses how to pass on the rights of priesthood and leadership. He appointed Josue to succeed Moses with the ceremony of THE LAYING ON OF HANDS.
Numbers 27:18-20, "Yahweh answered Moses, "Take Joshua, son of Nun, a man in whom the Spirit dwells, and lay your hands on him. Then bring him before Eleazar, the priest, and the whole community, to instruct him in their presence and to give him a share of your authority, so that the whole community of the sons of Israel may obey him.
Deutoronomy 34:9, "But Joshua, son of Nun, was full of the spirit of wisdom because Moses had laid his hands upon him. The children of Israel obeyed him and did as Yahweh had commanded Moses."
We see this ceremony repeated in the NT numerous times. These are some of them:
Acts 6:6, "They presented these men to the apostles who first prayed over them and then laid hands upon them."
Acts 8:17, "So Peter and John laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit."
Acts 9:17, "So Ananias left and went to the house. He laid his hands upon Saul and said, 'Saul, my brother, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on your way here, has sent me to you so that you may receive your sight and be filled with Holy Spirit'."
1 Thimoty 4:14, "Do not neglect the spiritual gift conferred on you with prophetic words when the elders laid their hands upon you."
Clearly we see in the NT how the new priests are ordained... just like in the OT!
Paul confirms the Church has priests...
Philippians 1:1, "From Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, to the saints in Philippi, with their bishops and deacons.
In the OT God tells us that there will be new priests because He made void the covenant of the Levi priests.
Malachi 2:8 "But you, says Yahweh of hosts, have strayed from my way, and moreover caused many to stumble because of your teaching. You have broken my covenant with Levi."
Once again Paul confirms it...
Hebrew 7:11-12, "The institutions of the chosen people are founded upon the Levitical priesthood, but with it they could not attain what is perfect and permanent. If that were possible, why would there be need of another priest after the order of Melchizedek instead of Aaron's? If there is a change in the priesthood, the Law also has to be changed. Thus the Levitical priesthood will be replaced by the everlasting priesthood of the order of Melchisedech."
God had prophesied through Isaiah that He would give castrated men (celibate priests) a new name, a new place, a new and everlasting name; that strangers would worship God in a NEW HOUSE, an altar of SACRIFICE that will be pleasing to God, a HOUSE OF PRAYER, and NEW PRIESTS for ALL THE NATIONS:
Isaiah 56:4-8, "For this is what Yahweh says: To the castrated men who keep my sabbaths, who choose to do what pleases me and remain faithful to my covenant: I will give them in my house and within its walls, a memorial and a name that are worth more than sons and daughters; I will give them a name that will never die away or be forgotten. Yahweh says to the foreigners who join him, serving him and loving his name, keeping his sabbath unprofaned and remaining faithful to his covenant: I will bring them to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. I will accept on my altar their burnt offerings and sacrifices, for my house will be called a house of prayer for all the nations. Thus says the Lord God, Yahweh, who gathers the exiles of Israel: There are others I will gather besides those already gathered."
Haggai 2:9, "Great shall be the glory of this LAST HOUSE of God with humility."
The Catholic Church is God's Last House, founded by Jesus in the first century, a house filled with Priests.
Jesus would not be a priest according to the Old Covenant because he did not have a Levitical geneology. Yes the priesthood according to the order of Melchizedek refers perfectly to Jesus, but it also refers to NT priests. While I hear what you are saying about eventual death, your logic is flawed.
There are two issues concerning being a "priest forever." The first is the term limits applied to Levitical priests. There ministry began at 30 and ended at 50 (Num 4:3, 43). There was no such age restriction in force during pre-Levitical times. In other words they exercised their priesthood for as long as they lived. This is true of Jesus and priests in the NT.
Concerning infirmities and eventual death, Jesus died! Of course he rose and ascended to heaven, and inturn opened up the possibility of everlasting life to us all. I'm not saying all priests necessarily go to heaven, but they are represented as living in heaven (Rev. 4:4, 5:14; 11:16, 14:3, 19:4). So you can't argue NT priests would not qualify.
As far as sacrificial priesthood in the NT, Bishops and elders have to fall into that category in order to be ministers of the Gospel and Christ's Church. Otherwise they wouldn't be "teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you" (Mt 28:20a) Regardless whether you believe in the real presence or not Jesus offered a sacrifice of bread and wine, like Melchizedek at the last supper (Mt 26:26-28; Mark. 14:22,24; Luke 22;19-20). Jesus told them to do the same and necessary said they should offer the same sacrifice (however you understand it). Paul affirms this and directly correlates it to sacrifice.
The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because the loaf of bread is one, we, though many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf. Look at Israel according to the flesh; are not those who eat the sacrifices participants in the altar? So what am I saying? That meat sacrificed to idols is anything? Or that an idol is anything? No, I mean that what they sacrifice, (they sacrifice) to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to become participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and also the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and of the table of demons. (1 Cor 10:16-21)
Making a distinction between the ministerial or universal priesthood is an issue I don't have time to talk about right now. Regardless, the NT testament mentions a sacrificial priesthood.