2nd Week in Ordinary Time (Year A) : Thursday 19th January 2023

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Lord, bless our priests. Grant them your grace to be You to your people

2nd Week in Ordinary Time (Year A) : Thursday 19th January 2023

Heb. 7:25—8:6; Ps. 39:7-8a,8b-9,10,17;
Mk. 3:7.12 (Ps. Wk. II)

We’re listening to these days’ readings from the Letter to the Hebrews, one of the most important books of the New Testament. It’s about the priesthood of Christ, about Christian life and worship. But because it’s addressed to Jewish Christians, there’s a lot in it about the Old Testament priesthood, worship, and comparisons between the old and the new. Maybe we find either not very interesting or helpful for meditation and prayer today. Yet, Christ’s priestly ministry, of perfect worship of the Divine Majesty, in the true Sanctuary of the Lord, and as the mediator of God’s new covenant, is central to our faith and worship. We should, perhaps, reflect more on what that ministry means.

What exactly is Christ’s priesthood, and the priesthood of those ordained to ‘priestly ministry’ in the Church? When we speak of the priesthood of all the faithful, what are we really talking about? ‘Ministry’ and ‘worship’ are words we use a lot these days, sometimes quite loosely and sometimes quite divorced from ‘priesthood’. Indeed, for some people, the priesthood seems irrelevant or outdated. But here’s Jesus Christ proclaimed our High Priest forever, who offered Himself for us once and for all and is mediator and minister of the Sanctuary. Isn’t this an invitation to a deeper understanding of Jesus as our High Priest and to reflect on that priesthood of His that we all share?

Lord, we pray today for all who minister in the service of God’s people, especially those ordained to share His priestly ministry on behalf of all of us.

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