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Wednesday, January 22, 2003

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St. Vincent

Hebrews 7:1-3, 15-17
Psalm 110
Mark 3:1-6

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love priests

"You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek." —Hebrews 7:17

The writer of the book of Hebrews is very interested in priesthood, specifically in the priesthood of Melchizedek, which was prior to, different than, and superior to the Levitical priesthood. In this context, the writer of Hebrews recognizes Jesus as the eternal High Priest, fulfilling David's prophecy: "You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek" (Heb 7:17).

It is very important for us also to recognize Jesus as High Priest. Then we can recognize Him as the invisible Priest at every liturgy. Thus, we would center our lives around the liturgy, especially Sunday Mass and daily Mass. In recognizing Jesus as High Priest, we will take more seriously that we are baptized into Him and therefore share in His priesthood. As baptismal priests, we offer our "bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God" (Rm 12:1). All our "works, prayers, and apostolic undertakings, family and married life, daily work, relaxation of mind and body, if they are accomplished in the Spirit — indeed even the hardships of life if patiently born — all these become spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. In the celebration of the Eucharist these may most fittingly be offered to the Father along with the body of the Lord" (Catechism, 901). As baptismal priests, we "consecrate the world itself to God, everywhere offering worship by the holiness" of our lives (Catechism, 901).

Holy, baptismal priests of God, worship Jesus, the eternal High Priest, and fulfill your priestly vocation.

Prayer:  Father, give me a profound love and respect for both baptismal and ministerial priests.

Promise:  Jesus "said to the man, 'Stretch out your hand.' He stretched it out and his hand was restored." —Mk 3:5

Praise:  St. Vincent, deacon and martyr, is noted for courageously enduring excessively cruel torture in his martyrdom. Like Jesus, Vincent refused relief while being executed (see Mk 15:23).

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend David L. Zink, June 12, 2002

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 13, 2002