how we became priests
“You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek.” — Psalm 110:4; Hebrews 7:17
Like almost all peoples throughout history, the Jewish people believed that sacrifice was one of the essential elements for dealing with sin and setting humanity free (see Lv 4:13-14). The person who offers sacrifices to God on behalf of the people is called a priest. Thus, priests are an essential part of God’s plan of salvation. Consequently, because Jesus is the Savior of the world, He must be a priest. For the Jews, all priests descended from the tribe of Levi. Yet Jesus was from the tribe of Judah. How can Jesus be a priest?
In the book of Genesis, we hear about the priest Melchizedek (Gn 14:18-20). He was a priest before there were the tribes of Israel. He was a mysterious figure “without father, mother or ancestry, without beginning of days or end of life” (Heb 7:3). The psalmist prophesied that Melchizedek’s priesthood would continue (Ps 110:4). The writer of the book of Hebrews proclaimed that Jesus is a priest in the order of Melchizedek. Jesus sacrificed Himself on the altar of the cross. He is truly the Savior of the world, and we who are baptized into Him share in His priesthood (see Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1546;1 Pt 2:9; Rv 5:10). Through our Baptism “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (Mt 28:19), we are priests in the order of Melchizedek. Alleluia!
Prayer: Father, may I live my baptismal priesthood to the full. I offer You my body as a living sacrifice (Rm 12:1).
Promise: “Then He said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ The man did so and his hand was perfectly restored.” —Mk 3:5
Praise: “May my mouth speak the praise of the Lord, and may all flesh bless His holy name forever and ever” (Ps 145:21).
Reference: (For a related teaching on Developing A Deep, Personal Relationship with Jesus, listen to, download or order our CD 52-1 or DVD 52 on our website.)
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