GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY -18TH JANUARY 2017
GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY (based on Catholic Liturgical Readings)
DATE:18TH JANUARY 2017
WEDNESDAY OF THE SECOND WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
FIRST READING: Hebrews 7:1-3, 15-17
PSALM: Psalm 110:1-4
GOSPEL: Mark 3:1-6
THEME: YOU ARE A PRIEST FOREVER
Just like many other Catholic priests, on the day of my ordination to the priesthood, the cantor sang beautifully and powerfully Psalm 110. When she got to the verse 4 of that psalm, chills splashed through my spine – “The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind, ‘You are a priest for ever according to the order of Melchizedek’ ” (Ps. 110:4).
Our First Reading connects the priesthood of Christ with that of Melchizedek and contrasts it with that of the Levitical priesthood of Aaron. Levitical priests came from priestly line. In other words, they had proof of Aaronic descent. However, in the case of Melchizedek, we are told that “he is without father or mother or genealogy” (Heb. 7:3).
Secondly, there was an age limit set for Levitical priests. Their ministry began at the age of 30 and ended at the age of 50 (cf. Nb 4:3, 43) but in the case of Melchizedek, “he has neither beginning of days nor end of life” (Heb. 7:3).
The author proceeds with his argument that the priesthood of Jesus is of the order of Melchizedek, for he is a priest, not according to physical or biological descent but by the power of an indestructible life and that there are no time bounds set to his priesthood (Heb 7:16-17).
In Christ, every Christian is a priest. We serve differently in the Body of Christ but we are all priests. This is what is often referred to as the ‘common priesthood’ of all the baptized faithful (cf. 1Pt. 2:4-10). This means that in Christ, we have been chosen, irrespective of our family background. The history of our biological families may not be a pleasant one (some are coming from homes characterised by robbery, prostitution, occultism etc) and yet we have been chosen by God in Christ.
We have been chosen to serve not just for some few years but forever and ever. This is Good News and a revelation of the power of God’s grace. We will forever remain grateful to God for this gift freely bestowed on the human race.
PRAYER: Who am I Lord that I should share in the priestly ministry of Jesus Christ? To you I offer praise and thanks, here on earth and in the world to come. Amen
Andrews Obeng, svd
DIVINE WORD MISSIONARIES
BIBLICAL PASTORAL MINISTRY
“May the darkness of sin and the night of unbelief vanish before the light of the Word and the Spirit of grace. And may the heart of Jesus live in the hearts of all people” (St. Arnold Janssen).