Posted by: Christine Johnson | October 29, 2006

Today’s Readings at Mass

Before Mass, I read the various readings to the children in the car. I wanted them to hear them at least once before we went inside and heard them there. When I read the letter to the Hebrews, something struck me. Here’s the reading:

Heb 5:1-6

Brothers and sisters: Every high priest is taken from among men and made their representative before God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He is able to deal patiently with the ignorant and erring, for he himself is beset by weakness and so, for this reason, must make sin offerings for himself as well as for the people. No one takes this honor upon himself but only when called by God, just as Aaron was. In the same way, it was not Christ who glorified himself in becoming high priest,but rather the one who said to him: You are my son: this day I have begotten you; just as he says in another place: You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

The first thing I thought while reading this was, “Wow. Our priests still offer gifts and sacrifice for our sins. That’s what the Mass is all about!” But then I noticed the portion that I emphasized above. That’s when I thought of all those women who want to be priests. Notice, first, that Saint Paul calls the high priests men. This was a church, not a Jewish congregation. They still had priests, called by God, just like Aaron. No one can just decide they want to be a priest and take that honor. It is a calling only from God, and it is given, not taken.

And also notice the last sentence. “You are a priest forever.” Forever. That’s pretty big, huh?

Please pray always for our priests and bishops, especially because they are enduring so many spiritual attacks. And especially pray for the priests and bishops who are falling because of those attacks. They need our prayers.

O God, who hast appointed Thine only-begotten Son
to be the eternal High Priest
for the glory of Thy Majesty
and the salvation of mankind;
grant that they whom He hath chosen to be His ministers
and the stewards of His mysteries,
may be found faithful in the fulfillment of the ministry
which they have received.
Through the same Christ Our Lord.
Amen.

Keep them, I pray Thee, dearest Lord,
keep them, for they are Thine –
Thy priests whose lives burn out
before Thy consecrated shrine.

Keep them, for they are in the world,
though from the world apart;
when earthly pleasures tempt, allure –
shelter them in Thy heart.

Keep them, and comfort them
in hours of loneliness and pain,
when all their lives of sacrifice
for souls seems but in vain.

Keep them, and O remember, Lord,
they have no one but Thee,
yet they have only human hearts,
with human frailty.

Keep them as spotless as the Host,
that daily they caress;
their every thoughts and word and deed,
Deign, dearest Lord, to bless.

Our Father…
Hail Mary…
Glory Be…

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