Monday, January 21, 2019

If there is no priest, then there is no Holy Mass; if there is no Holy Mass, then there is no consecration of the Sacred Host; if there is not consecration of the Sacred Host then there is no Holy Communion; then if there is no Holy Communion there is no Sacramental Presence of Jesus.

Let us pray for all good and faithful priests who dedicate themselves to their people with generosity and unknown sacrifices. - Pope Francis

Scripture Text: (HEB 5:1-10)
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.
In the days when he was in the Flesh,
he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears
to the one who was able to save him from death,
and he was heard because of his reverence.
Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered;
and when he was made perfect,
he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.

Jesus gives us priests so that we may have the Eucharist. 

Jesus does not want our celebration of the Eucharist to be cut off and separated or divorced from the rest of our lives. Our celebration of the Eucharist is to affect our entire lives. What kind of an effect is it to have on our lives? Jesus washing his disciples’ feet in the context of the Last Supper surely teaches us that the Eucharist is linked with service. Our celebration of the Eucharist should lead us to love all our brothers and sisters in a sacrificial way. Our celebration of the Eucharist sends us out from here to love and serve the Lord in others. Our meeting with the Lord here continues as we love and serve the Lord in others after our celebration here. That is also why it is during the Last Supper that Jesus gave his new love commandment, “I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.” (John 13:34) St. Augustine, writing about the Eucharist, said that if we receive Holy Communion worthily we are what we receive (Sermon 227) i.e. Christ was sacrificed that you might receive him in the Eucharist and in like manner, Augustine was saying, when you receive Christ in the Eucharist you too are to sacrifice yourself, and in that sense you become what you eat. Just as Jesus took the bread, blessed it, broke it and gave it, when we receive the Eucharist we are to allow ourselves to be taken by Jesus, blessed, broken and given in love for others. In that sense the words of Paul in our second reading tonight become true, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes” (1 Cor 11:26)

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