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Wednesday, January 20, 1999

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Pope St. Fabian & St. Sebastian

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

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"you are a priest"

"The matter is clearer still if another priest is appointed according to the likeness of Melchizedek." —Hebrews 7:15

The Israelites were enslaved, defeated in war, starved to death, exiled, and oppressed. In their pain, they asked Yahweh how He would free them. They received the revelation that they would be saved by the priesthood.

The Christians to whom the book of Hebrews was written were persecuted and martyred by the Roman government. They "endured mockery, scourging, even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, sawed in two, put to death at sword's point" (Heb 11:36-37). They received the revelation that Jesus, the "High Priest according to the order of Melchizedek" (Heb 5:10), had saved them by His sacrifice on Calvary. By living the Eucharist, the presence of Jesus' perfect sacrifice on Calvary, Christians are freed by Jesus, the High Priest.

Therefore, share in Jesus' priesthood and live your baptismal priesthood (see 1 Pt 2:9; Rv 5:10) by:

  • celebrating the Mass daily or as often as possible,
  • encouraging the ministerial priesthood and promoting vocations to it,
  • offering and patiently bearing "even the hardships of life" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 901),
  • "worshipping everywhere" by your "holy actions" (ibid),
  • offering as spiritual sacrifices all your "works, prayers, and apostolic undertakings, family and married life, daily work, relaxation of mind and body" (ibid), and
  • consecrating "the world itself to God" by the holiness of your life (ibid).

Love Jesus, the High Priest. Live the Eucharist, His perfect offering. Share in Jesus' priesthood. Live your baptismal priesthood and change our culture of death into a civilization of love and life.

Prayer:  Father, teach me about my share in Christ's priesthood.

Promise:  "His hand was perfectly restored." —Mk 3:5

Praise:  St. Fabian promoted missionary work and condemned heresy even to the point of giving his life.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert J. Buschmiller, June 11, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 20, 1998