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Sunday, October 31, 1999

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31st Sunday Ordinary Time

Malachi 1:14—2:2, 8-10
1 Thessalonians 2:7-9, 13
Psalm 131
Matthew 23:1-12

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priestly people

"And now, O priests, this commandment is for you." —Malachi 2:1

"The lips of the priest are to keep knowledge, and instruction is to be sought from his mouth, because he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts" (Mal 2:7). When priests do not properly exercise their God-given ministry of teaching, they cause "many to falter" by their instruction (Mal 2:8). Then the Lord, in order to protect His people, tries to correct His priests by turning their blessings into curses (Mal 2:2) and by making the priests "contemptible and base before all the people" (Mal 2:9).

If you are a Christian, you are a priest (1 Pt 2:9; Rv 5:10). Therefore, the words of God through Malachi apply to you. St. Thomas Aquinas taught: "To teach in order to lead others to faith is the task of every preacher and of each believer" (quoted in Catechism, 904).

What are you teaching others by your conversation and way of living? Do you know your faith so as to be able to teach it rightly and fully? Do you know the teachings of the Church? Have you read the Catechism? Have you ever read one of the Pope's encyclicals? How well do you know the Bible? Have you even tried to learn it? Do you look for opportunities to share your faith? Have you ever invited someone to give his life to Jesus? Could you explain the Mass to those asking questions about it? "I charge you to preach the word, to stay with this task whether convenient or inconvenient — correcting, reproving, appealing — constantly teaching" (2 Tm 4:2).

Prayer:  Father, make me hungry for Your word and not spiritually anorexic.

Promise:  "We thank God constantly that in receiving His message from us you took it, not as the word of men, but as it truly is, the word of God at work within you who believe." —1 Thes 2:13

Praise:  Praise Jesus, "the Resurrection and the Life!" (Jn 11:25) He is "exalted at God's right hand" (Acts 2:32). Alleluia!

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, April 10, 1999

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 16, 1999