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Thursday, January 24, 2019

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St. Francis de Sales

Hebrews 7:25—8:6
Psalm 40:7-10, 17
Mark 3:7-12

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"a more excellent ministry" (heb 8:6)

"Jesus has obtained a more excellent ministry now, just as He is Mediator of a better covenant." —Hebrews 8:6

Today's 7AM Mass had forty-three faithful worshippers. That's a pretty good crowd for a morning Mass, but several million people live in the Greater Cincinnati area and most of them are not attending Mass today. Understandably, many are unable to fit Mass into their busy schedules, but others could make the time but are not attracted to Mass.

Jesus is present at this Mass. He is present in the Holy Eucharist (Catechism, 1373). Miracles and healings are undoubtedly happening at this Mass, most particularly at the consecration. However, these miracles are not easily perceived. In today's Gospel passage, Jesus performed visible miracles, such as healings and deliverance (Mk 3:10-11), to the extent that crowds pressed upon Him (Mk 3:10). "A great crowd followed Him" (Mk 3:7).

Though His ministry in Galilee was spectacular, "Jesus has obtained a more excellent ministry now" (Heb 8:6). People throng to experience the extraordinary, but Mass deals with the ordinary, such as bread, wine, and Ordinary Time. God calls us to seek Him in the ordinariness of each day, and to accept Him in the ordinary means He chooses to minister. For example, Naaman wanted an extraordinary, customized healing (2 Kgs 5:1ff), but God chose to heal him through the ordinary. So I encourage you to add at least one weekday Mass a month to your schedule. "Seek the Lord while He may be found" (Is 55:6).

Prayer:  Jesus, You are not hiding from us, it's just that we are not seeking You where You are. May I turn ten times the more to seek You, beginning today (Bar 4:28).

Promise:  "To do Your will, O my God, is my delight." —Ps 40:9

Praise:  St. Francis hoped to become a priest. One day, while riding a horse, he fell three times. Each time, his sword and scabbard fell to the ground and landed in the shape of a cross. Francis soon entered the seminary.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member or our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 16, 2018

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