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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Jeremiah, Chapter 17, Verse 7-8
7 Blessed are those who trust in the LORD; the LORD will be their trust. 8 They are like a tree planted beside the waters that stretches out its roots to the stream: It does not fear heat when it comes, its leaves stay green; In the year of drought it shows no distress, but still produces fruit.

I live in Arizona where hardly anything grows in the desert. However, along a stream or a creek, trees do put their roots into the bed of the water and create a mini paradise with flowers, deer and even provides sustenance even during the hottest days. Likewise we should sink our roots into our Lord through our church and receive refreshment through frequent reception of the sacraments of Confession and the Eucharist; along with spiritual reading and time alone with our Lord. In this way we are nourished and prepared for the work our Lord has given us.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Mt. 5:3)
Though thus says the Lord for those who neither hope nor know Him and does not fear God: “Cursed is the man who trusts in human beings, who makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the LORD. He is like a barren bush in the wasteland that enjoys no change of season, but stands in lava beds in the wilderness, a land, salty and uninhabited.” (Jer. 17:5-6)

Priesthood[1]

In the bible a priest is a father—and even more of a father than our own earthly father. In the Old Testament the history of the priesthood had two periods: the patriarchal and the Levitical. The patriarchal was based on the family order that place authority down from father to first born son in the form of a “blessing” and the leadership of the building of altars and for the presenting of sacrifice for the family. Fathers are empowered as priests by nature. Fatherhood is the original basis of priesthood. The firstborn is the father’s heir apparent, the one groomed to succeed one day to paternal authority and priesthood within the family. Imagine the blow to the Egyptian with the last plague which killed the firstborn. The pattern continued into the Exodus. There God declared to Moses, “Israel is my firstborn son”—that is, among the many peoples of the earth, Israel was God’s heir and his priest. God in His mercy made all heirs through Christ and with Christ came a restoration of the natural priesthood of fathers and the establishment of a fatherly order of New Covenant Priests. To Christ, we are “the children God has given me”, the “Many sons”, “his bretheren”, the new “seed of Abraham” who together form God’s “family/household” which Jesus builds and rules as a son. As all Christians are identified with Christ, the Church becomes the “assembly of the firstborn.” (Heb. 2, 3, 12) In the truest sense priests are so much more than managers, they are fathers. True fatherhood involves the communication of life. Natural fathers communicate human life but in the sacraments of baptism and Eucharist, a priest communicates divine life and the divine humanity of Jesus Christ. Every Priest therefore requires our respect in spite of their weaknesses or sins and we should pray for them. This is why our Holy Father asks us to pray for him.






[1] Hahn, Scott, Signs of Life; 40 Catholic Customs and their biblical roots. Chap. 21. Priesthood.

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