Good News Reflections:
Making scripture meaningful to your daily life
by Terry Modica
“United to Jesus, we all become Christ’s body on earth for the continuation of his ministry.”
Good News Reflection for:
Thursday of the 2nd Week in Ordinary Time
January 19, 2023
Blessed be Your presence, Lord, in the community and in the ministers of Your Church. Praised be to You for pouring forth Your grace that works through them. Amen.
Today’s Saint Quote & Prayer:
Hebrews 7:25 — 8:6
Psalm 40:7-10, 17
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
Making good copies
Today’s first reading explains that Jesus raised the priesthood to a new level — a higher, holier level — when he fulfilled the old covenant and ushered in the new. Although the ancient Jewish priesthood is the foundation for the Christian priesthood, we no longer have high priests, because Jesus is the High Priest. And we all become priests.
In our baptisms, we all died to our earthly human nature and were resurrected as priests, prophets and kings joined to these important service-oriented functions of Christ. When we gather to worship God as a community, we, the common priests (the laity and consecrated religious) together with the ministerial priests (the ordained clergy), offer him our sacrifices and prayers.
Christ comes to earth today in the Sacraments through the ministerial priests. In Catholicism, because their ordinations connect all the way back directly to St. Peter’s, they become “in persona Christi”, i.e., they are simultaneously sinful man and the holy presence of Christ. Two thousand years ago, Jesus gave his holy orders to the Apostles (the meaning of ordination), who gave Christ’s holy orders to the next priests, who ordained the next, and so on to this very day; this is called the “apostolic succession of priests”.
Thus, Jesus our High Priest is fully present with us at every Catholic Mass in the Word of God, in the Eucharist, and in the priest (regardless of how sinful he is) through whom Jesus preaches the Word and through whom Jesus changes the bread and wine into the Eucharist.
When we — the common priests and the ministerial priests — eat his body and drink his blood, we are united to Christ’s sacrifice and the salvation that it gives us. Thus united to Jesus, we all become Christ’s body on earth for the continuation of his ministry. Are we continuing his ministry well?
Since everything earthly is temporary, right now we are only copies and shadows of the heavenly Christ. The sanctuaries in our churches, where the bread and wine become Christ’s actual body and blood, are copies and shadows of heaven where we will be consecrated to him forever in complete love and perfect holiness.
We who are temples of the Holy Spirit are the true tabernacles holding the true presence of Christ for all the world to see and consume. Do others see the true presence of Jesus in us? Yes — as long as we behave like the Body of Christ that we are. Whenever we sin, we hide Jesus from the world.
To be holy priests (common or ordained), we must imitate the examples of Jesus and continually learn from his teachings and purify our lives so that we more accurately represent his true presence on earth. This is what changes the world; this is how prayers get answered.
For more on this, see our Faith Booster: “Do the Word” @ https://wordbytes.org/faith-booster-minis/do-the-word/
© 2023 by Terry A. Modica
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