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Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 01-17-11, Memorial, St. Anthony, Abbot American Bible ^ | 01-17-11 | New American Bible

Posted on 01/16/2011 9:31:26 PM PST by Salvation

January 17, 2011

Memorial of Saint Anthony, Abbott


Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm

Reading 1

Heb 5:1-10

Brothers and sisters:
Every high priest is taken from among men
and made their representative before God,
to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.
He is able to deal patiently with the ignorant and erring,
for he himself is beset by weakness
and so, for this reason, must make sin offerings for himself
as well as for the people.
No one takes this honor upon himself
but only when called by God,
just as Aaron was.
In the same way,
it was not Christ who glorified himself in becoming high priest,
but rather the one who said to him:
You are my Son:
this day I have begotten you;
just as he says in another place,
You are a priest forever
according to the order of Melchizedek.
In the days when he was in the Flesh,
he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears
to the one who was able to save him from death,
and he was heard because of his reverence.
Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered;
and when he was made perfect,
he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.

Responsorial Psalm

R. (4b) You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
The LORD said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand
till I make your enemies your footstool.”
R. You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
The scepter of your power the LORD will stretch forth from Zion:
“Rule in the midst of your enemies.”
R. You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
“Yours is princely power in the day of your birth, in holy splendor;
before the daystar, like the dew, I have begotten you.”
R. You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
The LORD has sworn, and he will not repent:
“You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek.”
R. You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.


The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were accustomed to fast.
People came to Jesus and objected,
“Why do the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees fast,
but your disciples do not fast?”
Jesus answered them,
“Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them?
As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast.
But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them,
and then they will fast on that day.
No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak.
If he does, its fullness pulls away,
the new from the old, and the tear gets worse.
Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins.
Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins,
and both the wine and the skins are ruined.
Rather, new wine is poured into fresh wineskins.”

TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; ordinarytime; prayer; worship
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1 posted on 01/16/2011 9:31:32 PM PST by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; markomalley; ...
Alleluia Ping!
If you aren’t on this ping list NOW and would like to be, 
please Freepmail me.

2 posted on 01/16/2011 9:35:06 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

St. Anthony the Abbot
Feast Day: January 17

251, Herakleopolis Magna, Egypt

Died: 356, Mount Colzim, Egypt
Major Shrine: Monastery of Anthony, Egypt; Vienna, Austria
His body was at Saint-Antoine l'Abbaye, Isère, France
Patron of: against pestilence; amputees; animals; basket makers; basket weavers; brushmakers; butchers; cemetery workers; domestic animals; eczema; epilepsy; epileptics; ergotism; erysipelas; gravediggers; graveyards; hermits; hogs; Hospitallers; monks; pigs; relief from pestilence; shingles; skin diseases; skin rashes; swine; swineherds

3 posted on 01/16/2011 9:51:37 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Interactive Saints for Kids

St. Anthony of Egypt

Feast Day: January 17

St. Anthony was born at Heracleus in Egypt. When he was twenty years old, his parents died. They left him a large estate and placed him in charge of the care of his young sister. Anthony felt overwhelmed and turned to God in prayer.

He soon became more and more aware of the power of God in his life. About six months later, he heard this quotation of Jesus from the Gospel: "Go, sell what you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven" (Mark 10:21).

He took the words as a personal message in answer to his prayer for guidance. He made sure that his sister completed her education, then sold his house, furniture, and the land he owned and gave the money to the poor and to the people who needed it.

Anthony's sister joined a group of women living a life of prayer and contemplation. Anthony decided to become a hermit. He begged an elderly hermit to teach him the spiritual life. Anthony also visited other hermits so he could learn each one's most outstanding virtue.

Then at the age of thirty-five he moved alone to the desert, living in an abandoned fort and began his own life of prayer and penance alone with God.

By the time he was fifty-five, people found out where he was and began coming to him for healing and for spiritual counseling. Finally, Anthony built two monasteries on the Nile, one at Pispir and one at Arsinoe. The monks and people who lived around him supported themselves by making and selling baskets and brushes.

Many people heard of him and came to him looking for advice. He would give them practical advice such as: "The devil is afraid of us when we pray and make sacrifices. He is also afraid when we are humble and good. He is especially afraid when we love Jesus very much. He runs away when we make the Sign of the Cross."

St. Anthony visited Paul the hermit shortly before he died and helped dig a grave to bury him. He felt enriched by the example of Paul's holy life.

Anthony died after a long, prayerful life in 356. He was 105. St. Athanasius wrote a well known biography of St. Anthony of Egypt.

4 posted on 01/16/2011 9:53:05 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Saint of the Week: The Hermit Who Lived For 15 Years in a Tomb
St. Anthony [Of the Desert] (Founder and father of organized Christian monasticism)
Our Holy Father Antony ]St. Anthong of the Desert]
Orthodox Feast of St. Anthony the Great, January 17
Saint Anthony, Abbot [Antony of the Desert][Anthony of Egypt]
5 posted on 01/16/2011 10:09:06 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

St. Anthony January 17th


6 posted on 01/16/2011 10:10:24 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
7 posted on 01/16/2011 10:12:05 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Continue to Pray for Pope Benedict [Ecumenical]
8 posted on 01/16/2011 10:12:36 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Jesus. High Priest

We thank you, God our Father, for those who have responded to your call to priestly ministry.

Accept this prayer we offer on their behalf: Fill your priests with the sure knowledge of your love.

Open their hearts to the power and consolation of the Holy Spirit.

Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.

Increase in them profound faith in the Sacraments they celebrate as they nourish, strengthen and heal us.

Lord Jesus Christ, grant that these, your priests, may inspire us to strive for holiness by the power of their example, as men of prayer who ponder your word and follow your will.

O Mary, Mother of Christ and our mother, guard with your maternal care these chosen ones, so dear to the Heart of your Son.

Intercede for our priests, that offering the Sacrifice of your Son, they may be conformed more each day to the image of your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Saint John Vianney, universal patron of priests, pray for us and our priests

This icon shows Jesus Christ, our eternal high priest.

The gold pelican over His heart represents self-sacrifice.

The border contains an altar and grapevines, representing the Mass, and icons of Melchizedek and St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney.

Melchizedek: king of righteousness (left icon) was priest and king of Jerusalem.  He blessed Abraham and has been considered an ideal priest-king.

St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney is the patron saint of parish priests.

9 posted on 01/16/2011 10:13:30 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Pray a Rosary each day for our nation.

Pray the Rosary

1.  Sign of the Cross:  In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

2.  The Apostles Creed:  I BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day He rose again. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty. From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

3.  The Lord's Prayer:  OUR Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

4. (3) Hail Mary:  HAIL Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and in the hour of our death. Amen. (Three times)

5. Glory Be:  GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Fatima Prayer: Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy.

Announce each mystery, then say 1 Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, 1 Glory Be and 1 Fatima prayer.  Repeat the process with each mystery.

End with the Hail Holy Queen:

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears! Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus!

O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Final step -- The Sign of the Cross


The Mysteries of the Rosary

By tradition, Catholics meditate on these Mysteries during prayers of the Rosary.
The biblical references follow each of the Mysteries below.

The Joyful Mysteries
(Mondays and Saturdays)

1. The Annunciation (Luke 1:26-38) [Spiritual fruit - Humility]
2. The Visitation (Luke 1: 39-56) [Spiritual fruit - Love of Neighbor]
3. The Nativity (Luke 2:1-20) [Spiritual fruit - Poverty of Spirit]
4. The Presentation (Luke 2:21-38) [Spiritual fruit - Purity of mind & body]
5. The Finding of Jesus in the Temple (Luke 2:41-52) [Spiritual fruit - Obedience ]

10 posted on 01/16/2011 10:16:20 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All


St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle
 Be our protection against the wickedness
and snares of the devil;
May God rebuke him, we  humbly pray,
 and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
 by the power of God,
 Cast into hell Satan and all evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.

11 posted on 01/16/2011 10:16:43 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
God Save Our Country web site (prayer warriors)
Prayer Chain Request for the United States of America
Pray for Nancy Pelosi
Bachmann: Prayer and fasting will help defeat health care reform (Freeper Prayer Thread)
Prayer Campaign Started to Convert Pro-Abortion Catholic Politicians to Pro-Life
[Catholic Caucus] One Million Rosaries
Non-stop Rosary vigil to defeat ObamaCare

From an Obama bumper sticker on a car:

"Pray for Obama.  Psalm 109:8"

Psalm 109:8

    "Let his days be few; and let another take his place of leadership."


Evening Prayer
Someone has said that if people really understood the full extent of the power we have available through prayer, we might be speechless.
Did you know that during WWII there was an advisor to Churchill who organized a group of people who dropped what they were doing every day at a prescribed hour for one minute to collectively pray for the safety of England, its people and peace?  

There is now a group of people organizing the same thing here in America. If you would like to participate: Every evening at 9:00 PM Eastern Time (8:00 PM Central) (7:00 PM Mountain) (6:00 PM Pacific), stop whatever you are doing and spend one minute praying for the safety of the United States, our troops, our citizens, and for a return to a Godly nation. If you know anyone else who would like to participate, please pass this along. Our prayers are the most powerful asset we have.    Please forward this to your praying friends.

12 posted on 01/16/2011 10:26:25 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Christ 2 (Sacred Heart)

Blessed be the most holy Name of Jesus without end!

January Devotion: The Holy Name of Jesus

The month of January is traditionally dedicated to the Holy Name of Jesus. This feast is also celebrated on January 3. Here is an explanation of the devotion.

Since the 16th century Catholic piety has associated entire months to special devotions. The devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus has been traditionally associated with the month of January, due to its celebration on January 3. The name Jesus was given to the Holy Child at God's command (Luke 1:31). The Holy Name is all-powerful because of the Person who bears it; we honor it because of the command of Christ, that we should pray in His Name and because it reminds us of all the blessings we receive through our Holy Redeemer. Hence St. Paul was able to write to the Philippians: ". . . at the name of Jesus every knee should bend of those in heaven, on earth, and under the earth" (Phil. 2:10). By means of this devotion we also make amends for improper use of the Holy Name.

Prayer Source: Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954

Prayer/Hymn in Honor of the Most Holy Name of Jesus - Iesu, Dulcis Memoria

Iesu, Dulcis Memoria is a celebrated 12th century hymn attributed to St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153), Doctor Mellifluus. The entire hymn has some 42 to 53 stanzas depending upon the manuscript. Parts of this hymn were used for the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus, which was formerly celebrated on the Sunday between the Circumcision and Epiphany, or failing such a Sunday, on January 2. The part below was used at Vespers. In the liturgical revisions of Vatican II, the feast was deleted, though a votive Mass to the Holy Name of Jesus had been retained for devotional use. With the release of the revised Roman Missal in March 2002, the feast was restored as an optional memorial on January 3.

Jesus, the very thought of Thee
With sweetness fills the breast!
Yet sweeter far Thy face to see
And in Thy presence rest.

No voice can sing, no heart can frame,
Nor can the memory find,
A sweeter sound than Jesus' name,
The Savior of mankind.

O hope of every contrite heart!
0 joy of all the meek!
To those who fall, how kind Thou art!
How good to those who seek!

But what to those who find? Ah! this
Nor tongue nor pen can show
The love of Jesus, what it is,
None but His loved ones know.

Jesus! our only hope be Thou,
As Thou our prize shalt be;
In Thee be all our glory now,
And through eternity. Amen.

---Roman Breviary

Prayer Source: Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954


O Divine Jesus, Thou hast promised that anything we ask of the Eternal Father in Thy name shall be granted.

O Eternal Father. In the name of Jesus, for the love of Jesus, in fulfillment of this promise, and because Jesus has said it, grant us our petitions for the sake of Jesus, Thy Divine Son. Amen.

Prayer Source: Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954

That at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus
Jesus, The Name above all Names
Devotion to the Holy Name (of Jesus) [Catholic Caucus]
Lessons In Iconography : The Chi Rho - Christ
St. Francis de Sales on the Most Holy Name of Jesus (Excerpt from a Sermon) (Catholic Caucus)
St. Francis de Sales on the Most Holy Name of Jesus (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)

St. Bernard on the Most Holy Name of Jesus [Ecumenical]
Saving the day in His Holy Name: St. Genevieve gets a reprieve [Catholic Caucus]
The Holy Name of Jesus
Holy Name of Jesus [San Bernadino of Siena] Ecumenical
The Holy Name of Jesus
Devotion to the Holy Name [of Jesus]
The Name of Jesus: Its Power in Our Lives
The Holy Name of Jesus
Devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus
The Holy Name of Jesus

13 posted on 01/16/2011 10:27:09 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Pope Benedict XVI's Intentions for January, 2011

General Intention: That the riches of creation be preserved, valued and made available to all, as a precious gifts from God to mankind.

Missionary Intention: That Christians may achieve full unity, bearing witness of the universal fatherhood of God to the entire human race.

14 posted on 01/16/2011 10:27:39 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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From: Hebrews 5:1-10

Christ Has Been Made High Priest by God the Father

[1] For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of
men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. [2] He can deal gently
with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness. [3] Be-
cause of this he is bound to offer sacrifice for his own sins as well as for those of
the people. [4] And one does not take the honor upon himself, but he is called by
God, just as Aaron was.

[5] So also Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appoin-
ted by him who said to him, “Thou art my Son, today I have begotten thee”; [6]
as he says also in another place, “Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of

[7] In the days of the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplica-
tions, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and
he was heard for his godly fear. [8] Although he was a Son, he learned obedience
through what he suffered; [9] and being made perfect he became the source of
eternal salvation to all who obey him, [10] being designated by God a high priest
after the order of Melchizedek.


1-10. The central theme of the epistle, broached in 2:17 and taken up again in 4:
14-15, is discussed from here up to the start of chapter 10 — the theme of Christ
as high priest, the high priest who really can free us from all sin. In fact, Christ is
the only perfect Priest: other priests—in both natural religions and the Jewish re-
ligion — are only prefigurements of Christ. The first thing to be emphasized, be-
cause the writer is addressing people of Jewish background, is that Christ’s priest-
hood is on a higher plane than that of the priests of the Old Law. However, the
argument applies not only to the priesthood of Aaron, to whose family all Israelite
priests belonged, but also, indirectly, to all forms of priesthood before Christ. But
there is a basic difference, in that whereas other priests were chosen by men,
Aaron was chosen by God. Sacred Scripture introduces him as Moses’ brother
(cf. Ex 6:20), acting as his interpreter to Pharaoh (because Moses was “slow of
speech”: Ex 4: 10; cf. 7:1-2) and joining him to lead the people out of Egypt (cf.
Ex 4:27-30). After the Israelites left Egypt, God himself instituted the priesthood
of Aaron to minister and carry out divine worship at the tabernacle and later at
the temple in Jerusalem (cf. Ex 28:1-5).

Divine intervention, therefore, brought to a close the period when sacrifice was
offered by the head of the family or the chief of the tribe and when no specific
calling or external ordination rite was connected with priesthood. Thus, for exam-
ple, in the Book of Genesis we read that Cain, and Abel, themselves offered sac-
rifices (cf. Gen 4:35), as did Noah after coming safely through the flood (cf. Gen
8:20); and the patriarchs often offered sacrifices to God in adoration or thanksgi-
ving or to renew their Covenant—for example, Abraham (cf. Gen 12:8; 15:8-17;
22:1-13) and Jacob (cf. Gen 26:25; 33:20), etc.

Although for a considerable time after the institution of the Aaron priesthood,
sacrifices continued to be offered also by private individuals — for example, in the
period of the Judges, the sacrifice of Gideon (Judg 6:18,25-26) or that of Sam-
son’s parents (Judg 13:15-20) — gradually the convictions grew that to be a priest
a person had to have a specific vocation, one which was not given to anyone out-
side males of the line of Aaron (cf. Judg 17:7-13), whom God had chosen from
out of all the people of Israel, identifying him by the sign of his rod sprouting buds
(Num 17:16-24). God himself meted out severe punishment to Korah and his
sons when they tried to set themselves up as rivals of Aaron: they were devoured
by fire from heaven (cf. Num 16); and it was specified in Mosaic legislation time
and time again that only the sons of Aaron could act as priests (cf. Num 3:10;
17:5; 18:7). This priesthood offered the sacrifices of Mosaic worship—the burnt
offerings, cereal offerings, sin offerings and peace offerings (cf. Lev 6). To the de-
scendants of Aaron, assisted by the Levites, was entrusted also the care of the
tabernacle and the protection of the ark of the Covenant. They received their mi-
nistry and had it confirmed by the offering of sacrifice and by anointing of the
man’s head and hands with oil (Ex 29; Lev 8-9; Num 3:3). For all these reasons
Hebrew priests were honored and revered by the people and regarded (not without
reason, because God had ordained them) as on a much higher plane than other
priests particularly those of the peoples of Canaan, the priests of Baal, for exam-
ple. In Christ’s time the high priest was the highest religious authority in Israel;
his words were regarded as oracular statements, and his decisions could have
important political repercussions.

However, Christ came with the very purpose of taking this ancient institution and
transforming it into a new, eternal priesthood. Every Christian priest is, as it were,
Christ’s instrument or an extension of his sacred humanity. Christian priests do
not act in their own name, nor are they mere representatives of the people: they
act in the name of God. “Here we have the priest’s identity: he is direct and daily
instrument of the saving grace which Christ has won for us” (St. J. Escriva, “In
Love with the Church”, 39). It is really Christ who is acting through them by
means of their words, gestures etc. All of this means that Christian priesthood
cannot be separated from the eternal priesthood of Christ. This extension of God’s
providence (in the form of the Old Testament priesthood and the priesthood insti-
tuted by Christ in the New Testament and the mission entrusted to New Testa-
ment priests) should lead us to love and honor the priesthood irrespective of the
human defects and shortcomings of these ministers of God: “To love God and
not venerate his not possible” (St J. Escriva, “The Way”, 74).

1a. These words provide a very good short definition of what every priest is.

“The office proper to a priest”, St Thomas Aquinas points out, “is to be a media-
tor between God and the people, inasmuch as he bestows divine things on the
people (he is called “sacerdos” (priest), which means ‘a giver of sacred things’,
“sacra dans” [...]), and again inasmuch as he offers the people’s prayer to God
and in some way makes satisfaction to God for their sins” (”Summa Theologiae”,
III, q.22, a.1).

In this passage of the letter we can detect an echo of the description of Aaron in
the Book of Sirach: “He chose him out of all the living to offer sacrifice to the Lord,
incense and a pleasing odor as a memorial portion, to make atonement for the
people” (Sir 45:16). Four elements characterize the office of the high priest (the
text speaks of the “high” priest in the strict sense, but it is applicable to all
priests —1) his special dignity, because although he is a man he has been spe-
cially chosen by God; 2) the purpose of his mission, which is the good of man-
kind (”to act on behalf of men”); 3) the “material” side of his office, that is, public
divine worship; 4) the specific acts he must perform, the offering of sacrifice at
appropriate times.

In the specific case of priesthood instituted by God—such as that of Aaron or the
new priesthood instituted by Christ—the calling (”taken” or “chosen” from among
men) is not simply an influence the person feels interiorly, or a desire to be a
priest: its divine origin is confirmed by nomination by the proper authority, and
by official consecration.

1b. A priest is “chosen from among men”, that is, he should possess a human
nature. This is a further sign of God’s mercy: to bring about our salvation he uses
someone accessible to us, one who shares our human condition, “so that man
might have someone like himself to have recourse to” (St Thomas, “Commentary
on Heb, ad loc.”). These words also indicate the extent of God’s kindness be-
cause they remind us that the divine Redeemer not only offered himself and
made satisfaction for the sins of all, but desired that “the priestly life which the
divine Redeemer had begun in his mortal body by his prayers and sacrifice
(should not cease). He willed it to continue unceasingly through the ages in his
mystical body, which is the Church; and therefore he instituted a visible priest-
hood to offer everywhere a clean oblation (Mal 1:11), so that all men all over the
world, being diverted from sin, might serve God conscientiously, and of their own
free will” (Pius XII, “Mediator Dei”, 1).

He is “chosen from among men” also in the sense that he is given special con-
secration which is some way marks him off from the rest of the people of God.
St John Chrysostom comments, recalling Jesus triple question to Peter after the
Resurrection (cf. Jn 21:15-17): “When he asked Peter if he loved him, he did not
do so because he needed to know whether his disciple loved him, but because
he wanted to show how great his own love was; thus, when he says, ‘Who then
is the faithful and prudent servant’, he does not say this because he does not
know the answer, but in order to show us how unique and wonderful an honor it
is, as can be deduced from the rewards: ‘he will place him over all his goods.’
And he concludes that the priest ought to be outstanding in holiness (”De Sacer-
dotio”, II, 1-2).

“The priests of the New Testament”, Vatican II reminds us, “are, by their vocation
to ordination, set apart in some way in the midst of the people of God, but this is
not in order that they should be separated from that people or from anyone, but
that they should be completely consecrated to the task for which God chose
them” (”Presbyterorum Ordinis”, 3). This calling, then, constitutes a distinction
but not a separation because it is indissolubly linked to a specific mission: a
priest is “chosen from among men” but for the purpose of acting “on behalf of
men in relation to God”. In this delicate balance between divine call and spiritual
mission to men lies the essence of priesthood. Christians, therefore, should ne-
ver view a priest as “just another person”. “They want to find in the priest the vir-
tues appropriate to any Christian and even any upright man—understanding, jus-
tice, commitment to work (priestly work, in this case), charity, good manners,
social refinement. But the faithful also want to be able to recognize clearly the
priestly character: they expect the priest to pray, not to refuse to administer the
sacraments; they expect him to be open to everyone and not set himself up to
take charge of people or become an aggressive leader of human factions, of
whatever shade (cf. “Presbyterorum Ordinis”, 6). They expect him to bring love
and devotion to the celebration of Mass, to sit in the confessional, to console the
sick and the troubled; to teach sound doctrine to children and adults, to preach
the Word of God and no mere human science which—no matter how well he may
know it—is not the knowledge that saves and brings eternal life; they expect him
to give counsel and be charitable to those in need” (St. J. Escriva, “In Love with
the Church”, 42).

Priests “could not be the servants of Christ unless they were witnesses and dis-
pensers of a life other than that of this earth. On the other hand, they would be
powerless to serve men if they remained aloof from their life and circumstances”
(”Presbyterorum Ordinis”, 3). In this connection, Pope John Paul II has made the
following appeal: “Yes, you are chosen from among men, given to Christ by the
Father, to be in the world, “in the heart of society”. You are appointed to act on
behalf of men (Heb 5:1). The priesthood is the sacrament whereby the Church
is to be seen as the society of the people of God; it is the ‘social’ sacrament.
Priests should ‘convoke’ each of the communities of the people of God, around
them but not for themselves—for Christ!” (”Homily at an Ordination of Priests”, 15
June 1980).

The specific function of the priest has, then, been clearly identified: he is con-
cerned about his brethren but he is not here to solve temporal problems; his role
is only “in relation to God”. “Christian ministerial priesthood is different from any
other priesthood in that it is not an office to which someone is appointed by others
to intercede with God on their behalf; it is a mission to which a man is called by
God (Heb 5: 1-10; 7:24; 9: 11-28) to be towards others a living sign of the pre-
sence of Christ, the only Mediator (1 Tim 2:5), Head and Shepherd of his people
[...]. In other words, Christian priesthood is essentially (this is the only possible
way it can be understood) an eminently sacred mission, both in its origin (Christ)
and in its content (the divine mystery) and by the very manner in which it is con-
ferred (a sacrament)” (A. del Portillo, “On Priesthood”, pp. 59f).

2-3. From the moral qualities a priest needs, these verses single out mercy and
compassion, which lead him, on the one hand, to be gentle to sinners and, at the
same time, to desire to make personal reparation for their sins. The Latin transla-
tion of v. 2a puts the emphasis on the fact that the priest shares in suffering for
sin: he can “suffer along with” (”aeque condolere”) but in just measure on seeing
those who go astray, and, imitating Christ, he can himself perform some of the
penance those sinners should be doing. The original word translated here as
“deal gently” recalls the profound, but serene, sorrow which Abraham felt when
Sarah died (cf. Gen 23:2) and at the same time it alludes to the need for forbea-
rance, generosity and understanding: a priest must be a person who, while rejec-
ting sin, is understanding to the sinner and conscious that it may take him time
to mend his ways. He is also inclined to put the sinner’s intentions in the best
light (cf. Gal 6:1): people do not always sin deliberately; they can sin out of ig-
norance (that is, not realizing the gravity of their actions) and, more often than
not, out of weakness.

The Old Testament makes a clear distinction between sin committed unwittingly
(cf. Lev 4:2-27; Num 14:24, 27-29) and sins of rebelliousness (cf. Num 15:22-31;
Deut 17:12). Further on (cf. Heb 6:4-6; 10:26-27; 12:17), the letter will again refer
to the gravity of sins committed out of malice. Here, however, it is referring to sin,
whether grave or not, committed out of weakness. “Ignorant” and “wayward” are
almost synonymous, for a person who sins out of ignorance is described in He-
brews by a word which means “he who goes astray, he who does not know the
way”. The basic reason why a priest should be understanding and compassio-
nate is his awareness of his own weakness. Thus, the Church puts these words
on his lips in Eucharistic Prayer I: “’nobis quoque peccatoribus’—for ourselves,
too, sinners” (cf. Wis 9:5-6). A priest is compassionate and understanding be-
cause “he himself is beset with weakness”. The word translated as “beset” con-
tains the idea of surrounded or covered by or wrapped as if in a cloak. Pope Pius
XI wrote: “When we see a man exercising this faculty (of forgiving sins), we can-
not but repeat (not out of pharisaical scandal, but with reverent amazement)
those words, ‘Who is this, who even forgives sins?’ (Lk 7:49). It is the Man-God,
who had and has ‘authority on earth to forgive sins’ (Lk 5:24), and has chosen to
communicate it to his priests, and thereby with the generosity of divine mercy to
meet the human conscience’s need of purification. Hence the great consolation
the guilty man receives who experiences remorse and contritely hears the priest
tell him in God’s name, ‘I absolve you from your sins.’ The fact that he hears this
said by someone who himself will need to ask another priest to speak the same
words to him, does not debase God’s merciful gift: it enhances it, for the hand of
God who works this wonder is seen (as operating) by means of a frail creature”
(Pius XII, “Ad Catholici Sacerdotii”).

3. Everyone, including the priest, is a sinner. In the Old Testament rites for the
Day of Atonement (”Yom Kippur”), the high priest, before entering the Holy of
Holies, offered a sin-offering for his own sins (cf. Lev 16:3, 6, 11; Heb 9:6-14); so
too the priests of the New Testament have a duty to be holy, to reject sin, to ask
for forgiveness of their own sins, and to intercede for sinners.

The model the priest should always have before him is Jesus Christ, the eternal
high priest. “The main motive force actuating a priest should be the determination
to attain the closest union with the divine Redeemer [...]. He should continually
keep Christ before his eyes. Christ’s commands, actions and example he should
follow most assiduously, in the conviction that it is not enough for him to submit
to the duties by which the faithful are bound, but that he must at a daily increa-
sing pace pursue the perfection of life which the high dignity of a priest demands”
(Pius XII, “Menti Nostrae”, 7). But, one might object, Christ never had any defect,
never sinned, because his human nature was perfect and totally holy: is he not
therefore too perfect a model for men who when it comes down to it are sinners?
The answer is, No, not at all, for he himself said, “I have given you an example,
that you also should do as I have done to you” (Jn 13:15). Besides, when the text
(v. 2) refers to “weakness” this may refer to two things the weakness of human
nature (of man as creature), and the imperfection resulting from his faults and his
passions. The former kind of defect is one Christ shares with us; the second is
one he does not.

For this very reason, in the case of the priest, consciousness of his sins, plus
his conviction that he has been called by Christ, moves him to be very committed
to his apostolic ministry of reconciliation and penance; and in the first instance
priests perform this ministry for one another. “Priests, who are consecrated by
the anointing of the Holy Spirit and sent by Christ, mortify the works of the flesh
in themselves and dedicate themselves completely to the service of people” (Va-
tican II, “Presbyterorum Ordinis”, 12). As Pope John Paul II has stressed, “the
priest’s celebration of the Eucharist and administration of the other sacraments,
his pastoral zeal, his relationship with the faithful, his communion with this bro-
ther priests, his collaboration with his bishop, his life of prayer — in a word, the
whole of his priestly existence — suffers an inexorable decline if by negligence
or for some other reason he fails to receive the sacrament of Penance at regular
intervals and in a spirit of genuine faith and devotion. If a priest were no longer to
go to confession or properly confess his sins, his priestly being and his priestly
action would feel the effect of this very soon, and it would also be noticed by the
community of which he was the pastor.

“But I also add that even in order to be a good and effective minister of Penance
he priest needs to have recourse to the source of grace and holiness present in
this sacrament. We priests, on the basis of our personal experience, can certain-
ly say that, the more careful we are to receive the sacrament of Penance and to
approach it frequently and with good dispositions, the better we fulfill our own mi-
nistry as confessors and ensure that our penitents benefit from it. And on the
other hand this ministry would lose much of its effectiveness if in some way we
were to stop being good penitents. Such is the internal logic of this great sacra-
ment. It invites all of us priests of Christ to pay renewed attention to our personal
confession” (”Reconciliatio Et Paenitentia”, 31).

What the Pope says here ultimately stems from the fact that “ as ministers of the
sacred mysteries, especially in the sacrifice of the Mass, priests act in a special
way in the person of Christ who gave himself as a victim to sanctify men” (”Pres-
byterorum Ordinis”, 13).

In this way, “Christ the shepherd is present in the priest so as continually to ac-
tualize the universal call to conversion and repentance which prepares for the co-
ming of the Kingdom of heaven (cf. Mt 4:17). He is present in order to make men
understand that forgiveness of sins, the reconciliation of the soul and God, can-
not be the outcome of a monologue, no matter how keen a person’s capacity for
reflection and self-criticism. He reminds us that no one, alone, can calm his own
conscience; that the contrite heart must submit its sins to the Church — institution,
to the man-priest, who in the sacrament of Penance is a permanent objective wit-
ness to the radical need which fallen humanity has of the man-God, the only Just
One, the only Justifier” (A. del Potillo, “On Priesthood”, p. 62).

7-9. This brief summary of Christ’s life stresses his perfect obedience to the
Father’s will, his intense prayer and his sufferings and redemptive death. As in
the hymn to Christ in Philippians 2:6-11, the point is made that Christ set his po-
wer aside and, despite his being the only-begotten Son of God, out of obedience
chose to die on the cross. His death was a true self-offering expressed in that
“loud voice” when he cried out to the Father just before he died, “into thy hands
I commit my spirit” (Lk 23:46). But although Jesus’ obedience was most obvious
on Calvary, it was a constant feature of “the days of his flesh”: he obeyed Mary
and Joseph, seeing in them the authority of the heavenly Father; he was obedient
to political and religious authorities; and he always obeyed the Father, identifying
himself with him to such a degree that he could say, “I have glorified thee on
earth, having accomplished the work which thou gavest me to do [...]. All mine
are thine and thine are mine” (Jn 17:4, 10).

The passage also points to Jesus prayer, the high point of which occurred in
Gethsemane on the eve of his passion. The reference to “loud cries and suppli-
cations” recalls the Gospel account of his suffering: “And being in an agony he
prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling
down upon the ground” (Lk 22:44).

Hebrews 5:7-9 is probably referring not so much to his prayer in the Garden, still
less to any prayer of Christ asking to be delivered from death, but to our Lord’s
constant prayer for the salvation of mankind. “When the Apostle speaks of these
supplications and cries of Jesus,” St John Chrysostom comments, “he does not
mean prayers which he made on his own behalf but prayers for those who would
later believe in him. And, due to the fact that the Jews did not yet have the eleva-
ted concept of Christ that they ought to have had, St Paul says that ‘he was heard’,
just as the Lord himself told his disciples, to console them, ‘If you loved me, you
would have rejoiced, because I go to the Father; for the Father is greater than I’
[...]. Such was the respect and reverence shown by the Son, that God the Father
could not but take note and heed his Son and his prayers” (”Hom. on Heb”, 11).

7. “In the days of his flesh”, a reference to the Incarnation. “Flesh” is synony-
mous with mortal life; this is a reference to Christ’s human nature—as in the pro-
logue to St John’s Gospel (elf. Jn 1:14) and many other places (Heb 2:14; Gal
2:20; Phil 1:22-24; 1 Pet 4:1-2) including where mention is made of Jesus being
a servant and capable of suffering (cf. Phil 2:8; Mt 20:27-28). Jesus’ human nature
“in the days of his flesh” is quite different from his divine nature and also from his
human nature after its glorification (cf. 1 Cor 15:50). “It must be said that the word
‘flesh’ is occasionally used to refer to the weakness of the flesh, as it says in 1
Cor 15:50: ‘flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God’. Christ had a weak
and mortal flesh. Therefore it says in the text, ‘In the days of his flesh’, referring
to when he was living in a flesh which seemed to be like sinful flesh, but which
was sinless” (St Thomas Aquinas, “Commentary on Heb”, 5, 1). So, this text
underlines our Lord’s being both Victim and Priest.

“Prayers and supplications”: very fitting in a priest. The two words mean much
the same; together they are a form of words which used to be employed in peti-
tions to the king or some important official. The plural tells us that there were lots
of these petitions. The writer seems to have in mind the picture of the Redeemer
who “going a little farther fell on his face and prayed, ‘My Father, if it be possible,
let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Mt 26:39).
St Thomas comments on this description of Christ’s prayer as follows: “His ac-
tion was indeed one of offering prayers and supplications, that is, a spiritual sacri-
fice: that was what Christ offered. It speaks of prayers in the sense of petitions
because ‘The prayer of a righteous man has great power’ (Jas 5:16); and it speaks
of supplications to emphasize the humility of the one who is praying, who falls on
his knees, as we see happening in the case of him who ‘fell on his face and
prayed’ (Mt 26:39)” (”Commentary on Heb”, 5, 1).

To emphasize the force of Christ’s prayer, the writer adds, “with loud cries and
tears”. According to rabbinical teaching, there were three degrees of prayer,
each stronger than the last—supplications, cries and tears. Christian tradition has
always been touched by the humanity of the Redeemer as revealed in the way
he prays. “Everything that is being said here may be summed up in one word—
humility: that stops the mouths of those who blaspheme against Christ’s divinity
saying that it is completely inappropriate for a God to act like this. For, on the
contrary, the Godhead laid it down that [Christ’s] human nature should suffer all
this, in order to show us the extreme to which he truly became incarnate and as-
sumed a human nature, and to show us that the mystery of salvation was accom-
plished in a real and not an apparent or fictitious manner” (Theodoret of Cyrus,
“lnterpretatio Ep. ad Haebreos, ad loc.”). Christ’s prayer, moreover, teaches us
that prayer must 1) be fervent and 2) involve interior pain. “Christ had both [fervor
and pain], for the Apostle by mentioning ‘tears’ intends to show the interior groa-
ning of him who weeps in this way [...]. But he did not weep on his own account:
he wept for us, who receive the fruit of his passion” (St Thomas, “Commentary
on Heb., ad loc.”).

“He was heard for his godly fear.” St John Chrysostom’s commentary is very ap-
posite: “’He gave himself up for our sins’, he says in Gal 1:4; and elsewhere (cf.
1 Tim 2:6) he adds, ‘He gave himself as a ransom for all’. What does he mean
by this? Do you not see that he is speaking with humility of himself, because of
his mortal flesh? And, nevertheless, because he is the Son, it says that he was
heard for his godly fear” (”Hom. on Heb.”, 8). It is like a loving contention between
Father and Son. The Son wins the Father’s admiration, so generous is his self-

And yet Christ’s prayer did not seem to be heeded, for his Father God did not
save him from ignominious death—the cup he had to drink—nor were all the Jews,
for whom he prayed, converted. But it was only apparently so: in fact Christ’s pra-
yer was heard. It is true that, like every one, the idea of dying was repugnant to
him, because he had a natural instinct to live; but, on the other hand, he wished
to die through a deliberate and rational act of his will, hence in the course of the
prayer, he said, “not my will, but thine, be done” (Lk 22:42). Similarly Christ wan-
ted to save all mankind—but he wanted them to accept salvation freely (cf. “Com-
mentary on Heb., ad loc.”).

8. In Christ there are two perfect and complete natures and therefore two different
levels of knowledge—divine knowledge and human knowledge. Christ’s human
knowledge includes 1) the knowledge that the blessed in heaven have, that is,
the knowledge that comes from direct vision of the divine essence; 2) the know-
ledge with which God endowed man before original sin (infused knowledge); and
3) the knowledge which man acquires through experience. This last-mentioned
knowledge could and in fact did increase (cf. Lk 2:52) in Christ’s case. Christ’s
painful experience of the passion, for example, increased this last type of know-
ledge, which is why the verse says that Christ learned obedience through suffe-
ring. There was a Greek proverb which said, “Sufferings are lessons.” Christ’s
teaching and example raise this positive view of suffering onto the supernatural
level. “In ‘suffering there is concealed’ a particular ‘power that draws a person in-
teriorly close to Christ’, a special grace [...]. A result of such a conversion is not
only that the individual discovers the salvific meaning of suffering but above all
that he becomes a completely new person. He discovers a new dimension, as
it were, ‘of his entire life and vocation’” (John Paul II, “Salvifici Doloris”, 26).

In our Lord’s case, his experience of suffering was connected with his generosity
in obedience. He freely chose to obey even unto death (cf. Heb 10:5-9; Rom 5:19;
Phil 2:8), consciously atoning for the first sin, a sin of disobedience. “In his suffe-
ring, sins are canceled out precisely because he alone as the only-begotten Son
could take them upon himself, accept them ‘with that love for the Father which
overcomes’ the evil of every sin; in a certain sense he annihilates this evil in the
spiritual space of the relationship between God and humanity, and fills this space
with good” (”Salvifici Doloris”, 17). Christ “learned obedience” not in the sense
that this virtue developed in him, for his human nature was perfect in its holiness,
but in the sense that he put into operation the infused virtue his human soul al-
ready possessed. “Christ knew what obedience was from all eternity, but he
learned obedience in practice through the severities he underwent particularly in
his passion and death” (St Thomas Aquinas, “Commentary on Heb., ad loc.”).

Christ’s example of obedience is something we should copy. A Christian writer
of the fifth century, Diadochus of Photike, wrote: “The Lord loved (obedience) be-
cause it was the way to bring about man’s salvation and he obeyed his Father
unto the cross and unto death; however, his obedience did not in any sense di-
minish his majesty. And so, having—by his obedience—dissolved man’s disobe-
dience, he chose to lead to blessed and immortal life those who followed the
way of obedience” (”Chapters on Spiritual Perfection”, 41).

9. Obviously Christ as God could not increase in perfection. Nor could his sacred
humanity become any holier, for from the moment of his Incarnation he received
the fullness of grace, that is, he had the maximum degree of holiness a man
could have. In this connection Thomas Aquinas points out that Christ had union
(that is, the personal union to the Son of God gratuitously bestowed on human
nature): clearly this grace is infinite as the person of the Word is infinite. The
other grace is habitual grace which, although it is received in a limited human na-
ture, is yet infinite in its perfection because grace was conferred on Christ as the
universal source of the justification of human nature (cf. “Summa Theologiae”, III,
q. 7, a. 11). In what sense, then, could Christ be “made perfect”? St Thomas pro-
vides the answer: Christ, through his passion, achieved a special glory—the im-
passibility and glorification of his body. Moreover, he attained the same perfec-
tions as we shall participate in when we are raised from the dead in glory, those
of us who believe in him (cf. “Commentary on Heb., ad loc.”). For this reason our
Redeemer could exclaim before his death, “It is finished” (Jn 19:30)—referring not
only to his own sacrifice but also to the fact that he had completely accomplished
the redeeming atonement. Christ triumphed on the cross and attained perfection
for himself and for others. In Hebrews the same verb is used for what is translated
into English as “to be made perfect” and “to finish”. Christ, moreover, by obeying
and becoming a perfect victim, truly pleasing to the Father, is more perfectly posi-
tioned to perfect others. “Obedience” is essentially docility to what God asks of
us and readiness to listen to him (cf. Rom 1:5; 16:26; 2 Cor 10:5; Heb 4:3).
Christ’s obedience is a source of salvation for us; if we imitate him we will truly
form one body with him and he will be able to pass on to us the fullness of his

“Now, when you find it hard to obey, remember your Lord: ‘factus obediens usque
ad mortem, mortem autem crucis”: obedient even to accepting death, death on a
cross!’” (St. J. Escriva, “The Way”, 628).

10. As the epistle repeatedly teaches, Christ is a high priest “after the order of
Melchizedek”. Two essential characteristics come together here: he is the eter-
nal Son of God, as announced in the messianic Psalm 2:7: “You are my Son, to-
day I have begotten you”; and he is at the same time high priest not according to
the order which God instituted with Aaron but according to the order of Melchize-
dek, also established by God. Further on the letter explains in what sense this
“order of Melchizedek” is superior to that of Levi and Aaron. What it stresses at
this point is the connection between Christ’s priesthood and his divine sonship.
Christ, the Son of God, was sent by the Father as Redeemer and mediator, and
the mediation of Christ, who is God and true man, is exercised by way of priest-
hood. So, in the last analysis Christ is Priest both by virtue of being the Son of
God and by virtue of his Incarnation as man. “The abyss of malice which sin
opens up has been bridged by his infinite charity. God did not abandon men. His
plans foresaw that the sacrifices of the Old Law would be insufficient to repair our
faults and re-establish the unity which had been lost. A man who was God would
have to offer himself up. To help us grasp in some measure this unfathomable my-
stery, we might imagine the Blessed Trinity taking counsel together in their unin-
terrupted intimate relationship of intimate love. As a result of their eternal decision,
the only-begotten Son of God the Father takes on our human condition and bears
the burden of our wretchedness and sorrow, to end up sewn with nails to a piece
of wood” (St J. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing By”, 95).

It was appropriate that the divine person who became incarnate should be the
Son or Word, for “the Word has a kind of essential kinship not only with rational
nature but also universally with the whole of creation, since the Word contains
the essences of all things created by God, just as man the artist in the concep-
tion of his intellect comprehends the essences of all the products of art [...].
Wherefore all things are said to be made by the Word. Therefore, it was appro-
priate for Word to be joined to creature, that is, to human nature” (St Thomas,
“Summa Contra Gentiles”, IV, 42). Finally, it was fitting that Redemption from
sin should be brought about by way of a sacrifice offered by the same divine per-
son. So it is that Christ, the only-begotten Son, to whom God said, “You are my
son, today I have begotten you”, is also the priest to whom God swears, “Thou
art a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek”.

Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.

15 posted on 01/16/2011 10:29:50 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Mark 2:18-22

A Discussion on Fasting

[18] Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting; and people came and
said to Him (Jesus): “Why do John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees
fast, but Your disciples do not fast?” [19] And Jesus said to them, “Can the wed-
ding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the
bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. [20] The days will come, when the bride-
groom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day. [21] No one
sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; if he does, the patch tears
away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made. [22] And no one
puts new wine into old wineskins; if he does, the wine will burst the skins, and
the wine is lost, and so are the skins; but new wine is for fresh skins.”


18-22. Using a particular case, Christ’s reply tells about the connection between
the Old and New Testaments. In the Old Testament the Bridegroom has not yet
arrived; in the New Testament He is present, in the person of Christ. With Him
began the Messianic Times, a new era distinct from the previous one. The Jewish
fasts, therefore, together with their system of religious observances, must be seen
as a way of preparing the people for the coming of the Messiah. Christ shows the
difference between the spirit He has brought and that of the Judaism of His time.
This new spirit will not be something extra, added on to the old; it will bring to life
the perennial teachings contained in the older Revelation. The newness of the
Gospel—just like new wine—cannot fit within the molds of the Old Law.

But this passage says more: to receive Christ’s new teaching people must inward-
ly renew themselves and throw off the straight-jacket of old routines.

19-20. Jesus describes Himself as the Bridegroom (cf. also Luke 12:35; Matthew
25:1-13; John 3:29), thereby fulfilling what the Prophets had said about the relation-
ship between God and His people (cf. Hosea 2:18-22; Isaiah 54:5ff). The Apostles
are the guests at the wedding, invited to share in the wedding feast with the Bride-
groom, in the joy of the Kingdom of Heaven (cf. Matthew 22:1-14).

In verse 20 Jesus announces that the Bridegroom will be taken away from them:
this is the first reference He makes to His passion and death (cf. Mark 8:31; John
2:19; 3:14). The vision of joy and sorrow we see here epitomizes our human
condition during our sojourn on earth.

Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.

16 posted on 01/16/2011 10:30:37 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Mass Readings

First reading Hebrews 5:1-10 ©
Every high priest has been taken out of mankind and is appointed to act for men in their relations with God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins; and so he can sympathise with those who are ignorant or uncertain because he too lives in the limitations of weakness. That is why he has to make sin offerings for himself as well as for the people. No one takes this honour on himself, but each one is called by God, as Aaron was. Nor did Christ give himself the glory of becoming high priest, but he had it from the one who said to him: You are my son, today I have become your father, and in another text: You are a priest of the order of Melchizedek, and for ever. During his life on earth, he offered up prayer and entreaty, aloud and in silent tears, to the one who had the power to save him out of death, and he submitted so humbly that his prayer was heard. Although he was Son, he learnt to obey through suffering; but having been made perfect, he became for all who obey him the source of eternal salvation and was acclaimed by God with the title of high priest of the order of Melchizedek.

Psalm Psalm 109:1-4

Gospel Mark 2:18-22 ©
One day when John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting, some people came to Jesus and said to him, ‘Why is it that John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not?’ Jesus replied, ‘Surely the bridegroom’s attendants would never think of fasting while the bridegroom is still with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they could not think of fasting. But the time will come for the bridegroom to be taken away from them, and then, on that day, they will fast. No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak; if he does, the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and the tear gets worse. And nobody puts new wine into old wineskins; if he does, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost and the skins too. No! New wine, fresh skins!’

17 posted on 01/16/2011 10:41:20 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Monday, January 17, 2011
St. Anthony, Abbot (Memorial)
First Reading:
Hebrews 5:1-10
Psalm 110:1-4
Mark 2:18-22

O Catholic Church, true mother of Christians, you are right in teaching that God should be adored with an entirely chaste and pure heart. You unite all brothers and sisters to one another in a bond of religion that is stronger and closer than ties of blood.

-- St. Augustine

18 posted on 01/16/2011 10:46:58 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Monday, January 17, 2011
St. Anthony, Abbot (Memorial)
First Reading:
Hebrews 5:1-10
Psalm 110:1-4
Mark 2:18-22

O Catholic Church, true mother of Christians, you are right in teaching that God should be adored with an entirely chaste and pure heart. You unite all brothers and sisters to one another in a bond of religion that is stronger and closer than ties of blood.

-- St. Augustine

19 posted on 01/16/2011 10:47:51 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Parents for Life
Love both the parent and the child.
Pray to end abortion in America

20 posted on 01/16/2011 10:53:23 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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