This week in prayer:
Like Melchizedek? Really? Sunday’s Psalm (Psalm 110) has a nice ring to it, but what does it mean for each of us to “be a priest forever in the line of Melchizedek?” Who was he and what does he have to do with us?
Sunday’s first reading indicates that Melchizedek was a priest, hence a person of prayer. He was also a king, hence a person who built up the community – in its internal structure and its external relations. Finally, he brought bread and wine to Abraham. Putting it together, he built up the community of prayer around the bread and the wine. Many scripture experts warn us not to over interpret the bread and wine, but Sunday was the feast of The Body and Blood of Christ, and so we make the Eucharistic connection.
The reading from First Corinthians recounts the Last Supper, when Jesus gave new meaning to the bread and the wine. We know it is His Body and Blood. We know he created a praying community around His Body and Blood.
The Gospel reminds us that Jesus wants us to care for His beloved, not to send them away. “Feed them yourselves” He says in reply to the disciples’ suggestion that he send the people packing.
Psalm 110 is ultimately about Jesus who is priest, prophet and king. It reminds us that He is a priest forever in the line of Melchizedek (and not a priest in the Levitical tradition). But since each of us “remains forever a member of Christ the priest,” we, like Christ, share in the tradition of Melchizedek; Jesus wants us to build up the community of prayer that forms around the Bread and the Wine, His Body and Blood.
You do that every time you get your kids or a car-less neighbor to church. You do that every time your example encourages a disconnected person to return to Mass. You do that each time you serve as an usher, or a musician or a server or any other liturgical ministry. You do that every time you help to clean or decorate the church. You build up the community of prayer around the Body and Blood of Christ. Can you name specific ways you are acting as a priest in the line of Melchizedek? Name at least three. And what about possible next steps? Ways you can help build up the community even more?
- It’s a time in our parish year to pay particular attention to the Sacrament of the Sick. Does it make sense for you to be anointed? Someone you love? And how about someone bringing communion to you or someone else who cannot get to church? Notice the gathering space banners and tables this weekend.
- Keep an eye peeled for the bulletin announcements about slight adjustments in our ways of praying for our fathers on Fathers’ Day.
This week in service:
- The youth group is gearing up for Catholic Heart Work Camp. We have more young people than ever joining the effort. Notice the chances we all have to support their effort, especially by taking a tag from their giving tree.
- More than 50 people signed up for new commitments in Social Concerns Ministries. That is a remarkable reflection on our parish.
This week in community:
- The 3rd Annual 5K run is a week from Saturday. Sign up! Every runner/walker gets a great t-shirt and a goodie bag.
- The Family Fun Day follows the 5K run. Sign up for that too in the Gathering Space. It promises to be one for the record books.
- The cookbook committee is still gathering recipes on line and in the gathering space. Click here to submit one or more recipes.
My five days in California with high school pals were most excellent. We had a terrific and very low-key time and I was delighted to return to Millstone after all that goodness. I started teaching last night at Rutgers – Monday and Wednesday nights. This summer’s crop is particularly impressive. With summer school under way, it is officially summer. May yours be greatly blessed.
Fr. Hank, SJ