HEBREWS 5:1-10; PSALM 110; MARK 2:18-22
The first reading speaks of the priesthood of Christ. Christ is the perfect high priest, he was called by God rather than opting for it himself. The priesthood is a call, it is not an honour that one takes upon himself. As priest Christ prayed to God for strength and support. There is no magic for living a meaningful priestly life rather than prayer. Prayer is the Divine office of the priest. He prays even as he needs the prayers, support and love of the people. In the gospel the Pharisees gave uncharitable judgment about the life of Jesus’ disciples; they were not fasting while the disciples of John were fasting. The life of the priest is always open to scrutiny and examination from outside. We must guard against uncharitable judgment about the life of others. Christ defended his disciples because as one of them he knows their failures. Beloved, Jesus would measure our religiousness not in laws but in love.
Let us pray
Gracious and loving God, we thank you for the gift of our priests. Through them, we experience your presence in the sacraments. Help our priests to be strong in their vocation. Set their souls on fire with love for your people. Grant them the wisdom, understanding, and strength they need to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. Inspire them with the vision of your Kingdom. Give them the words they need to spread the Gospel. Allow them to experience joy in their ministry. Help them to become instruments of your divine grace. We ask this through Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns as our Eternal Priest. Amen.