Actions Speak Louder…

Posted on October 31, 2023 by Published by

This Sunday’s readings remind us of the importance of the role of priests, who are supposed to be the men of God. The role of the priest in the Old Testament was to offer a sacrifice on behalf of the people of Israel and to give an example of holy life with God. We hear in the first reading, however, how the priests were unfaithful, and how God rebuked them. God speaks through the prophet Malachi directing this warning to the priests of Jerusalem Temple:

“And now, O priests, this commandment is for you: If you do not listen, if you do not lay it to heart, to give glory to my name, says the LORD of hosts, I will send a curse upon you and of your blessing I will make a curse.”

Similarly, in the Gospel, we hear an echo of the prophet Malachi. But this time it is the Lord Jesus, Himself, who rebukes the scribes and the Pharisees who were supposed to help the Chosen People know the Holy Scriptures, lead them to a deeper understanding of God and eventually to the recognition of the Messiah. Instead, the scribes and Pharisees were using their position to rule over peoples’ hearts and minds while keeping them in the dark. In this case, the so-called religious people used their authority either for their personal gain or because of their pride. Like the prophet Malachi, Jesus is very straightforward while directing His message. Here too, Jesus pinpoints the sins of the scribes and the Pharisees: they do their piety to show off — “all their works are performed to be seen.” Consequently, they cannot or do not want to hear Jesus’ message. Hence, the Lord directly warns the people: “do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice.”

Since currently there are so few young men entering the seminaries or religious life, and the crisis among the priests is too obvious, I ask you to please pray unceasingly for vocations to the priesthood. Remember that without priests there will be no sacraments: no baptisms, no confessions, no anointing of the sick, no holy matrimony, no Eucharist and, eventually, no Church! Please pray also for the priests you know – that we all may truly be holy men of God. Thank you for your prayers and support. Blessings to all.

Yours in Christ,
Father Arthur

Readings for the Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time: Lectionary 151

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