15 Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. 16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. 17 Obey your leaders and submit to them; for they are keeping watch over your souls, as men who will have to give account. Let them do this joyfully, and not sadly, for that would be of no advantage to you. 20 Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, 21 equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in you that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
30 The apostles returned to Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught.
31 And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a lonely place, and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. 32 And they went away in the boat to a lonely place by themselves. 33 Now many saw them going, and knew them, and they ran there on foot from all the towns, and got there ahead of them. 34 As he went ashore he saw a great throng, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.
THE FIRST READING gives us insight and details of the role, functionary and ecclesiastical duties of the ministerial priestly office.The primary ecclesiastical duty of the parish priest is the daily liturgical Celebration of the Sacrifice of the Mass, which is the source and summit of our faith around which the rest of the sacraments revolve. No interference or obstacles may hinder the priest to exercise this Sacred duty of presenting this Sacrificial offering for the souls of the flock.
Catec 1360 “The Eucharist is a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the Father, a blessing by which the Church expresses her gratitude to God for all his benefits, for all that he has accomplished through creation, redemption, and sanctification. Eucharist means first of all “thanksgiving.”
The Holy Eucharist is also a memorial Passover of praise where the Church sings glory to God and by faith we receive grace to “equip [us] with everything!” Christ Jesus death on the cross two thousand years ago is made present in our time and is not merely a ‘memorial.’
THE GOSPEL READING proceeds from the return of the twelve apostles who successfully completed their first assignment of spreading the good news through works of healing. Consecrated Priests are effectively permanently in service of the Church, for “they left everything!”-family; worldly attractions; the latest fashions; money and fame to serve the people of God.
Our Lord is mindful that his servant’s mission to heal and expel evil spirits were spiritually draining and necessitated the retreat of the apostles for a while to have a solemn rest to rejuvenate their spirit. The crowds were unrelenting in their need to be healed and went in pursuit of the apostles! Christ’s “compassion” towards the afflicted results in Him acceding to their hunger to be healed which is also a sign that “God has visited His people” Luke 7:16 Our Lord identifies with the sick; the hungry and the lonely to the extent that He said: “I was sick and you visited me…” Mt 25:35-39
Our consecrated priests stand daily in service of the Lord and “watch over our souls.” As laity we also have an obligation to present ourselves as co-workers in God’s vineyard to visit and be in service to all God’s people through acts of charity and love! Our wilful selfish refusal to heed and act on the voice of the Holy Spirit, shall surely deny us the free gift of our eternal salvation, for as much as we did it to the least, we did it to God!Mt 25:40-41
LET US PRAY: Psalms 23:1-6
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want; 2 he makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters; 3 he restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me. 5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies; thou anointest my head with oil, my cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
Catholic Witness Apostolate email@example.com Henry R SYLVESTER
Note: The daily scripture readings are taken from the Roman Missal which the Catholic Church use in the daily Celebration of the Holy Eucharist throughout the world.Some weekly readings may differ because of the celebration of local feast days of saints around the world.
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