Melchizedek appears from nowhere in the Old Testament narrative and disappears just as mysteriously. The author of the Letter to the Hebrews draws from the Melchizedek tradition to teach us something about the priesthood of Jesus and those who follow in His footsteps. The priesthood that Jesus inaugurates in His own ministry is likened to that of Melchizedek due to Jesus’ own mysterious origins in that He is not a descendent of Levi, the priestly tribe of Israel.

 

We can see, therefore, that the priesthood of Jesus is different to the one that the Jews are used to dealing with. Hebrews tells us that one of the aspects of the priesthood of Jesus, its future indestructibility ids a result of the indestructibility of the life of Jesus as demonstrated by His resurrection from the dead. The mysterious ‘order of Melchizedek’ recurs in the prayers of ordination in the Church’s Sacrament of Ordination indicating that the priests of the Church are ordained into this ‘order of Melchizedek’ that the priesthood of Christ draws upon.

 

It is important for us to realize that the priesthood has a central and indispensable role in the mediation of the New Covenant, the gift of salvation. Without the priesthood the Church would not be able to carry on its mission in its fullness. God will always do His part to maintain the priesthood in the Church however, we must also do our part! We need to pray for good and holy vocations – for young men willing to give their lives in the service of the Church as priests. One of the best ways to ensure vocations to the priesthood will be plentiful is for parents to encourage their sons to consider it as a vocation and for the Christian community to live its vocation to the fullness in the world.

 

Speaking as a priest there is little more inspiring than seeing a Christian community living their lives in Christ to the fullest degree possible. It gives great encouragement to me to see the lay vocation lived well. Let us pray that we will all live our lives in the power and strength of the Holy Spirit according to the will of God for each one of us.

 

Do I do what I can to promote the idea of a priestly vocation to young people? Do I pray for the priests that I know on a regular basis? How faithful am I in my support of the Church’s needs.

 

Lord Jesus, you are the Eternal High Priest whose ministry will never come to an end. Lord, I pray that all of the men who are serving the Church as priests will always be humble enough to accept the grace that they need to ensure that their ministries as priests are pleasing to you.