Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Wednesday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time

(Hebrews 7:1-3.15-17; Mark 3:1-6)

The word tithe originally meant just a tenth part. Today, however, it is considered exclusively as a tenth of what one earns. Pastors like to think of the tithe as the appropriate amount for a church member’s donation.  In the reading from Hebrews today we find a biblical antecedent for that understanding.

The purpose of the passage is not to counsel churchgoers about their offerings.  Rather it establishes Jesus’ foundation as the eternal high priest.  Like the mysterious Melchizedek, Jesus’ origins are eternal.  What is more, as the father of faith Abraham honors the priest Melchizedek so we are to worship Jesus for his sacrifice of self on the cross.  Finally, as the name Melchizedek means “King of Peace” and the person comes and goes amicably, Jesus is called “the Prince of Peace” in the gospels and preaches nonviolence.

We can count on Jesus for everything that is good.  He is wiser than the ages, and his words will guide us to happiness.  More importantly, he not only died to free us from sin, but his resurrection has assured us of an eternal destiny.  More than anything else in life, we should endeavor to be faithful to him.