Readings and Reflection for January 18, Wednesday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time

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FIRST READING

“You are a priest for ever, according to the order of Melchizedek.”

A reading from the Letter to the Hebrews (Hebrews 7: 1-3.15-17)

Brethren: Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him; and to him Abraham apportioned a tenth part of everything. He is first, by translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then he is also king of Salem, that is, king of peace. He is without father or mother or genealogy, and has neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God he continues a priest for ever. This becomes even more evident when another priest arises in the likeness of Melchizedek, who has become a priest, not according to a legal requirement concerning bodily descent but by the power of an indestructible life. For it is witnessed of him, “You are a priest for ever, according to the order of Melchizedek.”

The word of the Lord

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 110: 1.2.3.4 (R. 4cd)

R/. You are a priest forever, in the line of Melchizedek.

The Lord’s revelation to my lord:

“Sit at my right hand,

until I make your foes

your footstool.” R/.

The Lord will send from Sion

your sceptre of power:

rule in the midst of your foes. R/.

R/. You are a priest forever, in the line of Melchizedek.

With you is princely rule

on the day of your power.

In holy splendour, from the womb

before the dawn,

I have begotten you. R/.

The Lord has sworn an oath

he will not change:

“You are a priest forever,

in the line of Melchizedek.” R/.

ALLELUIA Matthew 4:23

Alleluia. Jesus was preaching the Gospel of the kingdom and healing every infirmity among the people. Alleluia.

GOSPEL

“Is it lawful on the sabbath to save life or to kill? ”

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark (Mark 3: 1-6)

At that time: Again Jesus entered the synagogue, and a man was there who had a withered hand. And they watched him, to see whether he would heal him on the sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man who had the withered hand, “Come here.” And he said to them, “Is it lawful on the sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out, and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.

The Gospel of the Lord.

TODAY’S REFLECTION

After the controversy stories in the Gospel of Mark, the Pharisees and Herodians unite against Jesus (cf. Mark 3:6), echoing the words of Psalm 2:2, “The king of the earth brace themselves and the rulers together take their stand against the Lord and His Anointed.” Jesus’ only crime is His righteous deeds. He warns us that we too shall face such oppression and persecution (Matthew 24:9; John 16:2). But He reassures us not to worry because He has overcome the world (John 16:33). And you must believe Jesus when He says so. See for yourself that even His simple question silence them all (Mark 3:4). So shall He silence all who rise against you.

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