The parallels to the Church's liturgy in all these readings for this weekend are astounding, as it should be since they are in effect somewhat the origin of the Liturgy. The bread and wine in the first story are very significant. Also, the one who offers this bread and wine is important to note. It is Melchizedek, the priest of God, who brings the offering. In the liturgy it is the baptized who bring the gifts up in procession, who in baptism have received the priestly office of Christ. The ordained priest accepts them as one with all the baptized and prays to God saying, “through your goodness we have received the bread we offer you” and “through your goodness we have received the wine we offer you”. Interestingly enough, the other piece of the offering is the collection brought with the gifts of bread and wine. It is the offering in support of the Church as Abram offered to Melchizedek. The anticipation of change in Abram's name is also seen in prayer over the gifts. For the bread it is “it will become for us the bread of life”. For the wine it is “it will become our spiritual drink”. We are not alone this wonderful participation in these life-giving actions. Christ himself is present to us and for us in this celebration. This has been passed on to us as St. Paul tells us in the First Letter to the Corinthians. These are not his words but the words of the one who made it possible, Jesus himself. Paul makes us aware that this gift, the precious Body and Blood of Christ are to be received in the proper disposition. Those who come to this meal at Corinth must not come with selfish motives. The generosity of God demands our generosity as well.
With my prayers,