Each week we gather to receive the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, it is clear from the second reading and the gospel that already in the first century the four verb formula for the consecration was already in place in the life of the church: He took the bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to his disciples.
But worth reflection today is another link that can be overlooked. The link the church makes from Melchizedek to Jesus to the Church.
The entire congregation will sing over and over today
"You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek."
And mean those words in at least three level:
1) Jesus is the eternal high priest spoken of in the letter to the,Hebrews
2) Those of us who have been called and ordained into the priesthood
3) The priesthood of all believers we receive at baptism with the anointing with Chrism(As Christ was anointed priest, prophet, and king...)
Melchizedek is both priest and king, but a particular kind of king. His name has a double meaning literal and theological. "Melchizedek, king of Salem" as the petitions for morning prayer point out it is to be understood as "King of justice and peace."(Tzedek and Shalom)
If we are all given some participation in this, it means that Justice and Peace are not something we can relegate to an office or committee. It has to be a way of life for all of us. In our families, our churches, our state, our nation, and our world looking for ways large and small that we can make the world a more peaceful,more just society.
A shout out to our Governor who this week announced automatic restoration of voting and civil rights to those who were convicted of non-violent felonies, an example of true forgiveness reconciliation, and justice.