Daily homily thoughts, 1/23

Today the first reading is about the priest Melchizedek and the Gospel is about a withered hand.  I have a beautiful book about the hands of a priest. It is a book of pictures of priests’ hands — some calloused, some young, some wrinkled, some holding the Eucharist, some fixing a boiler. The hands of a priest are something quite special – for the priest’s hands are anointed, set aside to offer sacrifice, to confect the Eucharist. Hence the tradition — and I’m pious enough to follow it — of kissing a newly ordained priest’s hands.  But here’s the thing: we are all “kingdom priests,” which is to say, we are all anointed priest, prophet and king at our baptism.  While not ministerial priests, we are all meant to offer sacrifice with our hands, to anoint with them, to touch the world with them, to bless with them.