Date: June 17, 2007
Readings: Genesis 14: 18-20-- Psalm 110:1-4-- 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
If we've been reading Genesis up to these verses, Abram's pretty much alone beating up on the five Kings and accepting their tribute in their defeat.
Along comes this guy out of nowhere, offers bread and wine and is given one tenth of Abram's swag. Why? Melchizedek, a priest of Yahweh? Why? No ordination, no study, at least none recorded, not a sheik or member of any visible tribe. Where does he come off getting goodies at Abram's expense? As usual, there are no answers given to this mystery. Even the writer of Hebrews was confused in Chapter 5. There is no other mention of Melchizedek elsewhere in the bible except in Psalm 110.
Melchizadek was the King of Salem, later Jerusalem. Kings were supposed
to take care of the flock given into their care. He blessed Abram to begin a journey into the promised land promised while Abram was in Ur of the Chaldeans.
There a few anomalies in the passages about Melkezedek.(M)
Here we are in the book of Genesis, and before Moses gets Yahweh's name in Exodus, he is a priest thereof. Irreconcilable!
That is, if we are reading the biblical account literally. Ancients didn't read it literally, in fact, both Jews and the early Christians read the Scriptures, New and Old Testaments, allegorically. They searched for the meaning intended by the writer and the Holy Spirit. The psalm, still in the old Testament, accommodates Melkezadek into the literary genre of poetry. It makes him a "priest forever" according to the order of "M".
Paul gives Christ the honors. God has subjected everything to Him, putting everything under His feet. To understand the metaphor, "under his feet', it is necessary to harken back to the ancient societies where a defeated enemy would prostrate himself at the foot of the conqueror, who would place his bare foot on the neck of the vanquished, to shame and ridicule him as woeful and defeated. Christ has placed "death" under His feet.
Luke's version, of the feeding of the five thousand, first has the Apostles wanting to send the people into the towns and villages for food. Jesus tells Them, "You feed them"! Although the sense of the statement is for the Apostles to do something, He knew what He would do to allay their hunger.
The words say He blessed and broke the fish and bread in enough pieces so each of them could have a little. Later Church Fathers saw this event as a prefigure of the Eucharist whereby the assembly shared the bread and wine which by the words Jesus, Himself, gave them, His essence, His Body and Blood would be shared by each of them.
By offering these varied readings, the Church ties together seemingly unrelated incidents, to emphasize the real presence of God the Son, Body and Blood in the Eucharist.