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God gave Moses a special blessing to impart to the people of Israel:

May the Lord bless you and protect you.

May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you.

May the Lord show you his favour and give you his peace.

Three times we hear the Lord’s name which alludes to what we now refer to as the Holy Trinity. Through this blessing God grants His people protection, grace and peace.

As we leave Mass each Sunday, the priest invokes the same Trinitarian blessing, so that nourished by God’s word and the body and blood of Jesus Christ, we may take the Good News out to all – this is our mission as Christians.

In Mark’s gospel, Jesus explains why this blessing is so important as he foretells how the Temple will be destroyed and his own followers persecuted. He prophesies the destruction of churches and monasteries that we saw for example in England during the reformation. He predicts the persecution of Christians and our values as they are being challenged in the 21st century. See President’s O’Bama’s support for same-sex unions and the British government’s attempts to re-define marriage.

But Jesus encourages us by teaching that all these events and the wars and famines that will follow, will be opportunities to tell people about him and to preach the Good News.

So as you receive the priest’s blessing when you leave the church after Mass, remember it is your Christian duty and mission to tell others what you yourself have heard.

Scripture: Numbers 6:1-7:89; Mark 12:38-13:13; Psalm 49:1-20; Proverbs 10:27-28