The first reading recounts the events of the first missionary journey of Paul and Barnabas. They had landed on the southern shore of what today is Turkey. They travelled north to the central town on Antioch, founding the Church there. From there they travelled eastward, establishing the church in Iconium, Lystra, then Derbe.
Then, they retraced their steps from Derbe, to Lystra, Iconium and Antiouch, and in each place they appointed presbyters to lead the church there.
We can sat that they appointed priests in each place. If you look up the word “priest” in Webster’s dictionary it will tell you that “priest” is a contraction of the word “presbyter.”
The word “presbyter” has an old Indo=European origin. The core syllable “byt” was originally the name for an “ox.” So, a presbyter is actually a “lead ox.” From that we see that our priests should be like the lead oxen yoked to pulling the load. They should not be like the masters cracking their whips from up in the chariot.
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