Hebrews 8:6-13 / Mark 3:13-19
We are under the new covenant; God forgives our past.
A Dutch soldier, stationed in Indonesia, bought a small monkey as a pet. After a few days he noticed the tiny animal was sensitive around its waist. Closer inspection showed that someone had put a wire around it when the monkey was a baby.
The wire was now embedding itself in the monkey’s flesh. Using a tiny wire cutter and a safety razor, the soldier carefully removed the wire. When it was off, the monkey leaped for joy.
He was free, at last, from the pain that had held him bound. In a similar way, God has released us from the sins of our past, which once held us bound and in pain. How sensitive are we to the pain
that binds other people, causing them to suffer? The greatest pain that many afflicted people bear is not their affliction, but the pain caused by people’s insensitivity to their affliction.
To be able to put something into a container, there
are two obvious requirements - the container must not be full, and there must
be at least some space to put that something in. Similarly, to write something
on a piece of paper, there must be a space in the paper to write, and also that
the paper cannot have too many things written on it such that a new addition
becomes lost in that overwhelming content. If that is the case, the same could
be said of the mind and heart. To put something into the mind, it must be clear
enough to receive it. And for the heart to accept something, it must be open to
In the 1st reading, the Lord said that He will make a new covenant with the House of Israel. He will put His laws into their minds and write them in their hearts. And that covenant is this - The Lord declared that He will be their God and they shall be His people.
That covenant is renewed everyday with us especially in the Eucharist. But we have to clear our minds in order to understand what the Lord wants of us and to cleanse our hearts in order to receive the love that He wants to fill us with. And just as Jesus called the twelve, Jesus is also calling us to offer to Him our minds and hearts. May our minds not be distracted, and may our hearts be pure, so that our faith in God will be strengthened and that others will see us as the people of God.
The worship of the old regime of the Law was insufficient, for it had to be replaced. It had only led on the part of the people to legalistic observance. But now comes the new covenant, written in peoples’ hearts, with Jesus as the mediator. There Jesus will speak from the heart: “I came to do your will.”
Jesus summons those he wants to work with him. The Twelve, reminding us of the twelve tribes of Israel, were to be the leaders, his intimate companions, and they were to be the foundations, the pillars of his Church, except for Judas, the traitor. Today he summons us all, but to some he gives special tasks in his Church. Yet we all have the task of building up the Church.
Let us pray: Lord God our Father, you let your Son Jesus associate with him helpers to carrying out his work of bringing about a new world and a new humanity. We thank you for the men and the women you choose in the sacred history of your people to guide and lead and inspire us. We too wish to cooperate today toward this new world, and so we ask: Make us close companions of Jesus, inspire us through your Spirit to cooperate with those who shepherd us, and lead us to your future of joy. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.