Hebrews 6:10-20 / Mark 2:23-28
Take heart; God will not forget your work and love.
A hospital doctor used to prescribe “memory breaks” for his patients. Before leaving a room, he’d say, “I’ve one more important prescription for you. I want you to take a ‘memory break’: one at ten o’clock and another at four o’clock. “Close your eyes. Relax your body.
Then recall three happy times from your past. Spend as much time as you can reliving each happy event.” The doctor knew what he was doing. “Memory breaks” are healing experiences. Today’s reading assures us that God will someday take a similar “memory break” with us. He will recall the good things we did in life. And that too will be a healing experience.
Do we ever take “memory breaks” when we need a spiritual lift?
“God gives us memory so that we can have roses in December.”
James Matthew Barrie
Our firm hope, the anchor of our faith, is that God made Jesus our high priest according to the order of Melchizedek, a statement rather obscure for us, which Paul will explain further. In any case, our faith is based on the word of God and of Christ.
The function of laws is to order relationships within the community so as to safeguard the rights of God and of the people around us, and to make us aware of our social responsibilities. Yet experience tells us that it is a perpetual human temptation to turn laws into absolutes, to make people servants of the law rather than the law a servant of people. Jesus reminds us of the priority of people and the human community over the letter of the law.
One of the reasons why some people do not wish to embrace a religion is because of the obligations to the laws and practices of the religion. In as much as they may believe in a supreme divine being, they prefer to remain as "free-thinkers" - free from religious obligations, and perhaps, moral obligations. And we ourselves may at times find our religious obligations and laws rather cumbersome and inconvenient, and we may even think that some are like a nuisance.
But laws and obligations have a purpose. They are meant to help those who need black-and-white instructions to what needs to be done and what needs to be observed. More than that, they also help us know where we are in our spiritual life, and to find a direction in our relationship with God. Hence we must remember that our God is not a God of laws and commandments and obligations.
He is a God of relationships, and Jesus is the expression of that relationship. And if Jesus is the master of the Sabbath, which is a holy day, then He is leading us into a holy relationship with God and with each other. It is in this holy relationship that we will understand the laws and commandments and obligations. Over and above, let us be holy, just as our Lord God is holy.
Opening Prayer: Lord our God, it is easier for us to seek safety in observing laws and customs than to be personally responsible for the people around us and to serve you with the freedom of love. Give us a bit of your own fantasy, send us the Holy Spirit to fill us with your own inventive and creative love, that we may ever seek new ways to reach out to you and to one another. Grant this through Jesus Christ, our Lord.