3rd Week, Thursday, Jan 28
Hebrews 10:19-25 / Mark 4:21-25
Jesus’ death changed our situation; We should rouse each other to good works.
Ted Kennedy, Jr., lost his leg to cancer at the age of 12. In his 20’s he spent a lot of time giving inspirational talks to the handicapped in the United States and Europe.Of his recovery he says: “People give me too much credit. So much of it was that my family ... could afford the best doctors and best treatment. “One of the reasons I’m getting involved in speaking is that I want to repay some of that debt. It takes so little for me to make others feel better that it would be unthinkable not to make the effort.”
How much effort do we make to inspire those who are less fortunate than we are? “The man who lives for himself is apt to be corrupted by the company he keeps.” Anonymous
Followers of Christ are sure, confident people, for we have Christ, our mediator. His blood opens the door of heaven to us. The sacraments of initiation, received in faith, actualize in us the sacrifice of Christ.
In the gospel, the parable presents Jesus’ message as a lamp that cannot be hidden; it will blaze brightly in the end time. We must give a generous response to his message of light.
Most churches would have a couple of holy-water fonts at the entrance. It is a practice of Catholics to dip their fingers into the holy-water font and sign themselves with the holy water. More than just a pious and devotional practice, there are also a couple of spiritual meanings in that act.
One of which is that we want to use the holy-water to cleanse and purify ourselves before we enter the House of God. When the pierced Heart of Jesus flowed out blood and water, the blood symbolizes the life that Jesus gives us, and the water symbolizes the forgiveness of our sins. So, when we mark ourselves with the sign of the cross with holy-water, we are asking God to cleanse us and purify us of our sins as we enter into the House of God.
And the 1st reading gives us a deeper meaning of the House of God. The House of God is not just a building that is consecrated to God, it is also the Body of Christ in concrete form, literally speaking. That is what the 1st reading meant when it said: Through the blood of Jesus, we have the right to enter the sanctuary, by a new way which He has opened for us, a living opening through the curtain, that is to say, His Body. And we have the supreme high priest over all the house of God.
So let us be aware of this mystery as we enter into the House of God. We are the living Body of Christ. In no lesser measure is the House of God the Body of Christ. It is a House of prayer and worship. It is there that we the living Body of Christ come into communion with Christ.
Let us pray:
Lord our God, we can perceive the brightness of the message of Jesus your Son only in the shade. Make our faith grow, give us trust, that what we now see in obscurity and mystery may grow clearer in our minds and more evident in our actions. And never allow us to obscure or hide the kindly light of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen