4th Week, Thursday, Feb 4
Hebrews 12:18-19, 21-24 / Mark 6:7-13
The new covenant; The blood of Jesus changed our lives.
Bishop Sheen used to compare the Old Testament to radio and the New Testament to television. The Old Testament lets you hear God’s word. But the New Testament not only lets you hear God’s word but also lets you see the God who utters it.
Commenting on this point, Jesus himself said, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” John 14:9. The Letter to the Hebrews lists other important comparisons between the Old Testament and the New Testament. For example, today’s reading compares Abel’s blood, which cried out for God’s vengeance, to Christ’s blood, which cries out for mercy. Thanks to the blood of Jesus, which sealed the new covenant, justice and vengeance have given way to mercy.
When was the last time we meditated on the suffering Jesus underwent for us? “He endured the suffering that should have been ours.” Is 53:4
Our religion today is not inspired or instilled by the fear of the terrifying signs of Mount Sinai but rests on Christ our mediator of the new covenant who sacrificed himself for us. Jesus wants his disciples to be without security and power, so as to be free to go to people in their own life situation and to be free to preach and witness to the gospel without ambiguity. Would that the Church today could give such an unambiguous witness.
"To be sent"
would imply that the one who is sent has a mission or a task at hand. At the
same time, that would also mean that there would be some anxiety and
uncertainty and there may also be some difficulties. Especially when one is
sent to negotiate for peace or to do trouble-shooting and to clear up some
In the gospel, we heard that after Jesus had been teaching around the villages, He began to send out His apostles in pairs and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. By the very fact that Jesus had to give authority to those He was sending out, means that He was sending them to "troubled spots" and that they would face challenges and difficulties as well as opposition from evil.
So as we heard from the gospel, they set off to preach repentance; and they cast out many devils, and anointed many sick people with oil and cured them. It was quite obvious that the apostles were sent to places where there was a need and where it needs to be liberated and free from the clutches of evil.
Yet, where there is a need and where people are living in darkness and in shadow of fear and oppression, God will be there, and in fact He is already there. But He needs people who are willing to be sent to these troubled spots so that they can be His channels and instruments of grace and healing. God wants to empower us to carry out His mission. May we be willing to heed His call and be sent.