Greetings on this the Memorial of Saint Agnes, Virgin and Martyr
Readings: Heb 9:2-3, 11-14; PS 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9; Mk 3:20-21
Notes: We continue the journey of meeting Jesus!
He was a radical thinker.
With each encounter he drew them (and us) deeper and deeper into the pathos of God.
Jesus is the immanent divinity.
Jesus draws us into the transcendent.
His simplicity and clarity oddly enough confuses and frightens us.
Think of Naaman the Syrian
Are not the rivers of Damascus, the Abana and the Pharpar, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be cleansed?” With this, he turned about in anger and left. But his servants came up and reasoned with him: “My father, if the prophet told you to do something extraordinary, would you not do it? All the more since he told you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?” So Naaman went down and plunged into the Jordan seven times, according to the word of the man of God. His flesh became again like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.
Letter to the Hebrews
How have you been enjoying the continuous reading of the Letter to the Hebrews? We are about 2/3 the way through with a completion in the next two weeks. The Letter to the Hebrews was written to bring encouragement and to help people resist falling away from the faith during times of trial and disappointment.
Just like the Jewish people, we too, can suffer from a certain weariness of the Christian life.
- In some cases, we can develop envy of the wealth, pleasure and ease of the pagan life.
- In other cases, we can be overly judgmental which steals Joy and brings discontent.
- In still other cases, a certain type of indifference to the calling not seeing the instant changes we want.
Even in the life of Jesus while in Galilee and among the people who knew him (Gospel of Mark):
He came home. Again [the] crowd gathered, making it impossible for them even to eat. When his relatives heard of this they set out to seize him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”
(a little further on) His mother and his brothers arrived. Standing outside they sent word to him and called him. A crowd seated around him told him, “Your mother and your brothers [and your sisters] are outside asking for you.” But he said to them in reply, “Who are my mother and [my] brothers?” And looking around at those seated in the circle he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. [For] whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.
Matthew version: So he was not able to perform any mighty deed there, apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.
Still elsewhere in Mark, When the people in the [Nazreth] synagogue heard this, they were all filled with fury. They rose up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town had been built, to hurl him down headlong. But he passed through the midst of them and went away.
The Blood of Christ, who through the eternal spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from dead works to worship the living God.
God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
Open our hearts, O Lord, to listen to the words of your Son.
“He is out of his mind.” – thank God!!
My brother and sister, if the prophet told you to do something extraordinary, would you not do it? All the more since he told you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?”
Peace be with you,