1 Kings 17:10-16; Ps 146:7-10; Hebrews 9:24-28; Mark 12:38-44
The Letter to the Hebrews is a marvelous summary of our faith. Reading the introduction to this book will greatly bless your understanding of our Catholic faith, 2,000 years old. God, our Father, sent his Son in the person of Jesus Christ to show us clearly God’s plan for our salvation by his life, death and resurrection.
Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament Jewish practices and moved the faith in a different direction. He established a new and final covenant with humanity, never to be broken by our sins of unfaithfulness. Praying for the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and carefully reading the text, its footnotes and cross references, will electrify your understanding of our faith.
This new covenant was sealed by the suffering and death of Jesus Christ. God showed us that he accepted this great sacrifice on our behalf by raising Jesus from the dead. He died once for all and is now seated in heavenly glory. In the short section today, Jesus is shown as the "new high priest," who entered the temple (sanctuary) once for all. He took our place on the cross, laden with sins of all of humanity, from beginning to the final end of human life on earth. His ONE sacrifice, not to be repeated, accomplished that task. Jesus wants to fill us with the benefits he won for us. He continues to intercede before his Father, praying that we will accept in time, what he did once for all humans. Yet not all will accept his offer of forgiveness and salvation.
So as we ask for forgiveness in prayer, the sacrament of Reconciliation and attend Mass, we receive forgiveness for our past sins. Jesus then applies some of the grace he already won for us by his death on the cross to our current time and condition. This is so important and critical to our faith. Jesus does not die over and over again at each Mass every day all over the world. He makes himself present for us to receive more of his divine power to accomplish in our lives what God want us to do here.
The widows mentioned in two of the readings can increase our sensitivity to help others. Most of us are not widows and we have families and work to do that requires responsibility and money to accomplish the tasks God asks us to do here helping others. These stories remind us not to get caught up in all the worldly extras that we mostly don’t need and can’t take with us when we die. We won’t need those things in the next life wherever we choose to end up. They will either be burned up or we shall be so filled with heavenly divine glory we won’t need earthly things.
Don’t forget to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy I spoke about last week for more of God’s mercy on our world. Our prayer fills us with more power to radiate more God’s glory to those around us each day.
Have a blessed week filled and surrounded with the radiant glory of our risen Lord Jesus.
+ Fr. Bob Hilz.
(© 2015 Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR)