Saturday, January 17, 2009

Saturday word, 17 Jan 2009

First Saturday of the Year (17 Jan 2009)
Hb 4. 12-16; Ps 19; Mk 2. 13-17
Homily of Fr. Paul Panaretos, S.J.
Relationship Revisited
The first verses we heard from the Letter to the Hebrews close its first section of its fourth chapter in which the preacher established the faithful as God’s people, whom God continues to call. The word of God was the creative power of from the beginning and it continues to hold in existence all people and things.

While scripture mentions God and word in several places, the Letter to the Hebrews extends the power of God’s word to penetrat[e] even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart. The pairs are things so closely related that they elude human distinction. My teacher even relayed that marrow, the interior of bones, was sometimes used for the self; and the word we translate with bones denoted the connection between bones.

More than penetrating what humans alone cannot, God’s word can discriminate between, literally, our thoughts and the notions of our heart. Our states of mind, often hidden or blurred to us, are crystal clear to God.

With a deft shift from the word of God to no creature is concealed from him, the preacher personified God’s word. God’s word is God! God’s discerning word is not a tool to trip us or to haunt us. God personally calls us, invites us and gave us Jesus as our great high priest.

Jesus, the son of God, passed through the heavens, that is, entered into God’s own existence. Here the preacher’s metaphor for God’s life is the throne of grace to which we are called to confidently approach. We are confident because our great high priest...sympathize[s] with our weaknesses because he shared our human nature in every respect.

In the community people were falling away from their active belief, their confession. So the preacher urged them, let us hold fast to our confession. The impetus to live faithfully comes most of all from a personal relationship with Jesus, who sympathize[s] with our weaknesses. Not a threat, not theory: I join the preacher of ages ago and invite us to renew and deepen our personal relationships with Jesus, our great high priest, who is also one of us.
Wiki image of Holy Trinity Column is in the public domain.

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