Friday, February 8, 2013

Friday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time

(Hebrews 13:1-8; Mark 6:14-29)

Charlie and Pauline Sullivan have been working for reform in prisons for over thirty years. They have founded an organization with the acronym CURE to unite people -- mostly loved ones of the imprisoned -- with the same concern. The involvement of many hands and the tireless work of Pauline and Charlie along with their generous spirit have moved legislators to implement some of their ideas. Charlie and Pauline exemplify what the Letter to the Hebrews today exhorts: “Be mindful of prisoners as if sharing their imprisonment…”

As in other New Testament epistles, the Letter to the Hebrews ends with a paraclesis or exhortation that the readers act in consonance with the faith that has been proclaimed. As Jesus entertained guests in his home, so too must Christians welcome strangers. As he relieved the burden of the oppressed, so too much Christians share their load. As he was faithful and free, so too must Christians uphold the sanctity of marriage and not get obsessed with making money.

As we look forward to Lent, we might think of this holy time as an opportunity to deepen our efforts in the ways suggested by the Letter to the Hebrews. Jesus has won for us the grace to act like him. Now we have to avail ourselves of occasions to do so.