Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time

(Hebrews 8:6-13; Mark 3:13-19)

Today’s passage from the Letter to the Hebrews presents Christians with a dilemma.  We know that the Old Testament (or Old Covenant, the words mean the same thing) has immense value.  After all, it inspired and informed Jesus.  Nonetheless Hebrews, which is part of the New Testament, indicates that it is “obsolete” and “close to disappearing.” 

We must hold up both the old and the new as critical.  The Old Testament enables us to understand Jesus, and the New Testament brings him into even clearer focus.  Yet neither of them nor both together is the perfect revelation of God.  That comes in the person of Jesus.  Scripture, howsoever indispensable it is for us, is the Word of God in human words.  This last phrase bespeaks inevitable limitation and even error.  In other words, both Old and New Testaments are defective.  We only find God revealing Himself to us perfectly in the living presence of Jesus.

How can we so meet Jesus today?  We find him in the Eucharist where he nourishes us with his body and blood.  For sure, we will not interpret him perfectly there.  Nevertheless, receiving the Eucharist we hold Jesus close to our hearts.  Then we want to implore him to purify our understanding so that we live up to his call for us.