Friday, February 3, 2017

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 forty years.  They founded an organization with the acronym CURE to unite people with the same concern.  The involvement of many hands and the tireless work of Pauline and Charlie 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 an exhortation.  After describing Jesus as exemplary in every way, the letter urges readers to act like him.  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.

Today many Catholics, especially here in the United States, come to church to have their throats blessed.  They seek not only to protect themselves from disease but also to connect themselves with the traditions of their ancestors.  We might understand the custom in an additional way in light of today’s exhortation.  We have our throats blessed so that we might encourage others to lead lives worthy of Jesus Christ.