Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Wednesday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time

(Hebrews 7:25-8:6; Mark 3:7-12)

Once a seminary professor was complaining to his class about the way they were praying.  “Why do you always say ‘just’?” he asked.  “Why do you say, ‘We just want to thank you, Lord,” and “We just want to ask you, Lord.”  A student drummed up the courage to take on the professor.  Just is a word we used to express awe,” he told him.  “We don’t feel that we are on equal terms with God.  I suppose that when you are a seminary professor with a Ph.D., you can walk up to God and treat him like a pal.”

Perhaps some of us often lack a sense of awe in praying to God as well. God is so much greater than we that we might as well be fruit flies communicating with a whale.  What is remarkable – no, more than that, stupendous – is how much God wants to hear us.  He sent His Son to open communication lines with us.  It is as if for something of the utmost international importance, a president would not the Secretary of State but his own father, whom he trusts implicitly.

This is what the Letter to the Hebrews tells us today and over and over again.  Jesus Christ is not the ordinary high priest but a unique one.  He is akin to Melchizedek who makes a fleeting appearance in the Book of Genesis.  Jesus is the only one worth praying to because he has complete access to God.  He came from Him and has returned to Him.  Furthermore, Jesus knows our condition intimately.  He has walked in our shoes.  He has traveled our ways.  We must never stop entrusting our lives to him.