Friday of the First Week in Ordinary Time
(Hebrews 4:1-5.11, Mark 2:1-12)
Americans have been confused about their founding principles. Some have come to believe that the root principles of America are economic. They now say that greed motivated slavery which enabled America’s prosperity. A truer understanding of the country’s foundation will give priority to biblical religion. The original settlers and participants of the American Revolution believed that God entrusted this great land to them. They were not to exploit the native people or one another. They were to build a society based on righteousness. To be sure, many were blind to the evil of slavery, but at their best they created a just system. The first reading today insists that Hebrew Christians maintain the biblical faith as well.
The so-called letter to the Hebrews reads more like an exhortative sermon. The author pleads with Christians of Jewish descent not to forget God’s promise to Abraham and fulfilled in Christ. Evidently, these Christians, as so many in the first century, were being persecuted. Some were forsaking their baptismal promises. The author tells them in today’s section that if they abandon Christ, they will lose eternal life.
We may not be moved by the revisionists finding an alternative basis for American society. But we may be tempted to give up biblical religion. We may make money our god or think that science has the answers to life’s mysteries. We need to recommit ourselves to Christianity by repenting of covetousness. In this way not only will America recover its true purpose, but also Americans may regain the road to eternal life.