Thursday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
(Hebrews 12:18-19.21-24; Mark 6:7-13)
The cathedral in a mid-sized city announced that its noon mass on Sunday would use Latin responses. The news delighted many of the church’s young parishioners. Veterans may be wondering why use a language which few understand. This argument sounds like the one made by the author of the Letter to the Hebrews in today’s first reading.
Throughout the exhortation the author has compared the new dispensation or covenant with the old. He insists that the new one is superior in every way. In today’s passage he says that the people whom he addresses have come to a much more desirable place. Rather than the volcanic mountain where God met Moses, they have approached a wonderful city. The clinching benefit of the new place is Jesus who has won for them a dwelling in the city. He wants them to finish the journey. The road ahead may be rocky and uphill, but it will get them where they should want to be.
Like the Hebrews our faith can lag and ebb. We too must not lose sight of our heavenly goal. Whether mass is celebrated in English, Latin, or another language, we should find in it a glimpse of salvation. It is also the means to our eternal happiness. We should no more pass it by than we would Sunday dinner in our childhood homes.