Reflection Friday Week 2 (Year C) Fr. Michael U. Udoekpo
Readings: Heb 8:6-13 Ps 85; 8, 10-14; Mark 3:13-19
The New Covenant of Love,
Those of us who play soccer, 11 players are required for each side. Both sides need umpires in the centre and on the side lines, as mediators for the game to be played effectively and smoothly, without unnecessary arguments. Most sports, Base ball, Lawn Tennis, Basket ball name them, requires umpires or mediators too. Even though, there are usually still some arguments, even with their presents, the benefits of their roles cannot be overemphasized.
In our spiritual journeys, “spiritual sports” we have always need umpires, check and balances in forms of the covenant God had established with us through our ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David and the prophets, renewed in Christ Jesus.
The old covenant required strict laws and obedience to those laws. But the new covenant we al read in Jeremiah 31:31-34, which the author to the letter to the Hebrews lovingly and insightfully quotes at length, is based on love. It is written in our hearts. People obey them not because they are forced, but out of love, freewill and volition. Our respond to God is based on love. It is a covenant of a new kind since the first was not sufficient. In fact it has become obsolete.
The new covenant has a universal effect, men, women and children will know God, the rich an the poor. It has the power of washing away our sins “for I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sins no more.” The new covenant is broader in scope, embracing both 12 tribes of Israel 10 from the North and 2 from the South. It is a covenant of love and unity mediated by Christ.
No wonder Marks Gospel 3:13-19, Jesus the mediator of the new covenant summoned those he loved, those he wanted. Like in the case of the 12 tribes of Israel, Jesus significantly summoned not one, not half, not ten, not two, but the whole Twelve, whom he also named apostles.
The new covenant has the power to unit. It has the power to reconcile us with God and with one another. It is a covenant of love. May we see ourselves among the twelve! And may our dealings and interaction with one another, our studies and works, be daily based on Christ’s love- the mediator of the new covenant.