Reflection Saturday Week 1- Fr. Michael U. UdoekpoReadings:Heb 4:12-16; Ps 19;8,9,10,15; Mark 2:13-17
Jesus, the Word of God and the High Priest,
In their introduction to The Meaning of the Bible: What the Jewish Scriptures and the Christian Bible Old Testament Can Teach us, Douglas A. Knight and Amy-Jill Levine brilliantly obeserve that, 'the Bible is many things to many people- an ancient literary master piece, a cultural artifact, and athoritative scripture for Judaism and Christianity, even a weapon in the the culture wars. A Library of diverse literary forms including stories, songs, proverbs, laws, and prophecies, the Bible is an enigma to some readers and a delight and inspiration to others....It is also the principal buildig block of much of Western culture... the meaning of the Bible will be different for every reader who encounters the faith."
For those of us who approach the texts theologially, spiritually and pastorally as the author to the Letter to the Hebrews did today, the Bible, is the word of God. This word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two adged sword. He says this word of God can even penetrate between soul and spirit. It can permeats jonts and marrows. It is able to discern reflections and thoughts of the hearts. No creature is concealed from him, but every thing is naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must render an account.
This Word is God. This word is Jesus. This word is divine. This word is Spirit and life ( John 6:63),since no creature is concealed from him. He is the great high priest, Jesus Christ who passed through the heavens, became flesh and dwelt among us. He is then able to sympathize with us. By overcoming temptation in the desert after his baptism is able to teach us how to endure and resist temptatation. By bearing the insult and the mockery and the rejections he teaches us how to be patient and endure hard times with hope of blessings and help.
By eating with sinners, healing and forgiving them in todays gospel (Mark 2:13-17) he teaches us how to bless those who curse us , and to fogive those who have offended us. We are told today, sinners came to Jesus while he was in the house of Levi, son of Alphaeus. The Scribes and the Pharisees were amazed and question Jesus interaction with sinners.
It is true as he said, Jesus is did not come to call the righteous but sinner. As the great and superior high priest, passing through the heavens, he did not come to stick to the redundant status quo- falling into tempation when tested, but to overcome it. He did not come to remain on the surface of men and women's heart but to penetrate their inner most being of every creature. He did not come to identify with one section of the community rich as against the poor, or the poor as against the rich, but with everyone. He came to cure. He came to heal. He came to forgive. He came to love. He to lead. He came to bring life. He is our great and examplary high priest.