Reflection Tuesday Week 2 of Ordinary Time (Year C) Fr. Michael Udoekpo
Readings: Heb 6:10-20; Ps 111:1-2,4-5,9-10c; and Mark 2:23-28
Our Hope is built on nothing else but Christ,
In the United States the church prays today for all, especially the unborn who depend on their parents; who anchor their hope on their parents. It is this theme of hope anchored on Christ, the high priest that the readings of this morning strike.
The author or preacher of the sermon in the Letter to the Hebrews reassures us that God does not overlook the sacrifices, the little effort we make thus far to live the faith. These could be how we love our neighbors, how we reach out to the poor, how we visit the seniors in nursing homes and hospices, how we forgive those who have offended us, how we pray for one another, including the soul of the loved ones gone before us, how we dedicate ourselves to our duties, promises and vocations. Sometimes we may run short of these commitments and spiritual values-call it spiritual dryness.
We should not be discouraged or loose hope. Rather we should “demonstrates eagerness… and be imitators of those, who through faith and patience, are inheriting the promises.”
We know in our faith history that God established a covenant or made promises to Abraham in Genesis 12:7; in Genesis 17:5-6; in Genesis 18:18. And confirmed these promises in Genesis 22:16-18 which he confirmed with an oath sworn by himself, not by any other lower being. However, the promised was Abraham’s descendants; Isaac, Jacob, David, his seed and his children would be blessed. This promised or blessings came to a fulfillment in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ, the great high priest.
Clearly the points are that no matter how thick our trials may seem. No matter how difficult the journey may be. We are not the first to travel this long journey with success. We should look back on those ancient promises. See how God fulfilled them. God does not disappoint. He is our anchor and the only one we can rely on without fear!
In those days anchor was a symbol of hope. For sailors an anchor secured a ship from being swept away by the sea storm. Pythagoras once said, “Wealth is a weak anchor; fame is still weaker. What then are the anchors which are strong? Wisdom, great-hardheartedness, courage… these are anchors which no storm can shake.”
For us Christians our greatest anchor of hope in the world is not political power. It is not money, not sex, not popularity, but rather Jesus Christ, who is the Lord of everything and everyday, including the Sabbath (Mark 2:23-28) and the Temple.
Christ, the anchor enters once and for all, into that inner Holy of Holies which tradition had permitted Levitical high priest to enter only once a year on the Day of Atonement. It was dwelling place of God.
Christ whom the high priest of the Old Covenant foreshadowed, by his action, by entering into this temple, has opened the way for all of us. He is our forerunner before God’s presence. By his self sacrifice on the cross he not only atones for our sins, but makes it easier for us to encounter God.
May Christ our High Priest and the Lord of the Sabbath, free us from all fears, and from sluggishness to love one another. May he free us from what makes us not to protect lives of everyone (including the unborn) and to and serve one another, the church and our nations charitably. And May we anchor and built our faith and hope in Christ Jesus.