Saturday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time
Malvern Minute


Saturday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time

January 23, 2021

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Saint Mary Magdalen Parish, Media, PA


Memorial Feast:  Saint Vincent,  Deacon and Martyr (c. 3rd century-+304) Patron of Lisbon

Letter to the Hebrews 9:2-3, 11-14

Psalm 47:2-3, 6-9

Mark 3:20-21


            In recent days we have been gifted with a series of readings from the Letter to the Hebrews.  For many this is an obscure and difficult text even though in the ancient church it was a favorite because it speaks so eloquently of the priestly ministry of Jesus and of His role in our redemption.  The imagery in our first reading builds upon the ancient Jewish understanding of sacrifice and atonement.  Once a year, the high priest entered the “Holy of Hollies,” the inner sanctuary of the temple, and, by this act, symbolically mediated God’s forgiveness to penitent Israel. 

            The Letter to the Hebrews claims that Jesus is the true high priest who truly mediates between us and God, and, as Mark says late in his Gospel, who tears away the curtain separating us from God’s holiness.  Therefore, Jesus replaces the symbolic mediation of the high priest with the true mediating power of his own person.

            Friends, these ideas are notoriously difficult for modern Christians to understand because we do not live in a religions world where “cultic” sacrifice is practiced.  The Letter to the Hebrews has made the startling claim that Jesus was powerful enough to enter heaven itself and, by His sacrifice, give all of us access to the mercy of God.

Question of the Day:  How will you live your life as a dedicated follower of Jesus?

Prayer:  “Open our hearts, O Lord, to listen to the words of Your Son.  Alleluia.”



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