SATURDAY, SECOND WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Memorial of Saint Agnes, Martyr
Heb 9: 2-3, 11-14; Ps 47: 2-3, 6-9; Mk 3: 20-21
TRUE LOVE IS ABOUT SACRIFICE
St. Paul makes a connection with the contents of the first tent and that behind the second curtain called the ‘Holy of Holies’ to Jesus Christ. The analogy of the sacrificial system of the first covenant provided a remarkable way in which Saint Paul draws us into the history and meaning of how the first covenant attempted to bring the gift of redemption to the people. It was not a perfect system, but it foreshadowed the perfect redemption of the blood of the Cross in Jesus’ redeeming and atoning death. Saint Paul continues to show that Jesus came as a High Priest, of the good things that have come. The previous tents of the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies are now a ‘perfect tent’ in Jesus Christ. This is a tent ‘not made with hands…”, Jesus was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and was born of the Virgin Mary.
The connection to the Ark of the Covenant and the sacrifice of atonement is unique in the New Testament and draws us into the rich history of the ‘first covenant’ now brought to perfection in Jesus Christ. The perfection in Jesus Christ is now clearly spelt out: when St Paul tells us that Jesus entered into the Holy Place once, for all with his own blood – by dying on the cross and obtaining for us eternal redemption – Jesus’ act of atonement on the cross secures for us eternal redemption.
The last verse of our readings is only one sentence and tells us that the blood of Christ is the complete sacrifice that has accomplished redemption for us. Christ’s redemption has been made for all times. And it is only through the perfect sacrifice of Christ is God’s work of salvation brought to perfection and completion. In the gospel passage, the intensity of the ministry of Jesus is brought out by the assertion that Jesus and his disciples could not even eat. The passion with which Jesus lived and served His people shocked His family.
Response: God goes up with shouts of joy. The Lord goes up with trumpet blast.
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