Saturday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time

Heb 9:2,3,11,14; Ps 47:2,3,6,7,8,9; Mk 3:20-21

The High Priest of the Old Temple entered into the tabernacle called the Holy of Holies because he was made clean by the blood of goats and calves.  The New High Priest, Jesus Christ enters the Eternal Sanctuary by the pouring out of his own blood, which brings salvation to all who dwell on the earth.  Christ himself does not need to be cleansed, we who are one body with him need to be cleansed and healed of sin and its damaging effects.  The Psalm summons us to clap our hands and shout to God with cries of gladness.  What brings us such jubilation?  The arrival of the Most High, the awesome, the great king over all the earth, brings us to clap, shout, and cry out with gladness.  With hymns of praise we rejoice that our God and King sits upon his holy throne.  His reign in our hearts and in our church enables us to know, love, and serve God in this world and to be happy with him forever in heaven.  He is the Lord of Love upon the throne of the cross, and we stand under his triumph, and we are cleansed by his Precious Blood.


The description of the Holy Place in the letter to the Hebrews sounds very familiar to any Catholic.  The lampstand—sounds like our sanctuary lamp; the table—sounds like the stand or table upon which the tabernacle is placed especially since the bread of offering, sounds like the consecrated bread, the new manna from on high.  The second veil reminds us of the curtain that was torn from top to bottom.  No longer is there a barrier between the sacred and the secular.  Everything and everyone is welcome into the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made by human hands, not belonging to this creation.  Indeed, we have such a great mystery to contemplate.  Indeed, we are united by this holy sacrifice into the mystery of His Unique and everlasting sacrifice offered unblemished to God.  Indeed, our consciences are cleansed from dead works to worship the living God.  Through Him, with Him, and in Him, we long for the salvation of the whole world, all who dwell upon the face of the earth.  His sacrifice transforms us and makes of us a living sacrifice of praise so that we are willing and able to give ourselves away in love and by such generosity reveal the source of all generosity!


The relatives of the Lord Jesus tried to seize him and take him out of the public scene, because they thought that he was out of his mind.  The people crowding around him and his disciples would not even allow them the time and space to sit and eat.  However, this chaos is not the reason his relatives thought he was mad.  They had heard that the popularity of the Lord Jesus was a threat to the official shepherds of Israel, and they had heard that these Pharisees and Herodians were out to kill him.  Why would anyone continue to expose himself to such a danger?  Why didn’t he just slip out of the picture and hide long enough to take off the pressure?  To his relatives the Lord Jesus seemed unreasonable; he seemed to be out of his mind.  This is the same divine love that motivated the Lord Jesus to seem foolish to his relatives.  How can we hide the love of God?  How can we be afraid of the dangerous consequences of such love?  How can we hide love when we have become love?  In this Eucharist and in every Mass we become what we eat, the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus the Christ the eternal Son of the eternal Father; in the Holy Spirit we participate in the very divine nature—we become love.