Meditation for Thursday of the First Week in Ordinary Time, Year B
(Heb 3:7-14; Mk 1:40-45)
Now that we have become brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus and one family with Him, the author of the letter to the Hebrews looks back at the problem that came up among the early children of God. The Israelites hardened their hearts and rebelled against God. They provoked God to anger and He swore that they would never enter His REST. This serves as an example for all generations; it is a mandate of the Holy Spirit that, “Today, when you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion…where your fathers put me to test and saw my works for forty years.” Since this “Today” is still applicable to Christ’s faithful, then God’s “rest” is readily available and awaits them. Therefore, “Exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today”, that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.”
Since God now speaks to us through Jesus, who shares our life and nature, we must open our hearts to His ‘voice’ in every situation of our lives. Thus, today’s first reading concludes by saying, “For we share in Christ, if only we hold our first confidence firm to the end.” That is why we must not be persistent in sin or “be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” Lack of repentance or persistence in sin implies not listening to Jesus, who is present among us, and speaks from within our hearts and daily experiences.
Sin is like leprosy, which separates us from God and from the righteousness that binds us together as children of God. As the leper surrendered to Jesus in the Gospel, so we come to Him with the wounds of sin and our brokenness that He might have compassion, touch us and make us clean. As the man immediately regained his health, he equally regained his voice to praise God and to relate among his people. This is the restoration we need TODAY as we listen to His Voice, Through Christ our Lord, Amen.
Fr Jude Chinwenwa Nwachukwu, C.Ss.R
Saints Peter & Paul Catholic Church,
Thursday January 14th, 2021.