- The Abbey of the Genesee - http://www.geneseeabbey.org -

January 19, 2017

Fr. John Eudes Bamberger, OCSO [1]

3rd Thursday in Ordinary Time
Hebrews 7:25-8:6;  Mark 3:7-12

The early Church was deeply impressed by the opening sentence of today’s first reading   that states: ”Jesus is always able to save those who appeal to God through him.” As a result of this lively conviction every prayer to the Father in the mass and office terminates with the invocation of our Savior’s name in the familiar phrase: “through our Lord Jesus Christ”, or more simply:“through Christ our Lord.” The Father remains more hidden from us than does the son, for He sent his beloved Son to become accessible to us by his birth in the flesh. When we advert to the fact that as early as apostolic times, as we are told in today’s text, this practice was a highly meaningful act of trust in the ongoing intervention of our Savior on our behalf. His pleading for us remains the basis of our confidence that our prayer find a benign hearing on the part of the Father. We do not rely on any illusory justice of our own in our prayer for God’s favor and assistance.

Our author realizes that this intercessory activity is a function of Christ’s High priesthood. To stress his point he explicitly states that the chief truth he is making in this assertion is that “we have such a priest who has taken his place at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven.” These word present us with the great mystery that lies at the heart of our monastic vocation and is the center of every Christian vocation in this world. The words of today’s reading  are intended to stir us to enhanced awareness of the dignity and surpassing worth of our    Christian life.

Saint Mark in the Gospel we have just heard stresses how very popular our Lord became early in his active ministry as he preached, not in the major city of Jerusalem, but in the more rural areas of Galilee.  The time was ripe for hearing his message, and many traveled from a distance, even from places outside the Holy Land. His teaching, and his person was the attraction as well as the miraculous healings he performed. During this period of his ministry it seemed the Jesus of Nazareth was heading for increasing success. Even the demons recognized his special nature, calling him the Son of God. Our Lord himself  sought to keep his identity hidden ,knowing that his full revelation would come only at the Father’s will

Full trust in God’s plan for each of us to be carried out by our fidelity to our Lord and his teaching is one of the major lessons presented to us in this Eucharist. May we open our minds and hearts to Our Lord as we receive him in person  in this sacrifice of the Eucharist.