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Friday, January 22, 2021

Reflection 2021-01-23 Saturday Week 2 in Ordinary Time

Hebrews 9:2-3, 11-14; Psalm 47; Mark 3:20-21
The Gospel today happened immediately after Jesus selected twelve men to be apostles. They went home and the crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat. We get a picture of the hectic life they had such that all they did was to attend to those who came to them. The family of Jesus heart it and they went to restrain him. The word restrain gives a picture of forcefully taking hold of Jesus. The relatives were concerned because of what was happening to Jesus. We see here, that the relatives of Jesus saw him as a human being and were concerned of what he was doing. Were they concerned of what the Pharisees will do to him, because he was redirecting everything the Jews held dear, the Temple, the Law, the community, to himself? Were they concerned of what the Romans will do because he had a following and the governor may arrest him to prevent him from causing trouble? This was probably the concern of the relatives of Jesus that they came to take him by force.
But the First Reading tells us, Jesus came as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and perfect tent, not made with hands, that is, not of this creation, he entered once for all into the Holy Place. The relatives of Jesus and perhaps even the people around him, did not see Jesus as divine. This is also the result when we do not realize that Jesus is fully divine and fully human. When we see Jesus as only human, there is no reason why we should obey all he says. When we see Jesus as only divine, then we cannot believe the immensity of God’s love. But because Jesus is divine and human, we have to obey him because he is God and his Word is Truth. We also love him in response to what he showed as the love of God for us.
This is the most critical point about Jesus: he is God and man. 1 John 4:2 tells us: By this is the spirit of God known. Every spirit which confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God. When we hear preachers tell us that God loves us so much, we do not need to repent and expect an eternity with God, we need to look at what that teaching implies. This implies God is merciful, yes. This also implies there is no need for repentance, therefore, redemption. Which means, Christ did not have to die for our sins, therefore, there was no need for Christ to become human and die. If Jesus did not become man, then we also do not have a high priest who sits beside God to intercede for us. We are on our own.
As 1 John 4:3 tells us: Every spirit that dissolves Jesus is not of God. And this is Antichrist. The word Antichrist needs to be clarified. It can mean the person who is to come as the Enemy of Christ, or it can mean any person who is an enemy of Christ. If someone teaches there is no need for repentance, that person is an enemy of Christ.
But Christ did come as a human being, and he knows our weakness and he is the perfect high priest who intercedes for us at the right hand of the Father. Whatever you are experiencing now, turn to Jesus, because he is our only hope. He knows how we feel right now. He knows and understands and because he is a human being, he is with us in our suffering, in fact, we share in his suffering. There is always hope when we suffer. We may not understand nor know why, but we are confident Jesus is with us, to lead us through it to victory.
Lord Jesus, you are God and you became man. Let me experience the power you have. Let this power work in my weakness. Help me in my situation. Transform it Lord and let me trust in you. Mary, Theotokos, lead me to Jesus.

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