Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Hebrews Chapter 2

Continuing my thoughts on the Book of Hebrews from a Catholic perspective:

Chapter 2:

vs 1-4: Here we see a lot of focus on "what we have heard" - the oral tradition of the Early Church. Note the progression, Christ taught the Apostles (those who witnessed him) and they founded the "Apostolic Tradition", the oral tradition that by the time Hebrews is written the entire Church understands as the teaching of God.

vs 8: I can't help but notice this verse in light of the coming "Solemnity of Christ the King" towards the end of November, the last Sunday of Ordinary time. At the end of the Church calendar, we have celebrated the entire spiritual history of God's people, and how could we end in a more fitting manner than recognizing Christ as King, he whom the Father has "subjected all things and put them under his feet". This is especially important as we recognize Advent season coming up where we look not only for the coming of Christ's birth in the Church calendar, but also of his real second coming at the end of time.

vs 10,18: These two verses are some of those in the New Testament that reveal the Catholic idea of suffering and how we are perfected through that suffering. Not just Christ suffers for us, but as we suffer (except of course in punishment for wrongdoing), we share in the suffering of Christ in some deep and mysterious way.

vs. 14-15: I like to use these verses to reflect on the "mystery of faith" that we proclaim as a parish during each mass. Specifically, one of these four responses is "Dying you destroyed our death, rising you restored our life, Lord Jesus come in Glory". Very similar to the message in the latter part of vs. 14 and vs 15

vs 17: Christ is "Our High Priest". This makes me think quite a bit about our priesthood as individuals, but also those called to separate themselves from the world and become our pastors, bishops, and other clergy. Thinking about how we all serve and offer sacrifice in some way as priests (again with that distinction between what clergy do and what the laity do, but remembering that we are all priests and that is because we all offer sacrifice at mass of the Body and Blood of Christ to God the Father) but that Christ is our High Priest, at our head and obviously strongly involved in offering his own body and blood to the Father.

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