January 20, 2017 – Friday in the 2nd week of the Church Year

Saint for the day: Sebastian (birth: c. 256 – death: January 20, 287)

Scripture Readings for today’s Liturgy:

Hebrews 8:6-13    –    Psalm 85    –    Mark 3:13-19

In Hebrews we continue to hear about the “New High Priest of the New Covenant” and now Mark relates the call of the apostles. The first covenant was given to Moses on the mountain and so Jesus “goes up the mountain” to pray and to select His chosen “inner circle” of leadership for the soon to be Church. He goes up “to pray.” The concept of the mountain-top where God can be met is mentioned all throughout both the old and new testaments and often contains references with a connection to the Old & New Testaments. “Moses and Aaron were with Him at the transfiguration.“ What is the New Covenant that Jesus passes on to the Apostles? The responsorial Psalm 85 gives us a hint at what it might be: “Kindness & truth shall meet Justice & peace shall kiss.” We don’t have to be rocket scientists to know how to do that. Isaiah says, “This is the sacrifice that I desire: to set captives free, to give sight to the blind, to lift the yoke of oppression from the shoulders of those oppressed. We are called to do this with the “fruits of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Gal 5:23 ff) We are not to say “But who shall I send?” Since we have already been chosen & sent. “Here I am Lord. I come to do your will.” (Psalm 40) Amen.

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