Joy Comes From Listening to God

Thursday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Heb 12: 18-19, 21-24; Mark 6: 7-13

Deacon Larry Brockman


I don’t know about you, but that first reading sounded kind of scary when I first read it!  Recall that when Moses led the people to Mt.Sinai, they saw what was truly unapproachable- that which couldn’t be touched because it was feared; a blazing fire; gloomy darkness covered by clouds; a storm; and a voice that those who heard feared greatly. 

And as a result, the Israelites asked to be spared of a repeat of the horrible spectacle.  They asked for someone to speak in God’s name.  Moses made the request, and God appointed prophets in the tradition of Moses.  Moses and these prophets spread God’s word in the form of the scripture and the law.  They were captured as the ten commandments and the other laws handed on by tradition in the Jewish scripture.   

But over the course of Israeli History, the people didn’t listen to the prophets.  They were disobedient.  And Israel was scattered in exile. But not before these same prophets had predicted a new order- a New Covenant; one in which God would send his only son.  God’s son would be like all the rest of us, human in form.  And his word would be direct, not through prophets, but through his own example and spoken word as God’s son.   

Jesus spent three years telling his good news- the Gospel, a message of the heart, a message of love.  And Jesus spoke and acted with “authority”.  “Authority” is that special quality one has who speaks and acts with power delegated from above, the power of God- just as the prophets spoke with authority.  But Jesus acted and spoke with a “fidelity” that rang true.  Jesus not only spoke for God, he was God.   

In today’s Gospel, we see Jesus delegating his “authority” to the Apostles. And we hear that the Apostles worked the same wonders in healing as they spread God’s word.  How fortunate we are to have the Bishops and leaders of the Church who today lead us with the same authority that was delegated to the 12 Apostles.  The message that we have received from the Gospel is exhilarating and exciting.  By following the Gospel of Jesus, by accepting God’s word on Faith, and living as Jesus taught, we can share in the legacy of Jesus- eternal life in the resurrected state in the kingdom of God.   

This is what Paul is talking about in the second half of the first reading.  We share in this promise by preparing to approach Mount Zion as we go through our earthly lives.  And what are we approaching?  The city of the living God- Mount Zion and the new Jerusalem with.countless angels in festive gathering; and the assembly of Jesus, the firstborn, in heaven, along with the spirits of the just made perfect.  That is us- the spirits of the just made perfect.   

So rather than scary, that first reading should bring us much joy because it is a message of hope and of eternal happiness for those who believe. 


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.