Hebrews 5:1-10; Psalm 110 You are a priest forever, in the line of Melchizedek; Mark 2:18-22
Just a word from St. Paul in his letter to the Hebrews
“Every high priest is taken from among men and made their representative before God, to offer gifts ad sacrifices for sins. He is able to deal patiently with the ignorant and erring, for he himself is beset by weakness and so, for this reason, must make sin offerings for himself as well as for the people.”
St. Paul is setting us up for a better understanding of Jesus the high priest. He will later go on and speak about Jesus and his life in the flesh and how through his suffering he becomes a source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.
But I want to focus on one aspect of St. Paul’s reflection: “He is able to deal patiently with the ignorant and erring, for he himself is beset by weakness and so, for this reason, must make sin offerings for himself as well as for the people…”
How would our life and our ability to relate to others be altered if we meditated on that passage, not so much in regards to Christ and his identity but in regards to us and our identity?
What if we spent time reflecting on out own errors and ignorance? What if we grew in our awareness of our own sins? How would that affect our ability to deal with the sins of others?
Would it help us to be patient in our dealings with those we encounter?
How quickly we hoist ourselves above others? How quickly we judge our selves to be greater, more important, at a higher level of being than those we meet who are beset with errors and ignorance?
Yet, we are not!
The one thing that Jesus as our high priest shows forth is how we are to deal with the burden of the sins of the other. We are ask to carry them.
We are asked to patiently make that trek with Christ on the path to Calvary carrying the sins of the other as Christ carries our sins.
To deal patiently with the ignorant and erring, for he himself is beset by weakness…
Here are words of St. Francis De Sales in regards to his enemies, “If an enemy were to put out my right eye, I would want to smile at him with my left; if he put out both my eyes, I would still have a heart to love him.”
Again he stated this,“The Lion is a powerful animal, full of resources; this is why he can sleep without fear either in a secret den or beside a path traveled by other animals. Thus we must become spiritual lions! Fill ourselves with strength, with love of God, and thus you will not fear those ”animals” which are human failings because in the winds of temptations the great fires of divine love grow stronger, while smaller flames are blown out!”