60 Second Reflections

January 18, 2021

Monday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time

Death ended the priesthood of all the high priests who had gone before. However, death was essential for the high priest forever, Christ, to be exalted by God to the eternal priesthood. That happened in a moment in time to the one begotten by God who had always existed. Because of that moment in time, the glorification of one who suffered as we suffer, we have forever a high priest who deals with us gently, who is patient with us who are ignorant and erring, as a source of eternal salvation. Because of that moment in time, everything changed. No more would offering gifts and sacrifices atone for the sins of the people. No more would simply adhering to religious formalities be seen as doing God’s will. Those were the old wineskins, the old cloaks, brittle and shrunken, insufficient for the wedding feast of the bridegroom, the One who was made perfect. A patchwork of charity here and there, some surface recognition of discrimination that exists, is not only inadequate, but destructive in its attempt to hide the massive rips in the covering that should give protection to each human being. The very fabric of society must be resown, from the tiniest of threads, to create a cloak of equality and dignity that fits every color, gender, race, religion and sexual orientation. The new wine of prioritizing the person over the policy does not belong in the brittle wineskins of personal piety as it would only shatter them in its process of expanding with openness to all and exclusion of none. Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will, asserted Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. That shallow understanding is the patch on the old cloak, the pouring of new wine into old wineskins. It creates nothing transformative and perpetuates everything destructive. It springs from hearts that are ignorant and erring. The great high priest, though gentle and patient, suffered as, and continues to suffer with, those who are crushed by our apathy and our privilege. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality, Dr. King stated. This is the new cloak of equal opportunity and the new wineskin of true justice. This is the world our high priest suffered to bring about. Heb 5:1-10; Ps 110: 1, 2, 3, 4; Mk 2:18-22

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