In our first reading today from Hebrews 8, we hear about covenant. How Jesus is the “mediator of a better covenant, enacted on better promises.” More thoughts on covenant in a moment. Our Gospel reading today, from Mark 3, has Jesus naming the Twelve, “whom He also named Apostles.” These were the first bishops of the Church. Down through the past 2000 years, their successors have continued to be the leaders of the Catholic Church. Let us remember to pray for our bishops.
In Hebrews today, the sacred author talks of two covenants. So what is a covenant? In our day and age, we have a difficult time thinking in terms of covenant. We think more in terms of “contract.” After all, that’s how we do things. We make contracts. You give me this, I pay you X amount. You do this for me, I do this for you. A contract is an exchange of goods and services. While contracts are OK and, indeed, often necessary, they are not enough for God and His relationship with us.
A covenant is an exchange of persons. I give myself to you, you give yourself to me. It is a total donation of self. The old covenant was sealed with the blood of animals. And this was fine for a time. But the new covenant is sealed with the Blood of Christ. The Son of God went to the cross and shed His Blood, gave His life for us! Talk about a total donation of self! God gave himself fully and completely to us. And so our sins are forgiven. But a covenant is between two parties. So…have you given yourself completely to God?
Father, we thank you for the new covenant, sealed with the Blood of Christ Jesus. As you have given yourself fully to us, help us this day to give ourselves fully to you. Amen.