In the first reading today from Hebrews 10 we read about sacrifice. More on that in a moment. In the Gospel reading from Mark 3, Jesus is told that his mother and brothers were outside and wanted to see Him. Many non-Catholics will say that this is an argument against the Catholic belief in the perpetual virginity of Mary. For an explanation of this, check out page 30 of A Minute in the Church.
Under the old covenant, animal sacrifice was used for the atonement of sins. The people were required to give something up, sacrifice something – the best of their animals. In reality, the blood of bulls and goats could never take away sins. We see this clearly in today’s first reading. But the sacred author does not leave it there. He goes on to juxtapose the old covenant with the new covenant in the Blood of Jesus. “He takes away the first to establish the second.”
In the New Covenant, God completely turns things around. Rather than we making sacrifice, He is the one who offers up his own Son as a sacrifice. You see, when it comes to our salvation, Jesus has done all the heavy lifting. He shed His blood. He made the ultimate sacrifice. Now that does not mean that we no longer have to make any kind of sacrifice. But our sacrifice now is not with the blood of animals. Now we bring a sacrifice of praise. And whatever else we sacrifice, we do so in union with the sacrifice of Christ.
Father, we thank you for offering your Son as the final sacrifice. As we unite our sacrifices with His, may our sacrifice of praise be pleasing to you. Amen.