11 January 2017
Since all the children share the same blood and flesh, Christ too shared equally in it, so that by his death he could take away all the power of the devil, who had power over death, and set free all those who had been held in slavery all their lives by the fear of death. For it was not the angels that he took to himself; he took to himself descent from Abraham. It was essential that he should in this way become completely like his brothers so that he could be a compassionate and trustworthy high priest of God’s religion, able to atone for human sins. That is, because he has himself been through temptation he is able to help others who are tempted.
On leaving the synagogue, Jesus went with James and John straight to the house of Simon and Andrew. Now Simon’s mother-in-law had gone to bed with fever, and they told him about her straightaway. He went to her, took her by the hand and helped her up. And the fever left her and she began to wait on them.
That evening, after sunset, they brought to him all who were sick and those who were possessed by devils. The whole town came crowding round the door, and he cured many who were suffering from diseases of one kind or another; he also cast out many devils, but he would not allow them to speak, because they knew who he was.
In the morning, long before dawn, he got up and left the house, and went off to a lonely place and prayed there. Simon and his companions set out in search of him, and when they found him they said, ‘Everybody is looking for you.’ He answered, ‘Let us go elsewhere, to the neighbouring country towns, so that I can preach there too, because that is why I came.’ And he went all through Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out devils.
“Christ too shared equally in it”
While I have known the Catholic tradition for more than 40 years, I only got baptised some 30 odd years ago. I had also been to the church of another Christian denomination for quite a few years, and this situation caused me to be aware of how different these two worlds were.
One of the ‘oddities’ I was uncomfortable with was the Veneration of the Cross, which takes place on Good Friday. For many years, I quietly and quickly left the church when this began. My feeling was that everyone was worshipping a piece of wood! Why would anyone bow and genuflect in front of this obviously man-made object?
My answer came when I watched Mel Gibson’s ‘The Passion’. I remember the scene when Jesus died on the cross; Mother Mary had her eyes on her Son, and lovingly she kissed His feet. That was when it hit me; when we venerate the cross, we do not venerate the actual cross itself. Our eyes are fixed on Jesus, and we are worshipping our Lord. What an incredible revelation and gift it was for me to realise that!
Another bigger realisation was the fact that our God had physically been on Earth with us! I know that because of this, our God REALLY understands what it is like to be in our shoes. He would have felt the things I felt and experienced the things I experienced.
I am thankful for the tremendous love that my God has for me. Because of this love, and the fact of our mutual human experience, I know that I can always turn to Him in all the challenges I face.
(Today’s Oxygen by Paul Wee)
Prayer – Dear Lord Jesus, I ask that You may always walk with us as we journey through life. I pray that You may give us the fortitude to be faithful.
Thanksgiving – Thank You Father, for sending Your Son Jesus to not only die for our sins, but also to show us the way to live; with faith, hope, joy and love.