19 January, Saturday – Let us be confident in approaching the throne of grace

19 January 2019

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Hebrews 4:12-16

The word of God is something alive and active: it cuts like any double-edged sword but more finely: it can slip through the place where the soul is divided from the spirit, or joints from the marrow; it can judge the secret emotions and thoughts. No created thing can hide from him; everything is uncovered and open to the eyes of the one to whom we must give account of ourselves.

Since in Jesus, the Son of God, we have the supreme high priest who has gone through to the highest heaven, we must never let go of the faith that we have professed. For it is not as if we had a high priest who was incapable of feeling our weaknesses with us; but we have one who has been tempted in every way that we are, though he is without sin. Let us be confident, then, in approaching the throne of grace, that we shall have mercy from him and find grace when we are in need of help.

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Mark 2:13-17

Jesus went out to the shore of the lake; and all the people came to him, and he taught them. As he was walking on he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus, sitting by the customs house, and he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he got up and followed him.

When Jesus was at dinner in his house, a number of tax collectors and sinners were also sitting at the table with Jesus and his disciples; for there were many of them among his followers. When the scribes of the Pharisee party saw him eating with sinners and tax collectors, they said to his disciples, ‘Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ When Jesus heard this he said to them, ‘It is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick. I did not come to call the virtuous, but sinners.’

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“I did not come to call the virtuous, but sinners”

In writing today’s reflection, it brought up an insecurity that continues to plague me. It is a sense of unworthiness. Then I ask myself, “in who’s eyes do I feel unworthy”? Not in God’s eyes surely! Then why a sense of shame that I am never good enough?

In today’s gospel passage, Mark gave us a beautiful image of Jesus who gathered the sinners, those deemed unworthy in society, the wounded, the castaways and surrounded himself with all this imperfect humanness. It is beautiful to me, as I imagine Jesus shining bright in his glory sitting among man. And I picture myself, unworthy as I may be, sitting at that table basking in His glory!

It gives me great comfort to know that no matter what state I am in, I will always be embraced by God. In our imperfections and shame, we can do no wrong in our Father’s eyes and He loves us in spite of our brokenness.

In the first reading, we are told that the word of God penetrates our every being; like light that fills up the whole room, even filters through every dark corner. There is no hiding from our Creator, everything is revealed and “open to the eyes of the one to whom we must give account of ourselves.”

There is simply no way to hide from our Father, how foolish of us to think we can keep secrets from him, like a little child who thinks he can get away from being caught. Hiding only brings more shame and creates a vicious cycle of darkness. Knowing that Jesus came to be among sinners, we should have the confidence to step into the light, with all our iniquities and run into the embrace of our loving Father.

(Today’s Oxygen by Lorraine Wong)

Prayer: Dear Lord, you know our brokenness and weaknesses, and accept us for who we are. Teach us never to run away in shame but have the confidence and courage to approach your throne of grace.

Thanksgiving: Our Father, thank you for your gift of Jesus, who came among sinners so that we may find our way back to your Heavenly kingdom.

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