At Mass, I loved the second reading from Hebrews 12:18-19, 22-24A, “Brothers and sisters: You have not approached that which could be touched and a blazing fire and gloomy darkness and storm and a trumpet blast
and a voice speaking words such that those who heard begged that no message be further addressed to them. No, you have approached Mount Zion and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and countless angels in festal gathering, and the assembly of the firstborn enrolled in heaven, and God the judge of all, and the spirits of the just made perfect, and Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and the sprinkled blood that speaks more eloquently than that of Abel.”
Consider this scripture! What is really being talked about in this passage? In the Old Testament, Moses at Mount Sinai brought the people of Israel to the base of the mountain. They heard the voice of the Lord and were afraid. They asked Moses to speak to them for the Lord. The people were in great fear of God.
For us Christians who proclaim the truths of the Catholic Faith, we have something even greater. We do not hear the voice of thunder coming from clouds of smoke, but we hear the voice of the Lord through His Catholic Church.
Jesus told Pontius Pilate, “For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” We do not hear the Lord’s voice through smoke and fire, but through His Church.
Consider the next passage, “No, you have approached Mount Zion and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and countless angels in festal gathering, and the assembly of the firstborn enrolled in heaven, and God the judge of all, and the spirits of the just made perfect, and Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and the sprinkled blood that speaks more eloquently than that of Abel.”
This is clearly speaking of the Holy Mass. It is speaking of the Catholic Church. The Church is the “New Jerusalem”, which is not the old city of Jerusalem that sits on seven mountains, but it is a city set upon a hill that all will know it, that all will see it, even it’s enemies (Matthew 5:14-16) it will be a city placed in every nation (Malachi 1:11) and it is based on the new and everlasting Covenant (Matthew 26:27).
Notice the importance placed in the intercession of the Saints who are the “firstborn enrolled in heaven”. That is our Catholic Hall of Fame. The angels who sing before the throne of God, the heavenly host sings, “Worthy are you, Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things; because of your will they came to be and were created.”
The “spirits of the just made perfect” sings “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty, who was, and who is, and who is to come”. This is echoed in the Mass where angels stand with us before the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. They sing, “To the one who sits on the throne and to the lanb be blessing and honor, glory and might, forever and ever.”
“Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches, wisdom and strength, honor and glory and blessing.” This is taking place in the heavenly Kingdom and we are part of this heavenly worship in taking part in the sacrifice of the Mass. “Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne and from the Lamb.”
“Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant,” it is so important to understand this act here is fulfilling God’s promise to His people through the Prophet Jeremiah (Jeremiah 31:31-34). We now have access to the King of Kings through this Covenant. In fact, when we receive the Eucharist, we are renewing the Covenant. Can’t do this through a counterfeit!
“The sprinkled blood that speaks more eloquently than of Abel”, yes, we have the Cup of Salvation offered to us at each Mass. St. Paul asks us this question, “The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ?” The answer is most certainly, yes!
We are all invited to this heavenly banquette, it is a wedding feast invitation. What remains on the other side of this vale is still a mystery. We have the hope of salvation that comes from our God. The Catholic Faith, do not forsake it! Make the Mass the center of your life.
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