Paul today clearly points out that the Word of God is living and effective. It penetrates soul and spirit and joints and marrow. It discerns what is in our hearts and is in every creature. We know from John’s gospel, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. “ and “the Word became Flesh” God’s word we know as Jesus who lived, died, and rose and ascended back to His father. As Paul said the Word is living and active. Jesus thru our baptism and confirmation and the Eucharist is present in our very body and spirit. Together the community is the body of Christ as are each one of us. As such we carry the Word of Christ each day in our presence to others. We must remember the Word, Jesus, is alive and active and works through us today. He simply said to Love God and Love our neighbor as ourselves. No ritual, law or person really supersedes these commands of Jesus.
And so we come to the rich young man. He was very rich and comfortable and kept all the precepts of the law presented to him. But Jesus as we see loved the man and invited him to follow him, gut to first give up his wealth. This rich man received a special call from Jesus, yet he turned him down for his wealth and comfort got in the way. We know that Jesus loves and calls us all, each in different ways to live and minister or work with others. What we must realize is that we should trust in him and not be consumed in the here and now and what we have. We need to look beyond our doorstep and see and be present to those in need. Surely as I have said many times, we can not save the world, but we can sometimes make a difference for those we meet. Jesus did not heal all the sick of Galilee and Judea but only those he met. For all of us, the kingdom awaits if we follow and spread the Word in what we do and say and in who we are.
n the gospel, we see Jesus return to Nazareth. While there, he is surrounded by his followers. When his relatives come and are questioning his actions and mission, he proclaims that they are not his family or brothers or sisters, but rather those who are part of his mission to hear the word of God are his family now. He is not evil or of the devil, for if he was how could the devil drive the devil from a possessed man. It is here he proclaims that all things can be forgiven except one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit. This statement has been much debated as to what is unforgivable. After all God is all loving and forgiving, what would be such he could not forgive. Obviously, it is not something God does to block forgiveness but what the sinner himself, does putting himself above and beyond God himself. He is beyond forgiveness because he sees no need of it or need to acknowledge a God above him. Think of it that we put ourselves as self-contained living our lives as we see fit with no thought or vision or idea of God above. Seem impossible? Look around and see the world today with the allurements of ease and pleasure and it is easy to be drawn away and forgetful of a loving God. We can see that in the first reading and remember, that while that is a story, the evilness it shows and predict is still within our world. Even as we believe, we are reminded that even Jesus was questioned for his ministry when he first returned home. In doing God’s will, he was breaking the traditions of town an family.
It seems throughout all history, human beings always had a sense of a higher power or God or gods to whom they offered worship and sacrifice, especially so that they would have good times in their lives. They would offer up first crops or a lamb or a calf or something of value to them. Sacrifice of animals was common, and was done by the Jews also. In those past times, we must remember that they saw blood as the center and soul of life as without it nothing could live. That is why our first reading is so graphic with Moses taking bowls of blood from the young bulls offered up and splashing half on the altar representing the invisible God and sprinkled the other half on the people .That act was to seal the special bond God had with his people. As you can imagine, sacrificing of animals was a messy thin with he blood and slaughtering of animals.
This brings us to the Last Supper and Jesus shared his last meal with his disciples. He was well aware that this was his last meal and time with his disciples, and knowing that he was about to die and be the one true sacrifice and offering to God in and everlasting covenant, As the Divine and human sacrifice, he gave for all to come a way to share in the sacrifice of his death and resurrection by giving them His Body and His Blood in the form of bread and wine. All generations to come, have the Eucharist as a sign of the covenant sealed and given by Christ. To eat his body and drink his blood might sound strange to some, but it a special food for the journey we all undertake in life and it is nourishment that joins us with the Father and enlivens our life with the Holy Spirit. It unites us all to one another and hopefully leads us to share the love that God has given and continues with the Eucharist and the sacraments. All of our works and sharing should proclaim God’s love and the acclamation: “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.’