Monday, January 24, 2011

Once for All

January 24, 2011
Memorial of Saint Francis de Sales, bishop and doctor of the Church

For Christ did not enter into a sanctuary made by hands, a copy of the true one, but heaven itself, that he might now appear before God on our behalf. Not that he might offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters each year into the sanctuary with blood that is not his own; if that were so, he would have had to suffer repeatedly from the foundation of the world. But now once for all he has appeared at the end of the ages to take away sin by his sacrifice. Hebrews 9:24-26

And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand; that is the end of him. But no one can enter a strong man's house to plunder his property unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can plunder his house. Mark 3:25-27

Father, may our prayers today remember the significance of your sacrifice – sending your only Son to be with us, dwell with us and die for us – once for all – to take away the sins of the world. Brother Jesus, you are the Lamb whose very blood ransomed for us eternal life. May we live today in thanks for your sacrifice. Holy Spirit, be with us wherever we go today and protect us from the strong man who would lead us back into temptation. Amen.

Think of all the things we do every year. New Year’s Resolutions. March for Life at the Supreme Court. Birthday celebrations. Spring cleaning. Summer vacation. Back to school. Fall Festival.

Think of all the things we do every week. Grocery shopping. Fill up the car with gas. Go out to dinner or maybe head to the movies. Borrow books from the library. Volunteer for your favorite cause.

Think of all the things we do every day. Eat. Drink. Breathe. Work. Play. Check e-mail. Watch television. Read Your Daily Tripod.

All of these – and more – are important routines. Yet the enormity and importance of Christ’s sacrifice is that it was so important that it was done once. Once. ONCE. Once for all.

Today’s reading from Hebrews reminds us why we celebrate Mass every day – to mark that supreme ultimate sacrifice that takes away the sins of the world.

How can you live your life today in a way that honors the sacrifice that Christ made? What can you do when you meet Christ in your family, friends, neighbors and strangers to make the day brighter?

Think of the next person you see as the first time Christ comes into your life today. What will you say to Jesus through that person?