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O God, we ponder your mercy within your temple.-- Psalm 48:(see 10)
Mass readings: Hebrews 12:18-19, 21-24 / Mark 6:7-13
''In the old days'' often introduces an anecdote that illustrates how much more difficult life was in the teller's day. Children themselves can almost recite some familiar tales. ''Yes, Grandpa, we know. You had to walk five miles through the ice and snow to school and back. And it was uphill both ways.''
Today's reading from Hebrews 12 is a ''back then versus now'' account. It contrasts the Sinai Covenant, which governed the Israelites with strong elements of fear of punishment, with the New Covenant. The latter gives us direct access to God's love through the redeeming blood of our Mediator, Jesus. The religious ambiance is indeed cozier now. Sadly, it's easy to think this means laws no longer apply, or that repentance is out of date. Repentance is never out of date. Or finished.
Prayer: Lord, let me realize Your redeeming love does not mean I have no obligations.
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