FRIDAY OF THE SECOND WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
But Jesus has now obtained a more excellent ministry, and to that degree he is the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted through better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no need to look for a second one.
God finds fault with them when he says:
“The days are surely coming, says the Lord,
when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel
and with the house of Judah;
not like the covenant that I made with their ancestors,
on the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt;
for they did not continue in my covenant,
and so I had no concern for them, says the Lord.
This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
after those days, says the Lord:
I will put my laws in their minds,
and write them on their hearts,
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.
And they shall not teach one another
or say to each other, ‘Know the Lord,’
for they shall all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest.
For I will be merciful toward their iniquities,
and I will remember their sins no more.”
In speaking of “a new covenant,” he has made the first one obsolete. And what is obsolete and growing old will soon disappear.
Psalm 85: 7, 10-13
Show us your steadfast love, O Lord,
and grant us your salvation.
Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet;
righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
Faithfulness will spring up from the ground,
and righteousness will look down from the sky.
The Lord will give what is good,
and our land will yield its increase.
Righteousness will go before him,
and will make a path for his steps.
He went up the mountain and called to him those whom he wanted, and they came to him. And he appointed twelve, whom he also named apostles, to be with him, and to be sent out to proclaim the message, and to have authority to cast out demons. So he appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); James son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder); and Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
In the old Jewish law, the high priests offered sacrifices on account of the people’s sins, and only they were allowed into the inner courts of the holy of holies in the temple. But when Christ came and gave the new covenant, all people were able to have a personal relationship with him. The new covenant meant that everyone received forgiveness for their sins, and no longer had to comply with the rituals of purification. Under the new covenant, people were encouraged to rely on the guidance of the Holy Spirit, understanding that the law ho been written on their heart and they could embrace wisdom to discern the will of God. This new covenant meant empowerment of the people to seek and to know Christ.
To establish this, the Lord brought about the church through the disciples. The twelve whom He sent shared the gospel and paved the way for the Jews to become Christians and build the early church. It could be puzzling that Jesus would intentionally choose a disciple who would betray Him. But a covenant is established by bloodshed, and Jesus was the sacrifice laying His life down for us. Jesus needed to be betrayed and handed over to death in order to sanctify us. But we have to note that Judas had full control over his choices. Since the truth is written on our hearts, we are all responsible for our response to the gospel.
When we examine our hearts, we have to decide how we are going to respond to Christ. Will we let ourselves be joined to Him, or will we run from Him and deny him? Today, consider how the Lord desires to remove us from our sins and bring us into peace within ourselves and peace with Him.