Readings for Wednesday January 12, 2011
First Reading: Hebrews 2:14-18
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 105
Gospel: Mark 1:29-39
Since the children share in blood and Flesh, Jesus likewise shared in them, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the Devil, and free those who through fear of death had been subject to slavery all their life. Surely he did not help angels but rather the descendants of Abraham; therefore, he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every way, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest before God to expiate the sins of the people. Because he himself was tested through what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested. (Heb. 2:14-18)
During my freshman year of college, I was taking a writing class. For the first time in my academic career, I began getting bad grades on my writing assignments. I was completely taken by surprise, and I really didn't know what to do. Then I learned that there was a writing center on campus that would look over your papers and help you with your mistakes. Well, I swallowed my pride and went there for a few sessions. Wouldn't you know it that by going there, my writing began to improve. I finished out the class with an A-, of which I am still very proud of, and thankful for the teacher who challenged me during this time.
When we are struggling in life with an issue, we tend to go see an expert in the field, sort of like a tutor. We need these people to help teach us what we are doing wrong, what it is that we need to work on and how we can turn things around. It is certainly not easy for us to do this, because it means humbling ourselves and admitting that we do not know something, but the end result is something that we can all be very proud of. In the letter to the Hebrews today, we are reminded; "Because he himself was tested through what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested." Jesus is the only human in history to be tested during many trials and never sin in His life. To me that makes Him the expert. I think that we need to turn to Him at all times, especially when we are being tested, because He can and will help get us through these trials. We may think that certain crosses are too heavy, or simply are impossible for one person to bear; but remember, "nothing shall be impossible with God."
Today's gospel shows us that Jesus knows first hand of our daily struggles, and He knows how to cure them. He knows that words that we need taught and He knows the demons that tempt us. Jesus knows us. He knows you and me. May we all have the courage and strength to humble ourselves and lay ourselves down at His feet and ask for His help and mercy.
Father above, we thank you for the gift of this day and for all that you give. Lord, give us the strength to persevere through this life and for the guidance in how you wish us to live. Lord, we pray that your will be done in our lives, and not that of our own. We pray for all those struggling with illness and demons in their own lives, and pray that your mercy and grace may come upon them. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.