Saturday, January 19, 2013

Challenge and consolation

As we continue to move through the letter to the Hebrews we hear said of Jesus, the Word of God made flesh:

No creature is concealed from him, but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must render an account.

At every moment we are more naked and exposed to Christ than we are to ourselves. After all, we can all delude ourselves. I am convinced that reason many people do not go to confession is not that they don't believe they need to, or they are embarrassed to say it to the priest, but because in our hearts we know our sin, but as long as we don't say it out loud, we can pretend not to know. It's not real. It's like the person who knows something's wrong but won't go to the doctor, because they are afraid of what they will hear, and only get sicker, sometimes waiting until they are terminal before they face the truth.

Today's reading tells us why we have no need to be afraid:

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin. So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.

Jesus is not simply the just judge, but one who is sympathetic. The constant foundation from which we can draw not only forgiveness, mercy, but grace.

The best two words in this readying "timely help." The word for help is the word that refers to a chain used to secure a ship in place. And the help from God is timely, "euchairos", when we need it, always right on time.

Our faith teaches a God who knows our weakness and always stand ready to throw us a line to anchor us down whenever the seas get rough, even if the problem is of our own making.