While I have not read the entire Letter to the Hebrews, there are distinct passages from the Epistle in my memory. I am now adding the short reading from Sunday to that list.
Over the last few weeks, the busyness of work has only been compounded by many weekends of travels and a growing, uncomfortable baby belly. I’ve barely made deadlines (including sending this reflection a day late), let alone finding time for rest and prayer. I really needed to hear the reminder in Hebrews that nothing a priest, myself, or others do can provide the salvation that Christ has already secured for me and you.
That’s not to say I shouldn’t be vigilant or continue to seek ways to be more Christ-like; even the last word of Mark 13 is “Watch!” I know I’ll never be perfect, and that there are a lot of trials coming my way as we await our first child. However, I do know I need to be more attentive to the moments of grace and forgiveness I am given each day by others. Sunday’s reading also graciously reminded me that so many others are a part of this journey to perfection in Christ, and we are all called to serve each other. Jesus’ offering of Himself on the Cross was for all who believe, even when we struggle to give faith, justice work, and community the time it deserves or when we feel deeply inadequate.
As we start our week, let us remember that what we do does not create our value. We are forgiven and are given opportunities to continue growing in faith in our daily lives.
Allyson Petry is the director of Nazareth Farm, a small, intentional Catholic community living and working in rural West Virginia. When not behind a desk, she enjoys joining her staff on home repair projects and visiting neighbors.