Remember this. When people choose to withdraw far from a fire, the fire continues to give warmth, but they grow cold. When people choose to withdraw far from light, the light continues to be bright in itself but they are in darkness. This is also the case when people withdraw from God. – St Augustine
(Scripture Text: Heb 13:1-8)
Let brotherly love continue.
Do not neglect hospitality,
for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels.
Be mindful of prisoners as if sharing their imprisonment,
and of the ill-treated as of yourselves,
for you also are in the body.
Let marriage be honored among all
and the marriage bed be kept undefiled,
for God will judge the immoral and adulterers.
Let your life be free from love of money
but be content with what you have,
for he has said, I will never forsake you or abandon you.
Thus we may say with confidence:
The Lord is my helper,
and I will not be afraid.
What can anyone do to me?
Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you.
Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
List the five highest priorities in your life, not based on our “talk” but on what gets the most time, attention, and financing.
The five priorities listed at the end of the letter to the Hebrews in today’s first reading at Mass are:
1) Showing hospitality (Heb 13:2),
2) Being mindful of prisoners (Heb 13:3),
3) Honoring marriage "in every way" (Heb 13:4),
4) Being content and not loving money (Heb 13:5), and
5) Remembering and imitating our leaders (Heb 13:7).
Few Christians in our churches radically live the gospel. Few marriages in our parishes are notably different from those in the world. In our materialistic society, most Christians are consumers first and Christians second. We seem to always want more possessions and pleasures. But we don't want anyone, including our pastoral leaders, telling us what to do.
Too many of our churches are different from the church addressed in the letter to the Hebrews.