Memory of the Saints and the Prophets

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Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people acquired by God
to proclaim his marvellous works.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Hebrews 10, 11-18

Every priest stands at his duties every day, offering over and over again the same sacrifices which are quite incapable of taking away sins.

He, on the other hand, has offered one single sacrifice for sins, and then taken his seat for ever, at the right hand of God,

where he is now waiting till his enemies are made his footstool.

By virtue of that one single offering, he has achieved the eternal perfection of all who are sanctified.

The Holy Spirit attests this to us, for after saying:

No, this is the covenant I will make with them, when those days have come. the Lord says: In their minds I will plant my Laws writing them on their hearts,

and I shall never more call their sins to mind, or their offences.

When these have been forgiven, there can be no more sin offerings.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You will be holy,
because I am holy, thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Lord Jesus, High Priest, offered his life for us and for the world. This is the unique and definitive sacrifice to God that changed the course of history. The first consequence of this act is the glorification of Christ, who is seated at the right hand of God. In the Gospels, the ascension into heaven indicates the new reality which the Lord has definitively entered. There are also two other consequences that impact humanity: a new covenant between God and humanity, and the forgiveness of sins. The letter cites the prophecy of Jeremiah, chapter 31: “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days...I will put my laws in their hearts and I will write them on their minds.” According to the Bible, the heart and mind are the parts of the body that govern thought, feeling, and action. God gives humanity a law that enters their depths. It is not a code of conduct, but the Spirit himself, who, if welcomed into the heart and mind, shapes life according to God and his Word. Indeed, it is a “spiritual” law that is much stronger than the teachings of Moses. The Spirit takes possession of the heart and mind and inspires a new way of thinking and living. It is God who acts through his own Spirit. We only have to accept it as a precious gift. Then there is forgiveness: “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.” From the cross Jesus forgave his executioners and promised paradise to the repentant thief. The covenant offers forgiveness in his blood: God re-establishes the ancient relationship of love and friendship with humanity, the free pact offered to Israel that, in Jesus, takes on a new dimension. God always forgives. We are the ones who, believing ourselves good and just, do not recognize our sin and therefore do not ask for forgiveness. With Jesus, it is no longer necessary to offer sacrifices in the temple to obtain forgiveness. In the Eucharist, God renews his covenant with us and offers us forgiveness. Jesus is the one and eternal sacrifice that is renewed and offers everyone the possibility of forgiveness and mercy. We cannot help but give thanks to the Lord for this offering of love that brought us into an eternal covenant, a pact of love that God will never renounce. We can certainly break it, as we do when we close in ourselves. But the Word of God reminds us of the gift of the Spirit and the promise of forgiveness.