From our New Testament reading today, from Hebrews: ‘For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire, and darkness, and gloom, and a tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, and a voice whose words made the hearers entreat that no further messages be spoken to them. … But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to a judge who is God of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks more graciously than the blood of Abel’.

St John Chrysostom wrote: ‘These things, he means, are terrible; and so terrible that they could not even bear to hear them, that not even a beast dared to go up. But things that come hereafter are not such. For what is Sinai to Heaven? And what the fire which might be touched to God who cannot be touched?  … Instead of Moses, Jesus. Instead of the people, myriads of angels. Of what first-born does he speak? Of the faithful. “And to the spirits of just men made perfect”. With these shall you be, he says.

St Benedict has this to say in applying this teaching to our lives: ‘Let us, therefore, gird our loins with faith and the performance of good works, and following the guidance of the Gospel walk in his paths, so that we may merit to see him who has called us unto his kingdom. And, if we wish to dwell in the tabernacle of his kingdom, except we run thither with good deeds we shall not arrive. But let us ask the Lord with the Prophet: Lord, who shall dwell in thy tabernacle, or who shall rest upon thy holy hill? Then, brethren, let us hear the Lord answering and show us the way to that tabernacle and saying: He that walketh without blemish and doeth that which is right; he that speaketh truth in his heart, who hath used no deceit in his tongue, nor done evil to his neighbour, nor hath slandered his neighbour’.

May God bless your Sunday, and keep you close to Himself.