For God is not unjust; he will not overlook your work and the love that you showed for his sake in serving the saints, as you still do. And we want each one of you to show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope to the very end, so that you may not become sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
When God made a promise to Abraham, because he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, saying, “I will surely bless you and multiply you.” And thus Abraham, having patiently endured, obtained the promise. Human beings, of course, swear by someone greater than themselves, and an oath given as confirmation puts an end to all dispute. In the same way, when God desired to show even more clearly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it by an oath, so that through two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible that God would prove false, we who have taken refuge might be strongly encouraged to seize the hope set before us.
We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters the inner shrine behind the curtain, where Jesus, a forerunner on our behalf, has entered, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
I work in a primary school and hands down the most dreaded time of year by faculty, staff and students alike is the end of January and beginning of February. It is cold, dark, seemingly endless, far from Christmas break, and even farther from Spring Break. Liturgically speaking, February is the humdrum Ordinary Time of the school year. As we round the second half of January and brace ourselves for February today’s readings remind us that we are called to patience and fidelity in our unglamorous day-to-day work as Christians. We are called out of our “sluggishness” and complacency.
We, like those who originally received this letter, are reminded to stay faithful to the holy ordinary of our daily lives. St. Paul reminds his audience to remember the ways God has been faithful over the years. So too with us. As we pray today we might ask: How, specifically, has God been good to me today? This week? This month? This year?
—Br. Matt Wooters, SJ, is a social worker at Nativity Jesuit Academy in Milwaukee, WI.
Help me be a fire today.
Help me light the ways for others who feel overwhelmed by the dark.
Help me celebrate the holy ordinary.
Help me notice You.
—Br. Matt Wooters, SJ