Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And before him no creature is hidden, but all are naked and laid bare to the eyes of the one to whom we must render an account.
Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
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.
We come to the end of this first week in “Ordinary Time.” The Christmas decorations are put away; schools are back in session; for many of us, the mid-January cold and snow are a daily reality. Today’s reading from Hebrews offers a framework for reflection: “God’s word is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword.”
These early January days, just how have I noticed that my heart comes alive as I ponder the realities of God’s “word” in my daily living? These first two weeks of 2017, how have I welcomed this “Word of God”? How have I let it penetrate my soul and spirit? And how have I noticed my relationships and my daily routine come alive in fresh ways because of this “Word of God” — now come anew to my heart and home.
—The Jesuit prayer team
Lord, teach me to generous;
teach me to serve you as you deserve—
to give and not to count the cost;
to fight and not to heed the wounds;
to toil and not to seek for rest;
to labor and not to ask for any reward,
but that of knowing that I do your will.
—St. Ignatius Loyola