22 January, Friday — A New Covenant

Jan 22 – Memorial for St. Vincent, deacon and martyr

St. Vincent of Saragossa (d. 304) was a friend of St. Valerius of Saragossa in Spain, and served as his deacon. He was imprisoned and tortured in Valencia, some of it by burning on a gridiron, for his faith. He converted the jailor and was finally offered release if he would give up the sacred texts to the fire, but he refused. He was martyred during the persecutions of Diocletian.

  • Patron Saint Index

Heb 8:6-13
Mk 3:13-19

“I will put my laws into their minds and write them on their hearts. Then I will be their God and they shall be my people.”

Today, we read of how Jesus has been given a ministry of a far higher order, a new covenant, a better one than the one made with their ancestors. In our weakness and frailty, we failed to keep to our promise to God, and broke the covenant we had with Him. It is in keeping His covenant that God sends Jesus and makes this new covenant with Christ, in His perfection and obedience to His Father. This new covenant is one that will never be broken. This is the love that God has for us and the desire He has of us.

In the Gospel, we see how Christ appoints the twelve and sends them forth to continue His mission and the mission of the Father. It is now that Christ, once again, entrusts us to continue His mission, together with the Holy Spirit, to bring the Good News to all.

It is here that we see, as the psalmist proclaims, “Mercy and faithfulness have met.” Indeed the love of God is so hard to comprehend, how a God still chooses us and desires us, after the countless times of breaking our covenant with Him. We see how God is merciful, forgiving and faithful to us. This is also seen in the Gospel where Christ appointed Judas Iscariot, the man who was to betray Him even.

The readings do not just speak of the heart of God, but God is calling out to us right now to renew our covenant with Him, no matter how far or lost, or unfaithful we have been — because He desires to renew this covenant with us. God is inviting us back into this communion with Him, to be companions in this life. We can truly receive His mercy and forgiveness when we once again allow Him into our lives.

May the readings today stir within us a desire, especially in such a difficult time, when reconciliation may seem more of a hassle than it already is. May we make the time and effort to enter this sacrament, not to be embarrassed and shamed, but to experience His love, His mercy and His faithfulness to His covenant. Let us see, O Lord, your mercy and give us your saving help.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Benjamin Mao)

Prayer: Dear Lord, we pray for the courage and desire to enter the Sacrament of Reconciliation. May we not continue to break our covenant, but look to renew it. Help us to know that you are not a God who punishes, but one who only desires the best for us. Give us wisdom to learn your ways and to live in your truth. Amen.

Thanksgiving: Thank you Lord, for your mercy and faithfulness. Thank you Lord, for this hope, knowing that you are always with us and that you have chosen us. Amen.

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