Today’s Readings:

  • Hebrews 5:1-10
  • Mark 2:18-22

In the Douay, the RSV, or the NABRE with other Mass texts.

Alleluia: Vivus est sermo Dei et efficax, et discretor cogitationum et intentionum.
Alleluia: The word of God is living and effective, able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.
From: Hebrews 4:12

The Alleluia verse is my text today mostly because I missed it when it came up in the regular readings last week.

Coming from a Protestant background I’m used to hearing this verse often (especially in the King James version) as a comment on the “inerrancy” and “inspiration” of the Biblical text.

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 

“Quick” in the KJV’s language means “alive” but this is often lost on prot Preachers. It translates the word Zoe, the title Jesus takes to himself saying, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life (Zoe). This text, in Greek, is:

Ζῶν γὰρ ὁ λόγος τοῦ θεοῦ , καὶ ἐνεργής.
“Living is The Logos of God, and energetic.”

The next verse makes much more sense if this is about a person rather than a book:

Neither is there any creature invisible in his sight: but all things are naked and open to his eyes, to whom our speech is

So it is Jesus (God’s Logos) about whom St Paul writes here. It is Jesus that is Life indeed, and Energetic. It is Jesus that is “more piercing than any two edged sword; and reaching unto the division of the soul and the spirit, of the joints also and the marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Nothing is hidden from him and we are all open to his eyes.

Jesus: not the flat, hardbound green things the Gideons leave in empty hotel rooms in the hopes that it might magically convert someone. Jesus is the Infallible, Inerrant Word of God.

If I could only get that into my head and my heart I might be able to live the Gospel.

You cannot pour the new wine of the Gospel into your old life: you can’t hold the Gospel and keep being your old self. You can’t so a Jesus patch onto your old, tired Identity Politics, false humanist idea of sex and sexuality, modernist ideas of amorality and tolerance: the wineskins burst, the clothes tear. This is what is currently happening in the liberal Protestant bodies, trying to hold on to their favorite parts of the World and molding the Gospel thereto. Even now, they imagine that they can take the Gospel and pour it into the tired, old sins of the world



Like the woman bleeding for decades, the only way to find healing is for them and me to come back to Jesus.

Author: Huw Raphael

A Dominican Tertiary living in San Francisco, CA. He is almost 59. He feeds the homeless as a parochial almoner and is studying to be a Roman Catholic Deacon. He is learning modern Israeli Hebrew and enjoys cooking, keto, cats, long urban hikes, and SF Beer Week.

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