Monday, December 21, 2009 – Hebrews – Motivation
This letter contains the themes of: Christ’s superiority over any other paradigm, the perseverance and discipline necessary for Christ-like living, and faith as something pleasing to God. It is not certain who wrote this letter, although it is attributed to Paul and was likely written by one of his disciples, and there is “also ambiguity about the addresses . . . [M]ost interpreters do believe that the letter was written to Jewish Christians who spoke Greek”. (ARCHEOLOGICAL STUDY BIBLE 1981) The writer makes it plain that Jesus has brought to us a new covenant through which and by which we all are to live.
Christ, when questioned, tells his listeners that despite the hundreds of laws recorded in the Torah and other Jewish sources, there is really only one law to obey – the Law of Love. By this, Jesus means that we are to love those we do not like; anyone, he tells us, can do good things for those we already love. When we look at our lives, we will want to be certain that the emotion which motivates us is charity rather than envy, pride or a desire to win at all costs. We will want to say that we love others – and this includes those we may want to avoid – even to the point of self-sacrifice. This is a difficult task; yet it is one to which we are called as the writer of this letter tells us. Just as Christ is motivated for his love of each of us, we will want to be motivated by our love for Christ.
As we enter into this last week before Christmas, we may want to pause long enough in the flurry of activity to ponder what it is that truly motivates us so that we might make a speedy response to love’s call as we hear in the Mass readings for today (Song of Songs 2:8-14 and Luke 1:39-45). Let us reflect on what we have seen and what we have heard . . . let us be motivated by Christ and act in all our relationships with Christ-like love, and let us persevere in our faith as a gift pleasing to God, and let us make out own speedy response to love’s call.
ARCHAEOLOGICAL STUDY BIBLE (NIV). Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2005. 1981. Print.
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