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05 February 2013

The Good Word -- 2.5.13

In your struggle against sin, 
you have not yet resisted 
to the point of shedding blood

Hebrews 12:4

Brother Guardian asked me to into the mass parts this morning at mass and I completely missed the "Alleluia" because I was drawn in by the last line of the first reading (see above).  The idea of shedding blood in struggling against sin, as configured in this case, assumes that there have already been those who have shed blood so as to avoid sin.  In an early Christian community, we may imagine that such suffering took place when believers refused to offer sacrifice to the gods or engage in expected social conventions that contravened the Gospel.  

Thus, the author of this missive to the Hebrews is not only pointing out the endurance of those who have gone before the recipients of the letter, but also noting that they are an example to follow.  

In these troubled times, this is a good example to remember.

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