March 22, 2015


The mini-season of Passiontide isn't explicit in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, but it is there. On the Fifth Sunday of Lent the readings for Mass shift toward the Passion. The Letter to the Hebrews, with its emphasis on sacrifice and the priesthood of Jesus Christ, begins in the Office of Readings.

Hebrews 2:3 caught my reflection this morning.

how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation?

For the 'ignore' that the New American Bible offers, the Italian breviary has the verb trascurare, a word I have used in confession for something I have neglected or overlooked, something I ought to have done but have not. The original verb is ameleĆ³, which the dictionary tells me means 'to neglect' or 'to disregard.'

How shall we escape if we disregard so great a salvation?

I am grateful to be reminded today that the salvation we have in Jesus Christ is something that is ours to neglect or disregard. That is to say it is not something that is ours to obtain or attain to. It is freely lavished on our humanity through the humanity of Christ, if only we surrender to it and consent to receive it.

Of course, given our attachments and our concupiscence, this is not as easy as it seems. It is furthermore not so easy because it is a consent and a surrender that must be made each day, and will also include the suffering of giving ourselves for the sake of the salvation in Christ of others, those God gives to us in our lives, and of the poor. Without becoming a vehicle for salvation, we have not been saved. This is the mystery of the Cross as it takes shape in the journey of each baptized person, and without the Cross there is no Resurrection.

1 comment:

Louis M said...

Never looked at it that way. We are all instruments, at least in part, of someone else's salvation. Even many someone elses.