February 20, 2018
Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16, Romans 5:1-11, Mark 8:27-38
Alleluia. If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. Alleluia.
Have you ever noticed the reaction Biblical heroes have to being in the presence of God? Abraham falls on his face (Genesis 17:3). Moses hides his face and is afraid to look at God (Exodus 3:6). Isaiah looks to the ground and is frightened because he is a man of unclean lips (Isaiah 6:1-6). Ezekiel falls on his face as soon as he sees the glory of the Lord (Ezekiel 1:28). While this is not the only reaction that people in the Bible have to being in the presence of God, it is interesting the number of times this is the reaction that occurs. These men had the unique and frightening experience of speaking directly to God and being in the presence of his glory and each of them looked away. They looked away because they realized how wholly other, how completely different, God is from them. This is the reality we all have to face. We are not God; no matter how easy it is for us to forget it. On our own we can do nothing to make ourselves worthy to be in the presence of God. That is why Christ came as a mediator for the people of God. Since we cannot make ourselves be like God and worthy of being in his presence, God made himself to be like us, only without sin, that he might be in our midst and we in his presence. This is the mystery and awesomeness of Christ; that God became man and dwelt among us that we might be made holy to live with him.
O God, You see that of ourselves we have no strength. By Your might power defend us from all adversities that may happen to the body and from all evil thoughts that may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
O come, let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the founder and prefecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.