As disciples of Christ, we are called to be his stewards in the world. With the seal of our common baptism, we are all priests like Christ and are called to make sacrifices for the world. To build up God’s kingdom on earth, we make sacrifices of time in prayer or by listening to a friend in hardship. We make sacrifices of treasure by giving to the Church and the poor. We make sacrifices of talent by investing our skills into the work of God. Whenever we are obedient to God and offer sacrifices in his name, there always are blessings and rewards for us personally.
But as we reflect on the recent mass shootings, wildfires, and other deep wounds of our common humanity, we may wonder whether our sacrifices will ever be enough to overcome the evil present in our world. Over the last few weeks, we’ve been reading through a letter in the New Testament called Hebrews. In today’s passage, the author distinguishes the imperfect sacrifices made by priests with the perfect sacrifice of Christ on the cross. “Every priest stands daily at his ministry, offering frequently those same sacrifices that can never take away sins,” the author states (Hebrews 10:11). In contrast, Christ made “one sacrifice for sins” (Hebrews 10:12). That sacrifice was so perfect that it makes “perfect forever those who are being consecrated” (Hebrews 10:14).
In other words, Jesus’ sacrifice works to perfect us for God’s kingdom. So, too, are our sacrifices brought to perfection in Christ because they participate in his one, perfect sacrifice. In this message series during which we reflect on the art of good neighboring, it’s important to remember that our sacrifices and good deeds never go to waste. Our world is hurting, and God wants us to build up his kingdom by becoming better neighbors to one another, and there is nothing trivial, unimportant or futile about that.
--Father Roger Gustafson, Pastor
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