Ordinary Time Week 2: Tuesday

“This we have as an anchor of the soul, sure and firm, which reaches into the interior behind the veil, where Jesus has entered on our behalf as forerunner, becoming high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” (1 Hebrews 6:19-20)

In commenting on these verses from today’s First Reading, Saint John Chrysostom writes:

“Paul shows that while we are still in the world and not yet departed from this life, we are already living amid God’s promises. For through hope we are already in heaven. As the anchor, dropped from the vessel, does not allow it to be carried about even if ten thousand winds agitate it but, being depended upon, makes it steady, so also does hope.

Note what a fitting image he has chosen. He did not speak of a foundation, which would not be suitable, but of an anchor. For that which is on the tossing sea and seems not to be very firmly fixed stands on the water as upon land and is shaken and yet is not moved. For in regard to those who are very firm and who love the truth, Christ with good reason spoke of one who “has built his house on a rock.”16 But in respect of those who are giving way and who ought to be carried through by hope, Paul has more suitably set down this metaphor. For the surge and the great storm toss the boat, but hope does not permit it to be carried back and forth, although winds innumerable agitate it, so that, unless we had this hope we should long ago have been sunk. Nor is it only in things spiritual, but also in the affairs of this life, that one may find the power of hope great. Whatever it may be, in merchandise, in husbandry, in a military expedition, unless one sets this before him, he would not even touch the work. But he said not simply “anchor,” but “sure and steadfast,” not shaken.” (On the Epistle to the Hebrews, 11)

Almighty ever-living God,
who govern all things,
both in heaven and on earth,
mercifully hear the pleading of your people
and bestow your peace on our times.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen