ORDINARY TIME, Week 3: Monday - Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children

“For Christ did not enter into a sanctuary made by hands, a copy of the true one, but heaven itself, that he might now appear before God on our behalf.” (Hebrews 9:24.)

Origen of Alexandria (part 2 of Pope Benedict’s reflections on Origen) comments on this verse from the First Reading proclaimed at Mass today:

“Paul, writing to the Hebrews — those, of course, who were indeed reading the law and had meditated on these things and were examining them well but lacked understanding as to how the sacrifices should be understood—says, “For Christ has entered not into a sanctuary made with hands, a copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.” And again he says about the offerings, “He did this once for all when he offered up himself.” But why do we seek testimonies from these one by one? If anyone examines the entire epistle written to the Hebrews — and especially this place, where he compares the high priest of the law with the high priest of the promise, of whom it is written, “You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek” — he will find how this entire passage of the apostle shows that those things which were written in the law are “copies” and “forms” of living and true things.” (Homilies on Leviticus, 9.)

God our Creator,
we give thanks to You,
Who alone have the power
to impart the breath of life
as You form each of us in our mother’s womb;
grant, we pray,
that we, whom You have made stewards of creation,
may remain faithful to this sacred trust
and constant in safeguarding
the dignity of every human life.
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