“He entered once for all into the Holy Place, taking not the blood of goats and calves but his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the sprinkling of defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and with the ashes of a heifer sanctifies for the purification of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify your conscience from dead works to serve the living God.” (Hebrews 9:12-14)
Can we place a limit on what we offer to God? Is there any point at which our giving to God become madness? The case of Jesus and his disciples in our Gospel passage today gives us some cause for concern. Mark reports that they were so busy attending to the people that even when Jesus went home, the crowd will not let him have some space for himself; not even to eat.
Indeed, his relations heard about it and they concluded that “this was too much.” They feared that Jesus had gone out of his mind, so they came to rescue him from the crowd. Jesus did not consider any sacrifice too much to offer. He generously gave his time and as he often said: He came “not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28).
The book of Hebrews tells us how Jesus entered the sanctuary not made with human hands to offer the perfect sacrifice of his very blood and flesh. The priest is called to replicate this sacrifice of Jesus at mass every day. He also has to be willing to sacrifice for the sake of the people, even if that sacrifice is making himself available for the people without any form of discrimination.
At times, giving to God seems like madness. It felt like madness for Jesus to be attending to the people when he had not eaten. It surely feels like madness for a priest to forget himself and his personal interests for the sake of the people. But let us not forget that what seems like madness to us men is wisdom in the sight of God.
As Paul would say in 1st Corinthians 1:23-25 “We proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.”
Finally, when it comes to giving to God, there are so many things far better than money. For instance, sincerity, purity of heart, commitment to our vows, good example and so on.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, I give my life to you. Make me your instrument, your apostle and a light to the world. Amen.
Bible Study: Hebrews 9:2-14, Psalm 47 & Mark 3:20-21).