Again in today’s readings, we find two verses from the fourth Song of the Suffering Servant, and clear evidence in the gospel that Jesus recognized his vocation in this poem of Isaiah: the Father was asking him, in his humanity, to be the Suffering Servant whose life taken was to be the one ransom, necessary and sufficient, to erase all the sins of all time, and to win redemption for humankind. As is seldom the case, today’s first reading and gospel tie in nicely with the second reading from Hebrews, which is also about redemption, but in a perspective unique to the Letter to the Hebrews. Our redemption according to this letter, is achieved by the effective intercession of the Risen Jesus in our favour, in Heaven. According to Hebrews, in order for Jesus’ intercession to be effective, it had to be the intercession of one who is truly one of us, a member of humankind for whom he is interceding. It had to be the intercession of one who is like us in every respect, that is to say, not just a servant of God, which we all are, but a suffering servant of God, which we also all are, sooner or later. It had to be the intercession of a real human being, that is, someone “who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin.” He 4,15 Because Jesus’ incarnation would include human suffering, it would be complete, thus enabling him to be an effective intercessor on our behalf. As a result, we “approach the throne of grace with boldness, we receive mercy, and we find grace to help in time of need.” Cf. He 4,16 All thanks to Jesus, the Suffering Servant of God. I remind you that the text of the four Songs of the Suffering Servant of God are still available in abundance on the white rack in the foyer.
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On a lighter note, we still have tickets available for the Gala Dinner which is just two weeks away. They will be for sale after every mass. By attending this Gala Dinner, you will not only be contributing to our building fund, you are guaranteed a joyful evening of fraternity with fellow St. Mary’s parishioners. I am fully aware that for many of our parishioners, $90 per ticket is a lot of money. Here’s a suggestion: why not make of this an opportunity for gifting? Why wouldn’t adult siblings purchase together, thereby lessening the burden, tickets for their parents? A nice treat for parents who otherwise would never enjoy such a treat as participating in our Gala Dinner. Just a thought…