Closer than ever to God

Hebrews 12:18-19,22-24

The Biblical text from the NRSV is always found in the first column.

The reflection by Fr. Dennis Chriszt, CPPS is always found in the second column.

You have not come to something that can be touched, a blazing fire, and darkness, and gloom, and a tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that not another word be spoken to them.


But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

The author of the letter to the Hebrews paints a picture of great glory and majesty. Because of Christ, we have come to a Mount Zion more glorious than the one in Jerusalem. We stand, not only before the Holy of Holies, but before the One who is holiness, glory and majesty itself. We stand before the very throne of God.

The Assumption Chapel at St. Charles Center, the retirement home of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood in Carthagena, Ohio, features a mosaic with an inscription from this scripture passage. It includes an image of Christ dying, rising and ascending all at the same time. Precious Blood and glorious grace flow from his hands and his side. He stands on Mount Zion, but also on Mount Sinai, Golgotha, and on the mountains where he was transfigured and ascended into the heavens. We, who view this mosaic, stand not only before Mount Zion, but before the very presence of God, all because of the One who shed his blood for us, the One who is the mediator of the new covenant.

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