It was fitting that God, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For the one who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one Father. For this reason Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters, saying, “I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters, in the midst of the congregation I will praise you.” And again, “I will put my trust in him.” And again, “Here am I and the children whom God has given me.” Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death. For it is clear that he did not come to help angels, but the descendants of Abraham. Therefore he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every respect, so that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.
Food for Thought:
Sometimes I think about the early Christians and how much they suffered for their faith. During the first few centuries of Christianity, people were even martyred (killed) for their faith. I think about their suffering and I think about how little I have suffered as a Christian. In many ways, I have not been bold in speaking out about my faith for fear of stigmatization or ridicule. I think that it is important that we as Christians be bolder about who we are and whose we are.
Gracious God, we are thankful that we are yours and you are ours. We ask that you keep us ever mindful of this and help us to boldly go out and proclaim your message of Good News to all who are hurting and hungry. In your name we pray, Amen.