Memorial of St. Sebastian, Martyr

Hebrews gives us a wonderful image in the first reading today. The oath of God is an “anchor of the soul.” When anchoring a boat, of course, there are good and bad places to do so–one should not anchor in a high traffic channel, for instance, or too close to other anchored boats. So too with the soul. It is not enough to say “my soul is anchored.” What is the soul anchored to? Sin? Virtue? Football? So God provides us not just with an anchor for the soul, but a good place to be anchored.

The anchor of the soul reaches behind the Temple veil. For Judaism at the time of the Temple, the veil separated the people of God from the Holy of Holies–the Earthly dwelling place of God. The division between God and man has been collapsed. No anchorage other than God will last, so God has given us Himself. His oath is the anchor, and He is the anchorage. And behind this veil, “Jesus has entered on our behalf” to continue to close the distance between humanity and the Father. God is there at every bend of the river, every rough wave, every smooth lake. Not only does He invite us to drop anchor for a while but, recognizing our poverty, provides the anchor and anchorage for us as well.

January 20th, 2015