Mount Zion, Gate of Paradise

Last Updated on October 18, 2022 by GMC

Rembrandt, Moses Smashing the Tables of the Law, 1659

4th Week in Ordinary Time, Thursday (Year I)

Hebrews 12:18-24; Mark 6:7-13

You have not approached that which could be touched and a blazing fire and gloomy darkness and storm and a trumpet blast and a voice speaking words such that those who heard begged that no message be further addressed to them, for they could not bear to hear the command: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.” Indeed, so fearful was the spectacle that Moses said, “I am terrified and trembling.”

Hebrews 12:18-21

Formless and invisible God
Donned lightning, fire and smoke.
Soundless and inaudible God
Out of dark thunder spoke.

Mount Sinai inapproachable,
No creature could draw near.
Moses, though irreproachable,
Trembled and quaked with fear.

No, you have approached Mount Zion and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and countless angels in festal gathering, and the assembly of the firstborn enrolled in heaven, and God the judge of all, and the spirits of the just made perfect, and Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and the sprinkled blood that speaks more eloquently than that of Abel.

Hebrews 12:22-24

Formless and invisible God
Took flesh in Mary’s womb.
Soundless and inaudible God
Cooed love songs of a Groom.

Mount Zion, Gate of Paradise—
The Ark of Noah’s flood—
Saved the cosmos at a bride price,
Redeeming Abel’s blood.

He summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits. He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick—no food, no sack, no money in their belts. They were, however, to wear sandals but not a second tunic. He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave from there. Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them.” So they went off and preached repentance. They drove out many demons, and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.

Mark 6:7-13

Formless and invisible God
Found a home in persons.
Soundless and inaudible God
Sang songs through poor orphans.

As the Twelve preached and healed the sick,
God’s Body grew and grew.
Two by two, with voice prophetic,
They poured out Heaven’s dew.

There are minor variations in detail in the account of the Mission of the Twelve in the Synoptic Gospels. See Matthew 10:5-15 and Luke 9:1-6.

2 Replies to “Mount Zion, Gate of Paradise”

  1. Dear GMC, today I reverence the Word and draw great peace from your words that come forth from it. I’d like to share too Pope Francis’ words of comfort that read like a poem:
    Even in the darkest moments,
    in the times of weakness,
    in the times of fragility,
    in the times of failure,
    I looked to Jesus and I trusted him and he did not abandon me.
    He is a faithful companion.

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