Lent is drawing to a close, and, in this final week before Holy Week, we turn from the story of the Exodus to the Letter to the Hebrews. Looking back over salvation history, St. Paul interprets the Old Testament in light of the New. In the past, revelation was incomplete; now, in Christ, everything is revealed. The Old Covenant, revealed through the angels, was binding; the New Covenant, revealed through Christ, Who is higher than the angels, is even more so.
God, who, at sundry times and in divers manners, spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets, last of all, in these days hath spoken to us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the world. Who being the brightness of his glory, and the figure of his substance, and upholding all things by the word of his power, making purgation of sins, sitteth on the right hand of the majesty on high. Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath inherited a more excellent name than they.
For to which of the angels hath he said at any time, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee?
And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?
And again, when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he saith: And let all the angels of God adore him.
And to the angels indeed he saith: He that maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.
But to the Son: Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of justice is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved justice, and hated iniquity: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
And: Thou in the beginning, O Lord, didst found the earth: and the works of thy hands are the heavens. They shall perish, but thou shalt continue: and they shall all grow old as a garment. And as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed: but thou art the selfsame, and thy years shall not fail.
But to which of the angels said he at any time: Sit on my right hand, until I make thy enemies thy footstool?
Are they not all ministering spirits, sent to minister for them, who shall receive the inheritance of salvation?
Therefore ought we more diligently to observe the things which we have heard, lest perhaps we should let them slip. For if the word, spoken by angels, became steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward: How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation? which having begun to be declared by the Lord, was confirmed unto us by them that heard him. God also bearing them witness by signs, and wonders, and divers miracles, and distributions of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will.