May the God of Peace, who led up from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the eternal covenant, make you complete in every good work so that you may do his will.
May he perform, in you, whatever will be pleasing in his sight, through Jesus the Messiah. Glory be to him forever and ever. Amen!
How beautiful is this sign off?
What a wonderful summary of the whole letter here. What a wonderful reminder of these foundational and formational truths found throughout the epistle to the Hebrews.
What popped out to me was make you complete in every good work so that you may do his will. To make complete is to bring to maturity. Other places it reads “to make perfect.” To be perfect in biblical language is to be brought to maturity and completion.
When we’re complete and mature in our good works, we are solely focused on God and doing the good work for him. This is “performing for an audience of one.” We are truly out to promote the Father’s reputation and not ours. To reflect the ways of Jesus, not our own ways. To direct people to the energy of the Holy Spirit that flows through us rather than to ourselves. In this state, we are positioned then to do God’s will.
In prayer, if we’re not focused on the One to whom we’re praying, then we’re really not praying.
John Chrysostom said of the author in this passage, “he prays for them, which is the act of one who yearns for them.” If I truly care for someone, I pray for them. Otherwise I am desiring my will for them. And I find myself frustrated rather quickly.
Jesus prayed much, and often, we are told in the gospel accounts.
I’ve been thinking of Jesus’s human side a lot lately. And I love Australian monk Michael Casey’s words on this:
The long nights spent in prayer may well have been fraught with an urgent awareness of human weakness. “Because I am human, I am weak. Because I am weak, I pray.”
Maybe it was not just because he was perfect and had an amazing relationship with his Father that he prayed. Perhaps it was also due to the fact that he knew he was human and had taken on all the weaknesses that that entails, and therefore, knew he needed to be in much prayer in order to do what he was called to do. Reflecting on the humanness of Jesus is very comforting to me and inspiring.
As one of the eldest monks at Saint Meinrad told us on our first trip there in 2011, “We pray because we need to, not because we have to.”