For the first four weeks of “ordinary time” in her calendar of weekday worship this year, the Church had the Letter to the Hebrews for the first reading at Mass.
Not until today, in this fifth week, is the Church reading the first book of the Word of the Lord, the Book of Genesis.
By having the Letter to the Hebrews, instead of the Book of Genesis, start off this season, the Church marks two things.
First: that God created the universe through his Son.
Second: that the Son, “heir of all things” [Hebrews 1:2
], contains the created universe in his flesh, and returns creation to the right hand of the heavenly Father through a covenant sacrifice of his own body and blood.
All of that begins to be clear in the opening of the Letter to the Hebrews, and makes a frame for seeing the Book of Genesis that the Church begins today.
Here is the opening of the Letter to the Hebrews [1:1-3, Revised Standard Version
In many and various ways
God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets,
but in these last days
he has spoken to us by a Son,
whom he appointed the heir of all things,
through whom also he created the world.
He reflects the glory of God
and bears the very stamp of his nature,
upholding the universe by his word of power.
When he had made purification for sins,
he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high
Again: God created the universe through his Son.
Then: the Son, heir of all things, contains the created universe in his flesh, and returns creation to the right hand of the heavenly Father through a covenant sacrifice of his own body and blood.
In the Gospel today, we see signs and beginnings of creation’s return to the Father through the flesh and blood of the Son.
From all over, every one of the sick receives a new beginning of good health by touching so little as a tassel from the clothing of the body of Christ.
That’s a beginning and a sign of much greater.
In the resurrection and ascension of Jesus, not merely a tassel of our clothing, but the head of mankind, the king of the universe is alive triumphant everlastingly over all sin, death, and suffering.
God and creation are in communion in the flesh and blood of Christ.
Today at Mass we can make a new beginning of obedient faithfulness to the communion that is already enthroned “at the right hand of the Majesty on high” [Hebrews 1:3