The following reflection is courtesy of Don Schwager (c) 2015, whose website is located at DailyScripture.net
What is God’s intention for the commandment, keep holy the Sabbath (Exodus 20:8; Deuteronomy 5:12)? The scribes and Pharisees wanted to catch Jesus in the act of breaking the Sabbath ritual so they might accuse him of breaking God’s law. In a few penetrating words Luke records that Jesus knew their thoughts. They were filled with fury and contempt for Jesus because they put their own thoughts of right and wrong above God. They were ensnared in their own legalism because they did not understand or see the purpose of God. Jesus shows their fallacy by pointing to God’s intention for the Sabbath: to do good and to save life rather than to do evil or to destroy life.
Christians have traditionally celebrated Sunday as the Lord’s Day, to commemorate God’s work of redemption in Jesus Christ and the new work of creation he accomplished through Christ’s death and resurrection. Taking “our sabbath rest” is a way of expressing honor to God for all that he has done for us. Such “rest” however does not exempt us from our love for our neighbor. If we truly love the Lord above all else, then the love of God will overflow to love of neighbor as well. Do you honor the Lord in the way you celebrate Sunday, the Lord’s Day and in the way you treat you neighbor?
“Lord Jesus, in your victory over sin and death on the cross and in your resurrection you give us the assurance of sharing in the eternal rest of heaven. Transform my heart with your love that I may freely serve my neighbor for his good and find joy and refreshment in the celebration of Sunday as the Lord’s Day.”
The following reflection is courtesy of PresentationMinistries.com (c) 2015. Their website is located at PresentationMinistries.com
HOW WE BECAME PRIESTS
“You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek.” Hebrews 7:17; Psalm 110:4
Like almost all peoples throughout history, the Jewish people believed that sacrifice was one of the essential elements for dealing with sin and setting humanity free. The person who offers sacrifices to God on behalf of the people is called a priest. Thus, priests are an essential part of God’s plan of salvation. Consequently, because Jesus is the Savior of the world, He must be a priest. For the Jews, all priests descended from the tribe of Levi. Yet Jesus was from the tribe of Judah. How can Jesus be a priest?
In the book of Genesis, we hear about the priest Melchizedek. He was a priest before there were the tribes of Israel. He was a mysterious figure “without father, mother or ancestry, without beginning of days or end of life” (Heb 7:3). The psalmist prophesied that Melchizedek’s priesthood would continue (Ps 110:4). The writer of the book of Hebrews proclaimed that Jesus is a priest in the order of Melchizedek. Jesus sacrificed Himself on the altar of the cross. He is truly the Savior of the world, and we who are baptized into Him share in His priesthood (see 1 Pt 2:9; Rv 5:10). In Christ, we are priests in the order of Melchizedek. Alleluia!
Prayer: Father, may I live my baptismal priesthood to the full. I offer You my body as a living sacrifice (Rm 12:1). Promise: “Then He said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ The man did so and his hand was perfectly restored.” Mk 3:5 Praise: As St. Agnes, a thirteen-year-old girl, was led to her martyrdom, she was as happy as a bride walking up the aisle to meet her groom. She kept her eyes ever fixed on Jesus (Heb 12:2). (For a related teaching, order our tape on Developing A Deep Personal Relationship with Jesus on audio AV 52-1 or video V-52.)
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant my permission to publish One Bread, One Body covering the period from December 1, 2014 through January 31, 2015.
Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 30, 2014.
The rescript is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted ecclesial permission agree with the contents, opinions, or statements