Day 50: Sacrificial Offerings
Leviticus 26:1-46 Ample blessings were in store for the Israelites if they would keep the Law. On the other hand, misfortune would befall them if they would be unfaithful. Nonetheless, God’s merciful love endures forever, and he stood always ready to forgive and reconcile his Chosen People whenever they repented of their transgressions. Peace, joy, and purification are some of the fruits of repentance through the Sacrament of Penance. (CCC 1468)
Ch 26:6 Peace represents not just the absence of war or threatening aggression; rather it is an interior harmony and contentment resulting from union with God. It is a gift and blessing of God that comes to us through our obedience to the will of God. Among the aspects of peace is a HABITUAL SERENITY even in the face of INSURMOUNTABLE HARDSHIP. (CCC 2302-2306)
Ch 26:12 God offered his very self to his Chosen People provided they were well disposed to be faithful to his covenant. Both the Old and the New Covenant are meant to lead people to an intimate union with God. (CCC 2550, 2557)
Psalm 82 The one just Judge explains that it is the role of judges to protect the rights of the weak, the poor, and the needy.
You are gods, sons of the Most High: This is either another ironic remark about the power and self-aggrandizement of the corrupt judges or a reference to the kings of the pagan nations who were considered gods themselves but were self-serving and unconcerned about true justice. (CCC 441)
(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)
Remember the Ark of the Covenant, the Menorah, the Table of Presence, etc.?
Today we learn how they are made :)
(almonds eh? I’m partial to pistachios ;) )
There is something remarkable to talk about today
Let’s recap the day before yesterday quickly
The Lord, through Moses, was calling upon the people to offer their offerings
In Leviticus, God instructed what the Israelites MUST offer
Burnt offerings, etc.
These are NECESSARY
In Exodus 34 and 35, God said “Anyone whose heart moves them to make a free will offering. Anyone in whom the Spirit of God has moved and they want to give out of their generosity, come before the Lord and bring all these things. (gold, silver, purple stuff, goat hairs, whatever you have etc.)”
When we offer the sacrifice that is required of us, that is TRUE WORSHIP
There are many times when God says “If you would like to go BEYOND THAT, if the HOLY SPIRIT in you is MOVING YOU to give beyond that, then here is an opportunity.”
The Israelites were moved so deeply, so fully by that generosity, by that Spirit of God
People were straining from bringing all the things for their worship, more than required, so Moses had to tell them to chill
This is a reminder for all of us
There are some things that we offer in support of our local parishes, or to support ministries all over the world
We are asked as Catholic Christians to allow the Lord to move our hearts to GENEROSITY to supply for the needs of the people around us
Did you know that 7% of every parish provides for 90% or more of the parishes work?
7% of the parishioners provide for the VOLUNTEERING
7% of the parishioners provide for the FINANCIAL WORKINGS OF THE PARISH
What if we increased that by 1 %? (Matthew Kelley from DYNAMIC CATHOLIC MINISTRIES)
Imagine if 8% of Catholics supported that work
Imagine how many more people would be blessed
Imagine if that number is now 10%
How much more good could be done?
Imagine getting to the palace where each of us was so generous with our time, talent, and treasure that we would have to say “Yo, stop giving, that’s enough!”
Wouldn’t that be amazing?
Moses had to tell the Israelites, “Let neither man nor woman do anything more for the offering of the sanctuary, so the people were restrained from bringing for the stuff they had was sufficient to do all the work and more.”
Ask yourself, “Am I that generous?”
If I were more generous, there would eventually come a point that the people suffering around the world would cease to suffer due to lacking anything
So ask God, “Lord, how are you calling me to offer what I have? How are you calling me to offer even just a bit more?”
Remember: SACRIFICE IS REQUIRED FOR LOVE
That is what we are called upon to be able to offer The Lord
Leviticus: There are rewards for obedience, and punishment for disobedience
We know that not every good thing that happens to us happened because we were good
We know that not every bad thing that happens to us happened because we were bad
It is not a 1:1 kind of a situation
Remember our dear friend, Job?
Job was a righteous man, yet horrible things happened to him
We also know that God makes it clear that there are consequences for our actions
God told the Israelites He would hand them over to the swords, to pestilence, and even to evil things that happen
God does not hand them over to their consequences BECAUSE HE HATES THEM
God hands them over to their consequences BECAUSE HE LOVES THEM
If that STILL doesn’t call the Israelites back to God’s heart, then He will let the NEXT thing happen to them
The whole point of this IS NOT PUNISHMENT
The whole point of this IS NOT WRATH
The whole point of this is THIS IS THE DISCIPLINE OF A FATHER
This is SO IMPORTANT for all of us
When we approach Scripture and we DON’T TRUST GOD, we see these things that happen and are DONE WITH IT and skedaddle outta there
But if WE TRUST GOD when we read Scripture, then when we see these things and don’t understand them, we realize that it must be because of our OWN lack of understanding, not that there’s something wrong with GOD
We will realize that God is a GOOD DAD
We may not understand what God is doing here, or not doing there
We have to look at God, ourselves, and our lives with the lens that GOD IS A GOOD DAD
So why would a GOOD DAD allow these punishments to come upon those who are disobedient?
Well, think of any good parent
They want more for you than just your comfort
They want more for you than just to go about your life and do whatever you want to do
They want THE ABSOLUTE BEST FOR YOU
God is a GOOD DAD and He wants the ABSOLUTE BEST for His children
If the Israelites (or us) refuse to walk in His ways, and walk contrary to Him, then here are the consequences
GOD WANTS TO BRING US BACK TO HIS HEART
Ask yourself, “How is God calling me to be generous today, so I can just supply for the needs of the people around me?”
Ask yourself, “How is God calling me to not walk contrary to Him, but to walk in His Will?”
Because THAT IS WHAT IT IS TO BE HOLY
It is to WALK IN THE WILL OF THE FATHER
It is to ACT AND LOVE IN THE WILL OF THE FATHER
Keep praying for each other and for Fr Mike
We cannot do all this without God’s Grace
Prayer by Fr Mike: “Father in Heaven, we thank you for sharing your heart with us. We thank you so much for your commandments. We thank you for revealing to us your heart and how we are called to offer you our heart. Thank you for sharing your Word with us today. We ask you to please be with us in all of our moments. In our moments of darkness, and our moments of light, moments we turn away from you, and in moments when we find ourselves deep, deep in your most Sacred Heart. We make this prayer, Father, in the name of your only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord and in the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”
A visual comparison between the Tent of Meeting in the wilderness, and the Temple built by King Solomon in Jerusalem.
Just as God commanded Israel to keep and walk in his commandments, this divine command remains in effect from Jesus in the New Covenant.
Just as God promised to walk among his people, he fullfilled that promise by becoming man- Jesus Christ.