All the priests stand at their duty every day, offering sacrifices, over and over again which are quite incapable of taking sins away. The Jewish priesthood is a shadow of what was to come... How should we consider the old sacrifice and the New? Why did we need the True Sacrifice? How are we sanctified by this Sacrifice?
God has given each person with gifts and blessings. Every single gift we have is exactly that, a gift given by God. Given for his own good pleasure and according to his purposes. We can think of a garden with many kinds of flowers, some flowers are more beautiful than others. Is that a reason for one person to be jealous over another?
Our Lord has a destiny for each and everyone of us. He explains to his apostles that he has prepared a place for them (and us). But He will not force us to go to that place, he will however, invite us, encourage and forgive and do everything possible that we might arrive at that destiny. Do you want to respond to Our Lord's goodness and grace? Do you want to realise Our Lord's plan for you?
The Gospel details Our Lord calling His first four ‘Apostles’. We need to look beyond the literal meaning of the word ‘Apostle’ and need to delve into it’s mystical meaning. We need to apply it to ourselves. Our Lord is calling each one of us according to his ability, according to disposition… Everyone is called according to grace. Do we hear His voice? Do we answer that call?
‘Beelzebub is in him’ and ‘It is through the Prince of devils, that he casts devils out’. These are the accusations laid against Our Lord by Pharisees. These two accusations which are levelled against Our Lord, the head of the Church are also levelled against His Body. The Church is often accused of not understanding or being up to date with the age in which it exists. It has been argued that the Church should marry the spirit of the age… But hasn’t the Church seen every age? What does this age have to give to Christ’s Body?
Our Lord performed His first miracle in the synagogue (according to Mark’s Gospel) casting out demons. The second, we're told that he went to the house of Simon Peter, curing his mother. The Third, was a man whose body was rotting away. The Leper says, 'If you want to, you can cure me', here is faith, he knows the Saviour has the power, what he doubts is the Saviour’s goodness. Do we find ourselves doubting Our Lord's goodness? Do we doubt that Our Lord will listen to our prayers? Do we question whether He will answer them?
In the time of Noah, the ark was being built, but people were eating, drinking, taking wives and husbands completely oblivious to what was going to happen. In our day a new ark is being built, the Church. Once again people are eating and drinking and marriage is being abolished. Therefore be ready, because you know not, at what hour the Son of man will come.
And so the Church today begins a new liturgical year. When Our Lord speaks to us in the scriptures, we need to keep something in mind - namely, heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass. Therefore His words are as applicable to us today as they were when He first spoke them 2000 years ago and as He will continue to speak them in the ages yet to come. So we need to apply these words to ourselves that we might receive the benefit, that the divine words necessarily bring.
St Paul in the first letter to the Thessalonians tell us that, urges that we should make more and more progress in the kind of life we are meant to live. What kind of life? The life that God wants. How do we know the kind of life that God wants us to live? The apostle himself tells us, ‘as you learnt from us and as you are already living it.’ So St. Paul himself taught the Thessalonians what God required of them and the Thessalonians had actually began to put this into practise.
Our Religion, the Christian religion is rooted in human history. It is not like so many other non Christian religions that have stories of a distant past. Although even in their stories they have elements of truth, for universally every religion there was a perfect, a golden age and something went wrong.