Scripture Readings for Fourth week of Lent – Tuesday

In Leviticus 19:1-18, 31-37, we get another restatement of parts of the Ten Commandments and the Book of the Covenant. The emphasis here is on love of neighbor.

Leviticus 19:1-18

Ritual and Moral Holiness

19 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying:

Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them: You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy. You shall each revere your mother and father, and you shall keep my sabbaths: I am the Lord your God. Do not turn to idols or make cast images for yourselves: I am the Lord your God.

When you offer a sacrifice of well-being to the Lord, offer it in such a way that it is acceptable in your behalf. It shall be eaten on the same day you offer it, or on the next day; and anything left over until the third day shall be consumed in fire. If it is eaten at all on the third day, it is an abomination; it will not be acceptable. All who eat it shall be subject to punishment, because they have profaned what is holy to the Lord; and any such person shall be cut off from the people.

When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very edges of your field, or gather the gleanings of your harvest. 10 You shall not strip your vineyard bare, or gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the alien: I am the Lord your God.

11 You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; and you shall not lie to one another. 12 And you shall not swear falsely by my name, profaning the name of your God: I am the Lord.

13 You shall not defraud your neighbor; you shall not steal; and you shall not keep for yourself the wages of a laborer until morning. 14 You shall not revile the deaf or put a stumbling block before the blind; you shall fear your God: I am the Lord.

15 You shall not render an unjust judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great: with justice you shall judge your neighbor. 16 You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not profit by the blood of your neighbor: I am the Lord.

17 You shall not hate in your heart anyone of your kin; you shall reprove your neighbor, or you will incur guilt yourself. 18 You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against any of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.

Leviticus 19:31-37

31 Do not turn to mediums or wizards; do not seek them out, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God.

32 You shall rise before the aged, and defer to the old; and you shall fear your God: I am the Lord.

33 When an alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien. 34 The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.

35 You shall not cheat in measuring length, weight, or quantity. 36 You shall have honest balances, honest weights, an honest ephah, and an honest hin: I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt. 37 You shall keep all my statutes and all my ordinances, and observe them: I am the Lord.

Watch Full Video of Way of the Cross with photos of original places of Via Dolorosa, narrations and prayers.

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Scripture Readings for Fourth week of Lent – Monday

As the high priest, Aaron has to offer a sacrifice of atonement on behalf of the people of Israel. As we see in Leviticus 16:2-28, the sacrifice is accompanied by great ritual, and it must be performed again and again to make up for the Israelites’ sins.

Leviticus 16:2-28

The Lord said to Moses:

Tell your brother Aaron not to come just at any time into the sanctuary inside the curtain before the mercy seat that is upon the ark, or he will die; for I appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat. Thus shall Aaron come into the holy place: with a young bull for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering. He shall put on the holy linen tunic, and shall have the linen undergarments next to his body, fasten the linen sash, and wear the linen turban; these are the holy vestments. He shall bathe his body in water, and then put them on. He shall take from the congregation of the people of Israel two male goats for a sin offering, and one ram for a burnt offering.

Aaron shall offer the bull as a sin offering for himself, and shall make atonement for himself and for his house. He shall take the two goats and set them before the Lord at the entrance of the tent of meeting; and Aaron shall cast lots on the two goats, one lot for the Lord and the other lot for Azazel. Aaron shall present the goat on which the lot fell for the Lord, and offer it as a sin offering; 10 but the goat on which the lot fell for Azazel[d] shall be presented alive before the Lord to make atonement over it, that it may be sent away into the wilderness to Azazel.

11 Aaron shall present the bull as a sin offering for himself, and shall make atonement for himself and for his house; he shall slaughter the bull as a sin offering for himself. 12 He shall take a censer full of coals of fire from the altar before the Lord, and two handfuls of crushed sweet incense, and he shall bring it inside the curtain 13 and put the incense on the fire before the Lord, that the cloud of the incense may cover the mercy seat[f] that is upon the covenant, or he will die. 14 He shall take some of the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it with his finger on the front of the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat[i] he shall sprinkle the blood with his finger seven times.

15 He shall slaughter the goat of the sin offering that is for the people and bring its blood inside the curtain, and do with its blood as he did with the blood of the bull, sprinkling it upon the mercy seat and before the mercy seat. 16 Thus he shall make atonement for the sanctuary, because of the uncleannesses of the people of Israel, and because of their transgressions, all their sins; and so he shall do for the tent of meeting, which remains with them in the midst of their uncleannesses. 17 No one shall be in the tent of meeting from the time he enters to make atonement in the sanctuary until he comes out and has made atonement for himself and for his house and for all the assembly of Israel. 18 Then he shall go out to the altar that is before the Lord and make atonement on its behalf, and shall take some of the blood of the bull and of the blood of the goat, and put it on each of the horns of the altar. 19 He shall sprinkle some of the blood on it with his finger seven times, and cleanse it and hallow it from the uncleannesses of the people of Israel.

20 When he has finished atoning for the holy place and the tent of meeting and the altar, he shall present the live goat. 21 Then Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over it all the iniquities of the people of Israel, and all their transgressions, all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and sending it away into the wilderness by means of someone designated for the task. 22 The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to a barren region; and the goat shall be set free in the wilderness.

23 Then Aaron shall enter the tent of meeting, and shall take off the linen vestments that he put on when he went into the holy place, and shall leave them there. 24 He shall bathe his body in water in a holy place, and put on his vestments; then he shall come out and offer his burnt offering and the burnt offering of the people, making atonement for himself and for the people. 25 The fat of the sin offering he shall turn into smoke on the altar. 26 The one who sets the goat free for Azazel shall wash his clothes and bathe his body in water, and afterward may come into the camp. 27 The bull of the sin offering and the goat of the sin offering, whose blood was brought in to make atonement in the holy place, shall be taken outside the camp; their skin and their flesh and their dung shall be consumed in fire. 28 The one who burns them shall wash his clothes and bathe his body in water, and afterward may come into the camp.

Watch Full Video of Way of the Cross with photos of original places of Via Dolorosa, narrations and prayers.

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Scripture Readings for Fourth week of Lent – Sunday

Today, we leave the Book of Exodus and pass into the Book of Leviticus. In Leviticus 8:1-17 and 9:22-24, the Lord, through Moses, institutes the Old Testament priesthood, which is bestowed on Aaron and his sons. The priests will offer holocausts on behalf of the people of Israel.

Leviticus 8:1-17

The Rites of Ordination

1 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Take Aaron and his sons with him, the vestments, the anointing oil, the bull of sin offering, the two rams, and the basket of unleavened bread; and assemble the whole congregation at the entrance of the tent of meeting. And Moses did as the Lord commanded him. When the congregation was assembled at the entrance of the tent of meeting, Moses said to the congregation, “This is what the Lord has commanded to be done.”

Then Moses brought Aaron and his sons forward, and washed them with water. He put the tunic on him, fastened the sash around him, clothed him with the robe, and put the ephod on him. He then put the decorated band of the ephod around him, tying the ephod to him with it. He placed the breastpiece on him, and in the breastpiece he put the Urim and the Thummim. And he set the turban on his head, and on the turban, in front, he set the golden ornament, the holy crown, as the Lord commanded Moses.

10 Then Moses took the anointing oil and anointed the tabernacle and all that was in it, and consecrated them. 11 He sprinkled some of it on the altar seven times, and anointed the altar and all its utensils, and the basin and its base, to consecrate them. 12 He poured some of the anointing oil on Aaron’s head and anointed him, to consecrate him. 13 And Moses brought forward Aaron’s sons, and clothed them with tunics, and fastened sashes around them, and tied headdresses on them, as the Lord commanded Moses.

14 He led forward the bull of sin offering; and Aaron and his sons laid their hands upon the head of the bull of sin offering, 15 and it was slaughtered. Moses took the blood and with his finger put some on each of the horns of the altar, purifying the altar; then he poured out the blood at the base of the altar. Thus he consecrated it, to make atonement for it. 16 Moses took all the fat that was around the entrails, and the appendage of the liver, and the two kidneys with their fat, and turned them into smoke on the altar. 17 But the bull itself, its skin and flesh and its dung, he burned with fire outside the camp, as the Lord commanded Moses.

Leviticus 9:22-24

22 Aaron lifted his hands toward the people and blessed them; and he came down after sacrificing the sin offering, the burnt offering, and the offering of well-being. 23 Moses and Aaron entered the tent of meeting, and then came out and blessed the people; and the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people. 24 Fire came out from the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the fat on the altar; and when all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces.

Watch Full Video of Way of the Cross with photos of original places of Via Dolorosa, narrations and prayers.

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What is Tithe? Why Tithe?

What is Tithe?

The tenth part of agricultural produce or personal income set apart as an offering to God or for works of mercy, or the same amount regarded as an obligation or tax for the support of the church, priesthood, or the like.

In our life we see many families  struggling with financial problems, agricultural loss, business loss etc.  In the Bible we do not see a God who wish to see struggling and sorrowful people. We can see this in below Bible verses:-

12 The righteous flourish like the palm tree,
and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
13 They are planted in the house of the Lord;
they flourish in the courts of our God. (Psalms 92:12-13)

Here we meet a God who wish to see “the righteous flourish like the palm tree, and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.”

Again  in Psalms 35:27

Let those who desire my vindication
shout for joy and be glad,
and say evermore,
“Great is the Lord,
who delights in the welfare of his servant.”

God is the Lord who delights in the welfare of his people.

Below is the Bible verses which prove God’s mind about a child of God.

The Lord will make you the head, and not the tail; you shall be only at the top, and not at the bottom—if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I am commanding you today, by diligently observing them, (Deuteronomy 28:13)

What we have to understand from this? God wish that his children should have always upgrade and never decadence.

I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be their slaves no more; I have broken the bars of your yoke and made you walk erect. (Leviticus 26:13)

God rejoice in the goodness and freedom.

But why this is not happening in many families. They work hard from morning to evening, sometimes overtime duty also. But  no saving at all. With cleverness and hard work they try to earn as much as they can. But everything goes out from hand. What is the reason for this?

We read in Job 13:28 that people who do  not know God’s ways :-

One wastes away like a rotten thing,
like a garment that is moth-eaten. (Job 13:28)

 

1 Unless the Lord builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord guards the city,
the guard keeps watch in vain.
2 It is in vain that you rise up early
and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives sleep to his beloved. (Psalms 127:1-2)

For success in life it is very important to become the affectionate of God. Bible introducing us a God who give to his people even while they are asleep. If you like to become an affectionate of God, then you must follow Word of God carefully.

People have their own way for financial upgrade, peace in family, spiritual leading. But many times these ways end in darkness, disappointment and sorrow. But God has his own way to uplift his people. That lead to rejoice, peace and blessings of God.

31 and in the wilderness, where you saw how the Lord your God carried you, just as one carries a child, all the way that you traveled until you reached this place. 32 But in spite of this, you have no trust in the Lord your God, 33 who goes before you on the way to seek out a place for you to camp, in fire by night, and in the cloud by day, to show you the route you should take.” (Deuteronomy 1:31-33)

People do not think about a God of this kind.

Inspiration and Courtesy – Malayalam Book written by Fr. Xavier Khan Vattayil, Sehion Retreat Centre, Attappady, Kerala State, India.