Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hebrews Chapter 3

Sorry I'm so slow about this, but here go my notes on Hebrews Chapter 3:

vs 1 - We need to see the word "confession" here as something somewhat deeper as Catholics...it incorporates all that we believe. Christ is the high priest of it all. "Confession" here reminds me of "profession" such as we do of the Creed at every mass.

vs 7-11 - these verses are extremely important (quoted from the Psalms) to Catholics. Every priest, deacon, and religious sister and brother in the world says these words every single day in the invitatory of the Liturgy of the Hours. That is how important they are to us. We can never lose faith and harden our hearts. We have a responsibility to the world to show forth the true light of Faith even in the face of adversity and in the world we live in where our Faith is ridiculed and persecuted.

vs 12+ - The author reflects here on the Psalm and its meaning to us as Christians. As we "share in Christ" through the Eucharist, his precious body and blood is given to us every mass and make us one with him - we become his Body through that Eucharist. With the graces we receive from that sacrament, how much more must we as Catholics not all into the hardening of hearts and unbelief we see in the story of the Jewish people following Moses.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Victory for Catholics!

Well, I don't want to exaggerate the extent of how we were involved, but all three major TV news sources (CNN, FOX, and MSNBC) reported that the Catholic Church was a heavy hand in negotiating with the House of Representatives including speaker Nancy Pelosi on the Health Care bill. It ended up that thanks to their efforts (again according to the news, we had a major impact) and to Democrats who were moral enough to stand up against abortion funding in the health care bill, we passed an amendment to limit funding to very specific cases (rape, incest, life of mother). Although I still can't support a bill that allows any abortions at all, at least the Church was active enough to bring this issue to the forefront and win a minor victory. Continue to pray for a total end to abortion and give thanks to the Lord for his mercy endures forever.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Hebrews Chapter 2

Continuing my thoughts on the Book of Hebrews from a Catholic perspective:

Chapter 2:

vs 1-4: Here we see a lot of focus on "what we have heard" - the oral tradition of the Early Church. Note the progression, Christ taught the Apostles (those who witnessed him) and they founded the "Apostolic Tradition", the oral tradition that by the time Hebrews is written the entire Church understands as the teaching of God.

vs 8: I can't help but notice this verse in light of the coming "Solemnity of Christ the King" towards the end of November, the last Sunday of Ordinary time. At the end of the Church calendar, we have celebrated the entire spiritual history of God's people, and how could we end in a more fitting manner than recognizing Christ as King, he whom the Father has "subjected all things and put them under his feet". This is especially important as we recognize Advent season coming up where we look not only for the coming of Christ's birth in the Church calendar, but also of his real second coming at the end of time.

vs 10,18: These two verses are some of those in the New Testament that reveal the Catholic idea of suffering and how we are perfected through that suffering. Not just Christ suffers for us, but as we suffer (except of course in punishment for wrongdoing), we share in the suffering of Christ in some deep and mysterious way.

vs. 14-15: I like to use these verses to reflect on the "mystery of faith" that we proclaim as a parish during each mass. Specifically, one of these four responses is "Dying you destroyed our death, rising you restored our life, Lord Jesus come in Glory". Very similar to the message in the latter part of vs. 14 and vs 15

vs 17: Christ is "Our High Priest". This makes me think quite a bit about our priesthood as individuals, but also those called to separate themselves from the world and become our pastors, bishops, and other clergy. Thinking about how we all serve and offer sacrifice in some way as priests (again with that distinction between what clergy do and what the laity do, but remembering that we are all priests and that is because we all offer sacrifice at mass of the Body and Blood of Christ to God the Father) but that Christ is our High Priest, at our head and obviously strongly involved in offering his own body and blood to the Father.