February 28 Num. 22-24 & Hebrews 4:1-13

No god or curse can defeat the God of Israel. For the Israelites, God works in many ways. So, when their enemy tries to invoke a curse on them. God does not block the curse or change it or miraculous protect Israel from it. Instead, God talks to the enemy and commands them to bless the Israelites only. God can talk and work with anyone or anything, enemies included and donkeys of your enemies. God spreads his protective wings over the Israelites. Do you have any enemies God needs to talk to their donkey? You have to read the Scripture for today to understand. Can you see God’s hand at work around you to keep your faith strong? Hebrews remind us to listen for the voice of the Lord a

February 27 Numbers 19-21 & Hebrews 3

Numbers challenges you and I to reflect on who we are for our local Church community. “Then somebody who is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer and deposit them in a clean place outside the camp.” Then later in the chapter “Then someone who is clean will take hyssop, dip it in this water, and sprinkle it on the tent and on all the vessels and persons that were in it, or on the one who touched the bone, the slain person or the other corpse, or the grave.” Who is that somebody? There is God’s work to be done. It has to be done – Oh well someone else will do it……. I am very grateful for those who step up to God’s work in our parish!!! It is not easy, each day we all have many

February 26 Num. 15-18 & Hebrews 1-2

We hear again about God’s mercy on all his people. “Then the priest shall make atonement for the whole Israelite community; and they will be forgiven, since it was inadvertence, and for their inadvertence they have brought their offering: an oblation to the LORD as well as their purification offering before the LORD. Not only the whole Israelite community but also the aliens residing among you shall be forgiven, since the inadvertent fault affects all the people.” What strikes me most about the word inadvertent is that it means you did not plan. I know we can after long thought chose to sin. But most of our sin comes from a lack of Godly planning so that our sin is mostly inadvertent. W

February 25 Numbers 11-14 & Romans 16

Do you believe the Lord is with us? The Israelites had a difficult time believing. The Lord asks us to trust his ways. That does not mean all suffering and hardship will go away. The path of the Chosen People shows us. Forty years they wandered in the desert. Do you sometimes feel like you are wandering through the desert? Most if not all journeys have some desert time. Trust the Lord to guide you through it. He did not give up on the Israelites he will not give up on you. Chapter 16 of Romans dovetails nicely with the reading from Numbers, “I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who create dissensions and obstacles, in opposition to the teaching that you learned; avoid them.”

February 24 Numbers 8-10 & Romans 15

The Levites were dedicated to the service of God, “For they (Levites), among the Israelites, are totally dedicated to me…” Those in our Church that are ordained or take religious vows are also totally dedicated to the service of God. While they do get to retire earlier than I do, I guess that makes sense since life expectancy has probably changed in the course of 3000+ years since the Exodus. “Everyone twenty-five years old or more shall join the personnel in the service of the tent of meeting. But everyone fifty on up shall retire from the work force and serve no more. They shall assist their fellow Levites in the tent of meeting in performing their duties, but they shall not do the work.

February 23 Numbers 6-7 & Romans 14

The author of Numbers shares with us a beautiful blessing, “This is how you shall bless the Israelites. Say to them: The LORD bless you and keep you! The LORD let his face shine upon you and be gracious to you! The LORD look upon you kindly and give you peace! So, shall they invoke my name upon the Israelites, and I will bless them.” We are adopted as God’s chosen people so, we to are blessed. Receiving God’s blessing offers us peace, not as the world gives, but as God does. God’s peace is Jesus Christ. God’s peace comes from know whose you are and living from that gift. Paul challenges the Romans not to be judgmental. Paul and Pope Francis are on the same page, especially when Paul say

February 22 Numbers 4-5 & Romans 13

When I first started serving as an altar boy in 1964 in third grade, we were not allowed to touch the Chalice only its cover, and the way we were told one would think he would die if he did touch it. Numbers chapter four says the same thing to the Kohathites (one of the clans of Aaron's sons), "But they shall not touch the sacred objects; if they do they will die." What does the Lord ask you to carry as you sojourn on in faith? Are you doing this in a way that reflect God's sacredness within you? In Jesus days he said that Love was the fulfillment of the Law in Romans Thirteen Paul reminds us, "...the one who loves another has fulfilled the law." Is there someone in need of your love? S

February 21 Numbers 1-3 & Romans 12

I do understand that Leviticus was not an easy book of the bible to read and pray with and The Book of Numbers will also prove difficult. But it is God's word trust that you can find him in these words. Pray for a heart open and be ready to see him. You, with God's help, can do it. I have faith in God and you! Israel was to be a great nation as indicated by a total of six hundred and three thousand, five hundred and fifty ready to fight for the people. We don't need to get caught up in the exact number or its largeness, but we do need to understand that the Israelites were preparing for war. To be the people of God is never easy for the Israelites or us. While we do not need to wake

February 20 Leviticus 27 & Romans 10-11

There is value to human life. So, understand you are not to take life, but honor it as a gift from God. Be it your own life or the life of another. When we hear “that Christ died once for all,” for me that means no one else’s life is to be taken. Life is a precious gift from God. All the things of the world around us are to be respected as blessings from God. How much stuff is enough stuff for one to have? I would like to say if you must ask the question you probably have more than you need. The idea of the common good is important to keep in mind. What I want or need is in support of the common good our my selfish needs or wants? I am a sinner – I have too much stuff. I pray t

February 19 Leviticus 25-26 & Romans 9

Our God wishes us to care for the earth as much as we need to care for ourselves. The Sabbatical Year and the Jubilee Year call us to acknowledge that all is a gift from God even the land we walk on. We are to treat one another justly. God reminds them about not worshipping idols. It speaks about erect a carved image or a sacred stone as an idol. Some people accuse us as Catholic of worshipping idols because we have images in our Church. We do have statues and crucifixes, but we do not pray to them. We do not think that image is a god. They are just images. We are human beings with five senses. To have an image of Jesus on the Cross powerfully lets us know what he endured for us.

February 18 Lev. 23-24 & Rom. 8:28-39

What would our world be like, our community be like, our family be like if we took seriously the Sabbath as a Holy Day of no work? A day we spend with family, friends, and parishioners. At age 63 giving the day to the Lord and family, etc. sounds right and I know it would be next to impossible to do. But it is what the Lord asked, maybe we should listen. The idea of Holy Days started with the Israelites, and we have adopted the idea. We have some Holy Days in common, and others are our own. The Holy Day of Pentecost is a special Holy Day for me because it is the feast of my first Mass. A perfect day to celebrate for the first time the Mass as a priest. The Israelite Holy Day of Aton

February 17 Leviticus 21-22 & Rom. 8:1-27

Not surprising that the God of the Israelites would want his priests to be the best examples they could be for the people. The priests are to serve God well, in their personal life, in there duty to the temple, in their work for the people, in their care of family. I have to tell you this, "My Mom put priests on pedestals until she had one." God does not want priests on pedestals; he wants good examples of his care among his people in his priests. My Mom knows me well, I have work to do and I love it. Good words, "Be careful to observe my commandments. I am the LORD. Do not profane my holy name, that in the midst of the Israelites I may be hallowed. I, the LORD, make you holy, who led

February 16 Leviticus 19-20 & Romans 7

Wow, I love chapter 19!!!!!! Not because I do it well, but it does speak to my heart!!! "Be holy" how often do you think about being holy? Not a bad thought to put before yourself in Lent. Did you hear God's concern for the poor? "When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not be so thorough that you reap the field to its very edge, nor shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest. Likewise, you shall not pick your vineyard bare, nor gather up the grapes that have fallen. These things you shall leave for the poor and the alien. I, the LORD, am your God." For you and me this challenges us to make sure we are extending care to those in need around us, and there ARE people in n

February 15 Leviticus 17-18 & Romans 6

Our life is sacred not because of what we do with it or to it. Our life is sacred because it is a gift from God. We are to be respectful of each person. By keeping God’s statutes and decrees, we have life. Keeping the law does not bring eternal life that is a gift that comes from Jesus. What Leviticus can bring us is that awareness of the abundant life we have here and now, which for the people of Israel is a sign of God’s blessings. Remember it is important to discern your own heart and life, not judge another. We are always to love one another. By the grace of Jesus alive in us, we have eternal life. He died for our sins once and for all and now invites us to live in him. Today te

February 14 Leviticus & Romans

I knew we would eventually get to it – sex, before you get to caught up in all this remember the purpose of what is written, being an understanding of who is prepared to come before the Lord. Lord elsewhere tells Moses that he is a jealous God. So whether we are talking about emissions or other ways to be ritually unclean, it is not so much the what as the why. And the why is that the Lord wants all our attention all our being to be present and open to him. Whatever distracts us from him in Leviticus’ language makes us unclean – not ready to truly be present to the Lord. God wants a relationship with us. He wants us to be attentive and ready to hear his voice. As busy people when somet

February 13 Lev. 13-14 & Rom. 3:21-4:25

Wow, not even a scab escapes God’s scrutiny. He does care about our wellbeing. Don’t look at this as if you are the unclean person. Think about it as you are clean, you are well because the Lord wishes you to be well and he will do everything in his power to keep you that way. He must really love you. We are a Judeo-Christian religion. The priest is an intermediary between God and his people. Again, don’t look at this from the point of view that the priest judges, but that he helps the community remain close to God. The priest’s primary work is to make atonement for the individual before the Lord. The letter to the Romans deals with the question of faith, works, and law. You cannot

February 12 Lev.10-12 & Rom. 2:17-3:20

I was ready for these chapters. I had been wondering about the priests. So we here, “You must be able to distinguish between what is sacred and what is profane, and between what is clean and what is unclean; and you must be able to teach the Israelites all the statutes that the LORD has given them through Moses.” Do you remember John the Baptist ate grasshoppers, now we know that was not as bad a thing as we might have thought. This lines from Leviticus also struck me, “For I, the LORD, am your God. You shall make and keep yourselves holy, because I am holy. You shall not make yourselves unclean, then, by any swarming creature that crawls on the ground. Since I, the LORD, am the one who

February 11 Leviticus 7-9 Romans 2:1-16

It is interesting that the Communion sacrifice is an act of Thanksgiving. The Scriptures say, "If someone offers it for thanksgiving, that person shall offer it with unleavened cakes mixed with oil, unleavened wafers spread with oil, and cakes made of bran flour mixed with oil and well kneaded. For us, we come to the Mass in Thanksgiving (Eucharist). We eat of the unleavened bread (Holy Communion). We do have Jewish roots to what Jesus instituted on the night before he died. Let us give thanks for the people of Israel that celebrated God's glory among them, may we too through the celebration of the Mass come to experience the glory of God. The scriptures are never just this way or that.

February 10 Leviticus 4-6 & Romans 1:18-32

God always provides a way back. You and I don't wake up in the morning thinking, "I am going to do some good sinning today." If we are doing well, we even pray in the morning before we get going on the day. And yet we sin. These are wonderful chapters in Leviticus. They show God's people that there is a way back from sin. From the priest to the general populace there is a way back to the grace of God. The scripture writer even gives us a break in the way it is said. "Should a tribal leader, (etc.) do wrong inadvertently." Which is saying, "there is no way you could have fully know what you were doing, or you certainly would not have done it." I know my sin. I may at time wish I di

February 9 Leviticus 1-3 & Romans 1:1-17

The sacrifices are as a sweet-smelling oblation to the Lord. Is there a way to hear God’s command for sacrifice today that would make sense from our Christian perspective? Well, Lent is coming. This coming Wednesday Lent begins. Our physical bodies will one day return to the dust of the earth. From that perspective, our whole life is to be offered as a sweet-smelling oblation to the Lord. May we use these few days before the start of Lent to prepare our hearts and minds by looking over our life. And if we find some area that is not so sweet-smelling to the Lord may we have the courage to work on it starting in Lent so that at Easter time we may rise with Christ as an oblation to the

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