ENDURANCE…

Hebrews 10:32-39 
32 But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings,33 sometimes being publicly exposed to abuse and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated.34 For you had compassion on the prisoners, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one.
35 Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.
36 For you have need of endurance, so that you may do the will of God and receive what is promised.37 “For yet a little while, and the coming one shall come and shall not tarry;38 but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.”39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and keep their souls.

Mark 4:26-34 
26 And he said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed upon the ground,27 and should sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he knows not how.28 The earth produces of itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.29 But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”
30 And he said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it?
31 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth;32 yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”33 With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it;34 he did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to his own disciples he explained everything.

MEDITATION 

THE HEBREW WRITER seeks to uplift and strengthen the resolve of the people of the way who seemingly want to throw in the towel, browbeaten by their persecutors who; plundered their belongings, attacked their personhood and imprisonment fellow disciples! The author call on his fellow servants to embue; faith, hope, courage and charity—essential theological virtues that were planted in mans soul by God– “the source of our vegetative activities” that allow the believer to “outstrip the limits of the created order!” 

THE GOSPEL READING: Christ use a seed as a specimen, comparing it to an inteligible clear thinking person who has signed up to receive the Holy Sacraments of grace, to lay out the positive developmental effects and consequences it shall bring.The author wish to point out that those listeners who did not always connect-the-dots, would privately meet with Christ, seeking His indulgence to explain and unearth everything that nourish and is good for the soul!

A person who is disorganized, unfocused and scatterbrained should not be surprised to be in the crosshairs of Satan who will use any opportunity to; sow lies, plunder and uproot whatever goodness exist, exposing the ‘believer’ to abuse and hardship to the extent that he or she may consider to surrender to Satan! Rather than shrink back or walk away from a spouse, children, job or the Church, we should apply endurance and unearth our ‘utile’ that is man’s esse; seeking to know what God is calling us to do or be. Approach a Catholic spiritual director who is vetted by the Bishop who shall interrogate the soul which may have been plundered by Satan. Do not approach joe soap or the nice convivial ‘psychologist’ pastor next door who may tell us what we want to hear versus the unadulterated gospel truth!

LET US PRAY:Psalms 37:3-6,23-24,39-40

3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; so you will dwell in the land, and enjoy security.
4 Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.6 He will bring forth your vindication as the light, and your right as the noonday.23 The steps of a man are from the LORD, and he establishes him in whose way he delights;24 though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the LORD is the stay of his hand.39 The salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; he is their refuge in the time of trouble.40 The LORD helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked, and saves them, because they take refuge in him.

Note: The daily scripture readings are taken from the Roman Missal which the Catholic Church use in the daily Celebration of the Holy Eucharist throughout the world.Some weekly readings may differ because of the celebration of local feast days.

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A CLEAR CONSCIENCE…

2 Timothy 1:1-8 
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life which is in Christ Jesus,2 To Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.3 I thank God whom I serve with a clear conscience, as did my fathers, when I remember you constantly in my prayers.
4 As I remember your tears, I long night and day to see you, that I may be filled with joy.5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you.6 Hence I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands;7 for God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control.8 Do not be ashamed then of testifying to our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel in the power of God,

Mark 4:21-25 

21 And he said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under a bushel, or under a bed, and not on a stand?22 For there is nothing hid, except to be made manifest; nor is anything secret, except to come to light.
23 If any man has ears to hear, let him hear.”24 And he said to them, “Take heed what you hear; the measure you give will be the measure you get, and still more will be given you.25 For to him who has will more be given; and from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”

MEDITATION 

St PAUL initiate his discourse putting paid to the notion that he is not aware of the struggles Timothy has to deal with in his diocese. Paul remind his protégé of his mother and grandmother’s example who nutured him in the faith. Moreover he implore Timothy to be courageous amidts the tears and to not be afraid to poclaim the unsullied good news. Well aware of Timothys challenges Paul wants him to reflect upon the promises he made at his ordination, hoping he will use God’s powerful gifts whilst sharing in Christ suffering in pursuit of proclaiming the Gospel, in and out of season.

THE GOSPEL READING: Our Lord coach the twelve in an attempt to fortify their hearts and mind, so they may be battle ready to face world and be a light to those who walk in darkness. On a personal note, Christ apprise the twelve that their personal lives aught to be exemplary; a copybook of Him who sees everything. Furthermore, the twelve are put on notice that they shall be measured by what they give! Close fisted, unwilling lazy disciples will loose what they have, whereas those who go beyond their call of duty shall be graciously rewarded with supernatural gifts!

Our Lord applied military methods of instruction calling His priests to perform repetitious spiritual exercises to instill a high work ethic and strong discipline, such as reading the gospel praying the morning and evening prayer over and above the daily offering of the Sacrifice of the Mass and attending to the homebound. We the laity are equally called to sharpen our spiritual sword on matters of understanding and living the faith whilst apply self-control amidts any suffering. What’s more, we need to be guiltless with a clear conscience and have integrity and probity, appertain to the unadulterated gospel!

LET US PRAY:Psalms 96:1-3 2,7-8,10

1 O sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth!2 Sing to the LORD, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day.3 Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!-CE Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength!8 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts!10 Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns! Yea, the world is established, it shall never be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity.”

Commentary. Henry R SYLVESTER Note: The daily scripture readings are taken from the Roman Missal which the Catholic Church use in the daily Celebration of the Holy Eucharist throughout the world.Some weekly readings may differ because of the celebration of local feast days.

SAUL, SAUL WHY…

Acts 22:3-16
3 “I am a Jew, born at Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamali-el, educated according to the strict manner of the law of our fathers, being zealous for God as you all are this day.4 I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering to prison both men and women,5 as the high priest and the whole council of elders bear me witness. From them I received letters to the brethren, and I journeyed to Damascus to take those also who were there and bring them in bonds toJerusalem to be punished.
6 “As I made my journey and drgifts ew near to Damascus, about noon a great light from heaven suddenly shone about me.7 And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’8 And I answered, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And he said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth whom you are persecuting.’
9 Now those who were with me saw the light but did not hear the voice of the one who was speaking to me.10 And I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said to me, ‘Rise, and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all that is appointed for you to do.’11 And when I could not see because of the brightness of that light, I was led by the hand by those who were with me, and came into Damascus.12 “And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, well spoken of by all the Jews who lived there,
13 came to me, and standing by me said to me, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight.’ And in that very hour I received my sight and saw him.14 And he said, ‘The God of our fathers appointed you to know his will, to see the Just One and to hear a voice from his mouth;15 for you will be a witness for him to all men of what you have seen and heard.16 And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on his name.’

Mark 16:15-18 

15 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation.16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues;18 they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

MEDITATION 

THE FIRST READING: Following his arrest on the charge that he was an Egyptian who recently stirred up a revolt and desecrated the temple with his ‘novel teachings,’ Paul is given a public platform to give his testimony, hoping to absolve himself from being executed for sedition! Paul begin his defense by stating that he is a Jew who was schooled by Gamali-el, adding that he percecuted the people of the way on the instruction of the highpriest, hoping to bolster his chance of being released. Notwithstanding Paul’s conversion when he encountered Jesus of Nazareth the Just One, Paul was nevertherless kept in custody.

THE GOSPEL READING: St Mark reserved the last chapter of his book to focus on the missionary call, duties, obligations and supernatural gifts that Christ promised to bequeath to the Apostles, to execute their missionary journey. Because of the effects of original sin; concupicense of the flesh, heart, eyes and mind, products of Satan’s alluring propositions will continually challenge and even derail us.

Whilst it may be true to say that “small or not so small” sins frequently committed by us do or did not match the level of a career criminal or murderer, it is a crime all the same. We persecute Christ each time we knowingly commit a sin whatever the circumstances or motive wherefore we can never justify our actions hoping that God is not aware of our deeds.Christ promised to gift His consecrated priests with spiritual gifts and faculties to exorcise and dispel the demonic by the laying on of hands and forgive sins. Today may be our last day, therefore let us not defer or leglect the importunity to approach a priest in the confesional to tell nothing but the truth, so we may hear the words of absolution from the “Just One,” mediated by the priest ‘in personi christi!’ It is worth noting that our being forgiven by Christ does not suppose all will be well. We may still endure pain and ask ‘why me,’ however Christ shall walk with us up to our Golgotha, helping us carry our cross and leed us into heaven or purgatory.

LET US PRAY:Psalms 117:1-2 1 Praise the LORD, all nations! Extol him, all peoples!2 For great is his steadfast love toward us; and the faithfulness of the LORD endures for ever. Praise the LORD

Commentary. Henry R SYLVESTER Note: The daily scripture readings are taken from the Roman Missal which the Catholic Church use in the daily Celebration of the Holy Eucharist throughout the world.Some weekly readings may differ because of the celebration of local feast days.

A CONSCIOUSNESS OF SIN…

Hebrews 10:1-10 
1 For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices which are continually offered year after year, make perfect those who draw near.2 Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered? If the worshipers had once been cleansed, they would no longer have any consciousness of sin.3 But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sin year after year.4 For it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins.
5 Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings thou hast not desired, but a body hast thou prepared for me;6 in burnt offerings and sin offerings thou hast taken no pleasure.
7 Then I said, ‘Lo, I have come to do thy will, O God,’ as it is written of me in the roll of the book.”
8 When he said above, “Thou hast neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law),9 then he added, “Lo, I have come to do thy will.” He abolishes the first in order to establish the second.10 And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Mark 3:31-35 

31 And his mother and his brethren came; and standing outside they sent to him and called him.32 And a crowd was sitting about him; and they said to him, “Your mother and your brethren are outside, asking for you.”33 And he replied, “Who are my mother and my brethren?”34 And looking around on those who sat about him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brethren!35 Whoever does the will of God is my brother, and sister, and mother.”

MEDITATION 

THE FIRST READING: The writer underscore the fact that the OT animal sacrifices and offerings have been abolishes, because it foreshadowed the NT Sacrifice, a true form fulfilled in and through the death of Christ.Moreover, if indeed the animal offering or Christ’s sacrificial offering had to be a once off cleansing event, believers would not have a consciousness of sin (v2).In other words Christ’s death and resurrection introduced a New Offering.

To sum it up; the Son of God was willing to offer up His life once and for all time so that whenever God’s people, the sons and daughters of Christ partake in the Thanks Giving feast—the Holy Eucharistic of the Mass—,our act of worship is in concert with the elders and Christ (Rev 4:10;11:16-17) who “give thanks” in heaven whilst cleansing our venial sins.

THE GOSPEL READING: Soon after Christ nearly lost His cool upon receiving a private revelation that Judas was to betray Him, the Scribes used that moment when Christ was slightly unbalanced (Mk 3:34), to suggest that He was demon possessed to the extent that they chased Him away. To add insult to injury the belligerent crowd used an epitaph when they ordered Him to go to His mother!

From time to time we indulge in behavior patterns and or acts or speech that is unbecoming if not out of line, especially in cases when someone accidentally used the wrong word and or we misunderstood their message or we did not know that they are deeply troubled.Christians are called to inscribe Christ’s laws of love and charity in our hearts such that we apply asceticism and self-control. We are called to appeal to Mary our mother to pray for and conscientise us when we face miry bog conditions, in order to avoid giving in to the allure of Satan! Let us not avoid the occasion to clear our conscience to present ourselves to Christ at Holy Mass, by making an offering for the remittance of our venial sins.

LET US PRAY:Psalms 40:2,4,7-8,10-11

2 He drew me up from the desolate pit, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.4 Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after false gods!7 Then I said, “Lo, I come; in the roll of the book it is written of me;8 I delight to do thy will, O my God; thy law is within my heart.”10 I have not hid thy saving help within my heart, I have spoken of thy faithfulness and thy salvation; I have not concealed thy steadfast love and thy faithfulness from the great congregation.11 Do not thou, O LORD, withhold thy mercy from me, let thy steadfast love and thy faithfulness ever preserve me!

Commentary. Henry R SYLVESTER Note: The daily scripture readings are taken from the Roman Missal which the Catholic Church use in the daily Celebration of the Holy Eucharist throughout the world.Some weekly readings may differ because of the celebration of local feast days.

GUILTY OF AN ETERNAL SIN…

Hebrews 9:15,24-28
15 Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred which redeems them from the transgressions under the first covenant.24 For Christ has entered, not into a sanctuary made with hands, a copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.
25 Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the Holy Place yearly with blood not his own;26 for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the age to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.27 And just as it is appointed for men to die once, and after that comes judgment,28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

Mark 3:22-30 

22 And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Be-elzebul, and by the prince of demons he casts out the demons.”23 And he called them to him, and said to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan?24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.26 And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end.27 But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man; then indeed he may plunder his house.28 “Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter;29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin“–30 for they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.”

MEDITATION

THE HEBREW WRITER notes that Christ’s priestly office supercede the annual feast of Yom Kippur inacted by Melchizedek, because Christ’s sacrifice is a once off event. Moreover, Christ’s sacrifice was a “true one,” unlike the OT annual feast which was a mere template that prefigured the New Covenant. The author makes the point that each time the New Covenant Sacrifice of the Mass is celebrated by His priests here on earth, Christ and the elders mediates from His heavenly altar forgiving the sins of the people who present themselves to Him.Rev 16:16-18

THE GOSPEL READING:Christ makes a distinction between blasphemies uttered against man versus blasphemies perpetrated against the Holy Spirit, to illustrate that the latter offense is profanity of the worst kind for which there is no remedy! It is reasonable to infir and link our Lord’s remark to be a response to the troubling revelation that Judas intended to betray Him (Mk 3:19-21) after He showed the apostles the pattern of the Lamb Supper! Heb 8:5

We recall how Judas hastily excited the Upper Room (Jn 13:26-27) after receiving the Holy bread to inact his dastardly deed to sell out his Master.In context, verses 28-29 is an implicit warning that anyone who partake of the Holy Eucharistic whilst plotting and undertaking a dastardly deed, is guilty of a eternal grave sin to the extent that we shall not be forgiven! To suggest that Christ and the Spirit is “unclean” in so far as They cannot bring about the transformation of bread and wine into Christs body and blood, is to; denigrate, disparage or deny Christ’s death and resurrection that can leed to devastating consequences! 

LET US PRAY:Psalms 98:1-6 1 A Psalm.
O sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things! His right hand and his holy arm have gotten him victory.
2 The LORD has made known his victory, he has revealed his vindication in the sight of the nations.3 He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God.4 Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises!
5 Sing praises to the LORD with the lyre, with the lyre and the sound of melody!
6 With trumpets and the sound of the horn make a joyful noise before the King, the LORD!

Commentary. Henry R SYLVESTER Note: The daily scripture readings are taken from the Roman Missal which the Catholic Church use in the daily Celebration of the Holy Eucharist throughout the world.Some weekly readings may differ because of the celebration of local feast days.

PURIFY YOUR CONSCIENCE…

Hebrews 9:2-3,11-14
2 For a tent was prepared, the outer one, in which were the lampstand and the table and the bread of the Presence; it is called the Holy Place.3 Behind the second curtain stood a tent called the Holy of Holies,
11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation)12 he entered once for all into the Holy Place, taking not the blood of goats and calves but his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.13 For if the sprinkling of defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and with the ashes of a heifer sanctifies for the purification of the flesh,14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify your conscience from dead works to serve the living God.

Mark 3:20-21

20 and the crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat.21 And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for people were saying, “He is beside himself.”

MEDITATION 

THE HEBREW writer makes the salient pivotal observation that Christ desired good things for all His followers when once for all (Rm 6:10) time, He entered into the Holy of Holies to gift us with heavenly good things. Christs once off Sacrifice replaced the annual animal sacrificial practice with a more perfect daily Sacrifice (1Cor 11:25) offering us the privilege to eat and drink His flesh and blood, a Eucharistic offering that sanctify and purify man’s compromised soul and conscience!

THE GOSPEL READING: On completion of nominating and or confering the twelve, Jesus went down the mount to feed the crowd. At the jucture of handing out the food neither the crowd nor Christ could consume the bread, when His demeanor violently changed, causing Him to shudder; loose His composure such that some family members took custody of Him. 

It is patently obvious that the Spirit revealed to Christ that one of the chosen disciples was to betray Him! To be sure, Christ did not publicize His thoughts, however at the Last Supper in the Upper Room He publicly raised the matter hoping the dubious Apostle would reverse his evil motives. But alas, after executing his dastardly deed, Judas committed suicide instead of submitting to Christ Jesus. Each time we knowingly and intentionally commit a grave sin we compromise the state of our soul, foreshadowing dangerous consequences. We who are convulsed, because we have compromised God’s commandments by sinning, will find it impossible to reach a ‘modus vivendi’,unless we do an examination of our conscience; approach the confessional to allow the Prince of the people to free us from being seized by Satan!

LET US PRAY: Psalms 47:2-3, 6-9

2 For the LORD, the Most High, is terrible, a great king over all the earth.3 He subdued peoples under us, and nations under our feet.6 Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
7 For God is the king of all the earth; sing praises with a psalm!8 God reigns over the nations; God sits on his holy throne.
9 The princes of the peoples gather as the people of the God of Abraham. For the shields of the earth belong to God; he is highly exalted!

Commentary. Henry R SYLVESTER Note: The daily scripture readings are taken from the Roman Missal which the Catholic Church use in the daily Celebration of the Holy Eucharist throughout the world.Some weekly readings may differ because of the celebration of local feast days.

HE PAID NO HEED TO THEM…

Hebrews 8:6-13 
6 But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry which is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises.
7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion for a second.8 For he finds fault with them when he says: “The days will come, says the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah;9 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; for they did not continue in my covenant, and so I paid no heed to them, says the Lord.

10 This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.11 And they shall not teach every one his fellow or every one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know me, from the least of them to the greatest.12 For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.”13 In speaking of a new covenant he treats the first as obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

Mark 3:13-19

13 And he went up on the mountain, and called to him those whom he desired; and they came to him.14 And he appointed twelve, to be with him, and to be sent out to preach15 and have authority to cast out demons:16 Simon whom he surnamed Peter;17 James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James, whom he surnamed Bo-anerges, that is, sons of thunder;18 Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Cananaean,19 and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. Then he went home;

MEDITATION

THE FIRST READING: The author notes that a new covenant had to be established, becuase the old covenant was compromised: reason being, the Israelites did not continue to honor the commands notwithstanding Yahwehs saving act of love when he freed them from the tyranny of the Egyptian king.The house of Israel’s obiter dictum when deciding who qualifies to enter or not enter into a covenant was revoked, so that the Lord Himself will stir the conscience of His followers—bring to light their iniquities—offering them the opportunity to repent—so He can apply mercy and wash away their sins in and through the Sacraments of healing and restoration.

THE GOSPEL READING: The disciples are called to follow Christ up to the mountain to pray so He may discern who qualify to be His followers. Whist more than twelve men applied for the vocation to serve Him, Christ nevertheless chose only twelve, because under Herbew rubric, the number twelve symbolized; wholeness, completeness and perfection—a state all apostles were called to strive for.

It is obviously clear that it takes more than the dictum of me and my bible to suppose you and i have a so-called “relationship with Christ!” Not, so. We are called to righteousness by following Him up a mountain study under His tutelage, leaving it up to Him to decide if we have made the cut to be a disciple—be a continuous learner—who is called to be like his Master in all things, but sin! Jesus would eventually refer to His Apostles as ‘friends’ (Jn 15:15), not because of anything they have done or said, but because ‘He’ has taken them into His confidence, hoping they would not betray Him by sinning! To say we are a “friend of God” is to elevate, equate and place ourselves on a level with Christ as Satan did, which would cause Him to not pay heed to us, because our soul is compromised by sinful pride!

LET US PRAY:Psalms 85:8,10-13

8 Let me hear what God the LORD will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints, to those who turn to him in their hearts.10 Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other.11 Faithfulness will spring up from the ground, and righteousness will look down from the sky.12 Yea, the LORD will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase.13 Righteousness will go before him, and make his footsteps a way.

Commentary. Henry R SYLVESTER Note: The daily scripture readings are taken from the Roman Missal which the Catholic Church use in the daily Celebration of the Holy Eucharist throughout the world.Some weekly readings may differ because of the celebration of local feast days.

SEE THAT YOU MAKE EVERYTHING ACCORDING TO THE PATTERN…

Hebrews 7:25-28;8:1-6
25 Consequently he is able for all time to save those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.26 For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, blameless, unstained, separated from sinners, exalted above the heavens.27 He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people; he did this once for all when he offered up himself.28 Indeed, the law appoints men in their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect for ever.
1 Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven,2 a minister in the sanctuary and the true tent which is set up not by man but by the Lord.3 For every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices; hence it is necessary for this priest also to have something to offer.
4 Now if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, since there are priests who offer gifts according to the law.5 They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly sanctuary; for when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying, “See that you make everything according to the pattern which was shown you on the mountain.”6 But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry which is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises.

Mark 3:7-12 

7 Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the sea, and a great multitude from Galilee followed; also from Judea8 and Jerusalem and Idumea and from beyond the Jordan and from about Tyre and Sidon a great multitude, hearing all that he did, came to him.9 And he told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, lest they should crush him;10 for he had healed many, so that all who had diseases pressed upon him to touch him.11 And whenever the unclean spirits beheld him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.”12 And he strictly ordered them not to make him known.

MEDITATION 

THE FIRST READING:The author inform us that Melchizedek an enigmatic OT priestly figure, foreshadowed the manifestation of Christ the highpriest.He furthermore state that Christ was tasked to continue offering sacrifices for all time, requiring Christ to appoint Apostles; ministers who were tasked to ensure that everything’s be made according to the pattern as demonstrated to them by Him on the mountain. To put it another way, the author clearly state that the Eucharistic Celebration of the Holy Mass is not only “a copy and shadow” of the Holy sacrifice, however it is more excellent than the OT Covenant Sacrifices!

THE GOSPEL READING: Overwhelmed by the needy afflicted crowds who were about to crush our Lord, He ordered His priestly disciples to move away and go up to the mountain where He could Catechize, demonstrate and coach them how the Holy Sacrament of the Mass would be celebrated by them once His mission is fulfilled. 

The Holy Sacrifice of the Heavenly Mass is indeed God’s everlasting gift to all His children who submit to His will and teachings. Any follower of Christ who is not exposed to or able to participate; partake and benifit from the graces and healing mercy emminating of the Sacrifice of Holy Mass according to the Roman Catholic or the pattern of the Latin or Orthodox Rite, are missing out bigtime! None-Catholics are called to come learn, taste and see that Christ lives to make intercession!

LET US PRAY:Psalms 40:7-10,177 Then I said, “Lo, I come; in the roll of the book it is written of me;8 I delight to do thy will, O my God; thy law is within my heart.”
9 I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation; lo, I have not restrained my lips, as thou knowest, O LORD.10 I have not hid thy saving help within my heart, I have spoken of thy faithfulness and thy salvation; I have not concealed thy steadfast love and thy faithfulness from the great congregation.
17 As for me, I am poor and needy; but the Lord takes thought for me. Thou art my help and my deliverer; do not tarry, O my God!

Commentary. Henry R SYLVESTER Note: The daily scripture readings are taken from the Roman Missal which the Catholic Church use in the daily Celebration of the Holy Eucharist throughout the world.Some weekly readings may differ because of the celebration of local feast days.

HE LOOKED ARROUND AT THEM WITH ANGER…

Hebrews 7:1-3,15-17
1 For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him;2 and to him Abraham apportioned a tenth part of everything. He is first, by translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then he is also king of Salem, that is, king of peace.3 He is without father or mother or genealogy, and has neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God he continues a priest for ever.
15 This becomes even more evident when another priest arises in the likeness of Melchizedek,16 who has become a priest, not according to a legal requirement concerning bodily descent but by the power of an indestructible life.17 For it is witnessed of him, “Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedek.”

Mark 3:1-6 

1 Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there who had a withered hand.
2 And they watched him, to see whether he would heal him on the sabbath, so that they might accuse him.3 And he said to the man who had the withered hand, “Come here.”4 And he said to them, “Is it lawful on the sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent.
5 And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored.
6 The Pharisees went out, and immediately held counsel with the Herodi-ans against him, how to destroy him.

MEDITATION

THE FIRST READING: The description that Melchizedek is a; priest of the Most high, a king of righteousness without mother or father or genealogy—with no beginning or end who resembles God—, is enough evidence to conclude that He is God incarnate who offered the bread and wine upon His visitation in the form of three persons [the truine God] to Abraham! Gen 18 This OT event prefigure the New Covenant Eucharistic offering. We are also told that this Highpriest is undestructable implying that His foes cannot destroy Him or the Eucharistic offering, which is intended to heal, nourish and transform the human heart!

THE GOSPEL READING: Knowing that Christ had compassion for the afflicted, the pharisees nevertherless presented Him a man with a withered hand, tempting Him to dishonor the Sabbath rule that no work be performed on this sacred feast day, so they could incriminate Him and impose the death penalty! Ex 31:15 Without batting an eyelid our Lord reached out and healed the afflicted man whilst He posed a self evident question (v4) which the Pharisees refused to answer, because it casted doubt on their presuppositions.

We are generally known by how we conduct our lives which is evidenced by our; generosity, humility, anger, warm-heartedness and hatefulness with hearts that are unforgiving. Christs “anger” does not equal nor express our compromised human condition promoted by Satan, instead it is a loving response emanating from a dissipointed grieving Father whose children have turned their backs on Him, whenever we reject and deny His supernatural works of healing, mercy and grace that flow from the seven Sacred Sacraments! Bitterness and anger a fruit of pridefulness, are vices we must extirpate, because second to none; it poisons the heart and soul of the believer. Instead of challenging or questionjng God’s power to transform our lives in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, let us humbly submit to His will and be healed by His grace.

LET US PRAY: Psalms 110:1-4 

1 A Psalm of David.
The LORD says to my lord: “Sit at my right hand, till I make your enemies your footstool.”2 The LORD sends forth from Zion your mighty scepter. Rule in the midst of your foes!3 Your people will offer themselves freely on the day you lead your host upon the holy mountains. From the womb of the morning like dew your youth will come to you.4 The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind, “You are a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.”

Commentary. Henry R SYLVESTER Note: The daily scripture readings are taken from the Roman Missal which the Catholic Church use in the daily Celebration of the Holy Eucharist throughout the world.Some weekly readings may differ because of the celebration of local feast days.

SEIZE THE HOPE SET BEFORE US…

Hebrews 6:10-20 
10 For God is not so unjust as to overlook your work and the love which you showed for his sake in serving the saints, as you still do.11 And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness in realizing the full assurance of hope until the end,
12 so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself,14 saying, “Surely I will bless you and multiply you.”15 And thus Abraham, having patiently endured, obtained the promise.16 Men indeed swear by a greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation.
17 So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he interposed with an oath,18 so that through two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible that God should prove false, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to seize the hope set before us.19 We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner shrine behind the curtain,20 where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.

Mark 2:23-27 

23 One sabbath he was going through the grainfields; and as they made their way his disciples began to pluck heads of grain.24 And the Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the sabbath?”25 And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him:26 how he entered the house of God, when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?”27 And he said to them, “The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath;

MEDITATION

THE HEBREW WRITER seeks to encourage the leaders of the Church to not give up hope despite their trails, but to be in service of the people even in difficult times.The writer holds up Abraham as an epitome of courage who never gave up hope such that Melchizedek a mystical heavenly figure, paid him a visit (Gen:4:18-20);fed him with heavenly bread that brought about restoration and neighbourly peace. 

THE GOSPEL READING: Our LORD respond to the criticism of the Pharisees who rightly condemned His apostles for working on the Sabbath plucking heads of grain to produce bread, a crime punishable  by death (Ex 31:14), by pointing to king David who was not supposed to partake of the Holy bread, were allowed to feed his troops who was enroute to face their enemies. To be sure, this event signaled  a departure from the old covenant whereby supernatural work is perfomed on the new Sabbath day when bread and wine is offered in the Holy Eucharist to sustain and strengthen God’s children who face trails and tribulations.

Today’s readings points to the absolute importance that the people of God not be denied the Eucharist—bread of the Presence—unless they are not in a state of grace and or in union with the teaching office of the Church. Moreover in an emergency, the God fearing homebound who battle with sickness facing death, should be visited by a priest to anoint and serve them with life-giving bread, irrespective the day or time of day! We who are suffering facing severe battles be it spiritual or temporal, must similarly seize the hope that is set before us by attending Holy Mass and be fed with the bread of life.

LET US PRAY: Psalms 111:1-2, 4-5,9-10

1 Praise the LORD. I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation.2 Great are the works of the LORD, studied by all who have pleasure in them.4 He has caused his wonderful works to be remembered; the LORD is gracious and merciful.5 He provides food for those who fear him; he is ever mindful of his covenant.9 He sent redemption to his people; he has commanded his covenant for ever. Holy and terrible is his name!10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who practice it. His praise endures for ever!

Commentary. Henry R SYLVESTER Note: The daily scripture readings are taken from the Roman Missal which the Catholic Church use in the daily Celebration of the Holy Eucharist throughout the world.Some weekly readings may differ because of the celebration of local feast days.