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Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings 23-January-2023
Universalis/Jerusalem Bible ^

Posted on 01/23/2023 6:33:32 AM PST by annalex

23 January 2023

Monday of week 3 in Ordinary Time

Saint Marianne Cope parish, Solvay, NY

Readings at Mass

Liturgical Colour: Green. Year: A(I).

First reading
Hebrews 9:15,24-28 ©

Christ offers himself only once to take on the faults of many

Christ brings a new covenant, as the mediator, only so that the people who were called to an eternal inheritance may actually receive what was promised: his death took place to cancel the sins that infringed the earlier covenant. It is not as though Christ had entered a man-made sanctuary which was only modelled on the real one; but it was heaven itself, so that he could appear in the actual presence of God on our behalf. And he does not have to offer himself again and again, like the high priest going into the sanctuary year after year with the blood that is not his own, or else he would have had to suffer over and over again since the world began. Instead of that, he has made his appearance once and for all, now at the end of the last age, to do away with sin by sacrificing himself. Since men only die once, and after that comes judgement, so Christ, too, offers himself only once to take the faults of many on himself, and when he appears a second time, it will not be to deal with sin but to reward with salvation those who are waiting for him.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 97(98):1-6 ©
Sing a new song to the Lord for he has worked wonders.
Sing a new song to the Lord
  for he has worked wonders.
His right hand and his holy arm
  have brought salvation.
Sing a new song to the Lord for he has worked wonders.
The Lord has made known his salvation;
  has shown his justice to the nations.
He has remembered his truth and love
  for the house of Israel.
Sing a new song to the Lord for he has worked wonders.
All the ends of the earth have seen
  the salvation of our God.
Shout to the Lord, all the earth,
  ring out your joy.
Sing a new song to the Lord for he has worked wonders.
Sing psalms to the Lord with the harp
  with the sound of music.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
  acclaim the King, the Lord.
Sing a new song to the Lord for he has worked wonders.

Gospel AcclamationPs24:4,5
Alleluia, alleluia!
Teach me your paths, my God,
make me walk in your truth.
Alleluia, alleluia!
Our Saviour Jesus Christ abolished death
and he has proclaimed life through the Good News.

GospelMark 3:22-30 ©

A kingdom divided against itself cannot stand

The scribes who had come down from Jerusalem were saying, ‘Beelzebul is in him’ and, ‘It is through the prince of devils that he casts devils out.’ So he called them to him and spoke to them in parables, ‘How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot last. And if a household is divided against itself, that household can never stand. Now if Satan has rebelled against himself and is divided, he cannot stand either – it is the end of him. But no one can make his way into a strong man’s house and burgle his property unless he has tied up the strong man first. Only then can he burgle his house.
  ‘I tell you solemnly, all men’s sins will be forgiven, and all their blasphemies; but let anyone blaspheme against the Holy Spirit and he will never have forgiveness: he is guilty of an eternal sin.’ This was because they were saying, ‘An unclean spirit is in him.’

Christian Art


Each day, The Christian Art website gives a picture and reflection on the Gospel of the day.

The readings on this page are from the Jerusalem Bible, which is used at Mass in most of the English-speaking world. The New American Bible readings, which are used at Mass in the United States, are available in the Universalis apps, programs and downloads.

You can also view this page with the Gospel in Greek and English.

TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; mk3; ordinarytime; prayer
For your reading, reflection, faith-sharing, comments, questions, discussion.

1 posted on 01/23/2023 6:33:32 AM PST by annalex
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To: All

KEYWORDS: catholic; mk3; ordinarytime; prayer

2 posted on 01/23/2023 6:34:13 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...

Alleluia Ping

Please FReepmail me to get on/off the Alleluia Ping List.

3 posted on 01/23/2023 6:35:37 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
Jim still needs our prayers. Thread 2
Prayer thread for Salvation's recovery
Pray for Ukraine
4 posted on 01/23/2023 6:36:08 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
 English: Douay-RheimsLatin: Vulgata ClementinaGreek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
 Mark 3
22And the scribes who were come down from Jerusalem, said: He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of devils he casteth out devils. Et scribæ, qui ab Jerosolymis descenderant, dicebant : Quoniam Beelzebub habet, et quia in principe dæmoniorum ejicit dæmonia.και οι γραμματεις οι απο ιεροσολυμων καταβαντες ελεγον οτι βεελζεβουλ εχει και οτι εν τω αρχοντι των δαιμονιων εκβαλλει τα δαιμονια
23And after he had called them together, he said to them in parables: How can Satan cast out Satan? Et convocatis eis in parabolis dicebat illis : Quomodo potest Satanas Satanam ejicere ?και προσκαλεσαμενος αυτους εν παραβολαις ελεγεν αυτοις πως δυναται σατανας σαταναν εκβαλλειν
24And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. Et si regnum in se dividatur, non potest regnum illud stare.και εαν βασιλεια εφ εαυτην μερισθη ου δυναται σταθηναι η βασιλεια εκεινη
25And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand. Et si domus super semetipsam dispertiatur, non potest domus illa stare.και εαν οικια εφ εαυτην μερισθη ου δυναται σταθηναι η οικια εκεινη
26And if Satan be risen up against himself, he is divided, and cannot stand, but hath an end. Et si Satanas consurrexerit in semetipsum, dispertitus est, et non poterit stare, sed finem habet.και ει ο σατανας ανεστη εφ εαυτον και μεμερισται ου δυναται σταθηναι αλλα τελος εχει
27No man can enter into the house of a strong man and rob him of his goods, unless he first bind the strong man, and then shall he plunder his house. Nemo potest vasa fortis ingressus in domum diripere, nisi prius fortem alliget, et tunc domum ejus diripiet.ουδεις δυναται τα σκευη του ισχυρου εισελθων εις την οικιαν αυτου διαρπασαι εαν μη πρωτον τον ισχυρον δηση και τοτε την οικιαν αυτου διαρπαση
28Amen I say to you, that all sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and the blasphemies wherewith they shall blaspheme: Amen dico vobis, quoniam omnia dimittentur filiis hominum peccata, et blasphemiæ quibus blasphemaverint :αμην λεγω υμιν οτι παντα αφεθησεται τα αμαρτηματα τοις υιοις των ανθρωπων και βλασφημιαι οσας αν βλασφημησωσιν
29But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost, shall never have forgiveness, but shall be guilty of an everlasting sin. qui autem blasphemaverit in Spiritum Sanctum, non habebit remissionem in æternum, sed reus erit æterni delicti.ος δ αν βλασφημηση εις το πνευμα το αγιον ουκ εχει αφεσιν εις τον αιωνα αλλ ενοχος εστιν αιωνιου κρισεως
30Because they said: He hath an unclean spirit. Quoniam dicebant : Spiritum immundum habet.οτι ελεγον πνευμα ακαθαρτον εχει

5 posted on 01/23/2023 6:38:48 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex

Catena Aurea by St. Thomas Aguinas


23. And he called them unto him, and said unto them in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan?

24. And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.

25. And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.

26. And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end.

27. No man can enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house.

28. Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme:

29. But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation:

30. Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit.

PSEUDO-CHRYSOSTOM. (Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc.) The blasphemy of the Scribes having been detailed, our Lord shews that what they said was impossible, confirming His proof by an example. Wherefore it says, And having called them together unto him, he said unto them in parables. How can Satan cast out Satan? As if He had said, A kingdom divided against itself by civil war must be desolated, which is exemplified both in a house and in a city. Wherefore also if Satan’s kingdom be divided against itself, so that Satan expels Satan from men, the desolation of the kingdom of the devils is at hand. But their kingdom consists in keeping men under their dominion. If therefore they are driven away from men, it amounts to nothing less than the dissolution of their kingdom. But if they still hold their power over men, it is manifest that the kingdom of evil is still standing, and Satan is not divided against himself.

GLOSS. (non occ.) And because He has already shewn by an example that a devil cannot cast out a devil, He shews how he can be expelled, saying, No man can enter into a strong man’s house, &c.

THEOPHYLACT. The meaning of the example is this: The devil is the strong man; his goods are the men into whom he is received; unless therefore a man first conquers the devil, how can he deprive him of his goods, that is, of the men whom he has possessed? So also I who spoil his goods, that is, free men from suffering by his possession, first spoil the devils and vanquish them, and am their enemy. How then can ye say that I have Beelzebub, and that being the friend of the devils, I cast them out?

BEDE. (in Marc. i. 17) The Lord has also bound the strong man, that is, the devil: which means, He has restrained him from seducing the elect, and entering into his house, the world; He has spoiled his house, and his goods, that is men, because He has snatched them from the snares of the devil, and has united them to His Church. Or, He has spoiled his house, because the four parts of the world, over which the old enemy had sway, He has distributed to the Apostles and their successors, that they may convert the people to the way of life. But the Lord shews that they committed a great sin, in crying out that that which they knew to be of God, was of the devil, when He subjoins, Verily I say unto you, All sins are forgiven, &c. All sins and blasphemies are not indeed remitted to all men, but to those who have gone through a repentance in this life sufficient for their sins; thus neither is Novatusm right, who denied that any pardon should be granted to penitents, who had lapsed in time of martyrdom; nor Origen, who asserts that after the general judgment, after the revolution of ages, all sinners will receive pardon for their sins, which error the following words of the Lord condemn, when He adds, But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost, &c.

PSEUDO-CHRYSOSTOM. (Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc.) He says indeed, that blasphemy concerning Himself was pardonable, because He then seemed to be a man despised and of the most lowly birth, but, that contumely against God has no remission. Now blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is against God, for the operation of the Holy Ghost is the kingdom of God; and for this reason, He says, that blasphemy against the Holy Ghost cannot be remitted. Instead, however, of what is here added, But will be in danger of eternal damnation, another Evangelist says, Neither in this world, nor in the world to come. By which is understood, the judgment which is according to the law, and that which is to come. For the law orders one who blasphemes God to be slain, and in the judgment of the second law he has no remission. nHowever, he who is baptized is taken out of this world; but the Jews were ignorant of the remission which takes place in baptism. He therefore who refers to the devil miracles, and the casting out of devils which belong to the Holy Ghost alone, has no room left him for remission of his blasphemy. Neither does it appear that such a blasphemy as this is remitted, since it is against the Holy Ghost. Wherefore he adds, explaining it, Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit.

THEOPHYLACT. We must however understand, that they will not obtain pardon unless they repent. But since it was at the flesh of Christ that they were offended, even though they did not repent, some excuse was allowed them, and they obtained some remission.

PSEUDO-JEROME. Or this is meant; that he will not deserve to work out repentance, so as to be accepted, who, understanding who Christ was, declared that He was the prince of the devils.

BEDE. (ubi sup.) Neither however are those, who do not believe the Holy Spirit to be God, guilty of an unpardonable blasphemy, because they were persuaded to do this by human ignorance, not by devilish malice.

AUGUSTINE. (Serm. 71, 12, 21) Or else impenitence itself is the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost which hath no remission. For either in his thought or by his tongue, he speaks a word against the Holy Ghost the forgiver of sins, who treasures up for himself an impenitent heart. But he subjoins, Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit, that he might shew that His reason for saying it, was their declaring that He cast out a devil by Beelzebub, not because there is a blasphemy, which cannot be remitted since even this might be remitted through a right repentance: but the cause why this sentence was put forth by the Lord, after mentioning the unclean spirit, (who as our Lord shews was divided against himself,) was, that the Holy Ghost even makes those whom He brings together undivided, by His remitting those sins, which divided them from Himself, which gift of remission is resisted by no one, but him who has the hardness of an impenitent heart. For in another place, the Jews said of the Lord, that He had a devil, (John 7:20.) without however His saying any thing there about the blasphemy against the Spirit; and the reason is, that they did not there cast in His teeth the unclean spirit, in such a way, that that spirit could by their own words be shewn to be divided against Himself, as Beelzebub was here shewn to be, by their saying, that it might be he who cast out devilso.

Catena Aurea Mark 3

6 posted on 01/23/2023 6:40:10 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex

Temptation of Christ

12 c.
Monreale, Sicily

7 posted on 01/23/2023 6:40:29 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex

Bl. MARIANNE COPE (1838-1918)

Virgin, Professed Sister of St Francis,
missionary to leprosy patients


Barbara Koob (now officially "Cope") was born on 23 January 1838 in SE Hessen, West Germany. She was one of 10 children born to Peter Koob, a farmer, and Barbara Witzenbacher Koob. The year after Barbara's birth, the family moved to the United States.

The Koob family found a home in Utica, in the State of New York, where they became members of St Joseph's Parish and where the children attended the parish school.

Sisters of St Francis

Although Barbara felt called to Religious life at an early age, her vocation was delayed for nine years because of family obligations. As the oldest child at home, she went to work in a factory after completing eighth grade in order to support her family when her father became ill.

Finally, in the summer of 1862 at age 24, Barbara entered the Sisters of St Francis in Syracuse, N.Y. On 19 November 1862 she received the religious habit and the name "Sr Marianne", and the following year she made her religious profession and began serving as a teacher and principal in several elementary schools in New York State.

She joined the Order in Syracuse with the intention of teaching, but her life soon became a series of administrative appointments.

God had other plans

As a member of the governing boards of her Religious Community in the 1860s, she participated in the establishment of two of the first hospitals in the central New York area.

In 1870, she began a new ministry as a nurse-administrator at St Joseph's in Syracuse, N.Y., where she served as head administrator for six years. During this time she put her gifts of intelligence and people skills to good use as a facilitator, demonstrating the energy of a woman motivated by God alone.

Although Mother Marianne was often criticized for accepting for treatment "outcast" patients such as alcoholics, she became well-known and loved in the central New York area for her kindness, wisdom and down-to-earth practicality.

In 1883, Mother Marianne, now the Provincial Mother in Syracuse, received a letter from a Catholic priest asking for help in managing hospitals and schools in the Hawaiian Islands, and mainly to work with leprosy patients. The letter touched Mother Marianne's heart and she enthusiastically responded: "I am hungry for the work and I wish with all my heart to be one of the chosen ones, whose privilege it will be to sacrifice themselves for the salvation of the souls of the poor Islanders.... I am not afraid of any disease, hence, it would be my greatest delight even to minister to the abandoned "lepers'".

A mother to the lepers

She and six other Sisters of St Francis arrived in Honolulu in November 1883. With Mother Marianne as supervisor, their main task was to manage the Kaka'ako Branch Hospital on Oahu, which served as a receiving station for patients with Hansen's disease gathered from all over the islands.

The Sisters quickly set to work cleaning the hospital and tending to its 200 patients. By 1885, they had made major improvements to the living conditions and treatment of the patients.

In November of that year, they also founded the Kapi'olani Home inside the hospital compound, established to care for the healthy daughters of Hansen's disease patients at Kaka'ako and Kalawao. The unusual decision to open a home for healthy children on leprosy hospital premises was made because only the Sisters would care for those so closely related to people with the dreaded disease.

Bl. Damien and Mother Marianne

Mother Marianne met Fr Damien de Veuster (today Blessed Damien is known as the "Apostle to Lepers") for the first time in January 1884, when he was in apparent good health. Two years later, in 1886, after he had been diagnosed with Hansen's disease, Mother Marianne alone gave hospitality to the outcast priest upon hearing that his illness made him an unwelcome visitor to Church and Government leaders in Honolulu.

In 1887, when a new Government took charge in Hawaii, its officials decided to close the Oahu Hospital and receiving station and to reinforce the former alienation policy. The unanswered question:  Who would care for the sick, who once again would be sent to a settlement for exiles on the Kalaupapa Peninsula on the island of Molokai?

In 1888, Mother Marianne again responded to the plea for help and said:  "We will cheerfully accept the work...". She arrived in Kalaupapa several months before Fr Damien's death together with Sr Leopoldina Burns and Sr Vincentia McCormick, and was able to console the ailing priest by assuring him that she would provide care for the patients at the Boys' Home at Kalawao that he had founded.

Optimism, serenity, trust in God

Together the three Sisters ran the Bishop Home for 103 Girls and the Home for Boys. The workload was extreme and the burden at times seemed overwhelming. In moments of despair, Sr Leopoldina reflected:  "How long, O Lord, must I see only those who are sick and covered with leprosy?".

Mother Marianne's invaluable example of never-failing optimism, serenity and trust in God inspired hope in those around her and allayed the Sisters' fear of catching leprosy. She taught her Sisters that their primary duty was "to make life as pleasant and as comfortable as possible for those of our fellow creatures whom God has chosen to afflict with this terrible disease...".

Mother Marianne never returned to Syracuse. She died in Hawaii on 9 August 1918 of natural causes and was buried on the grounds of Bishop Home.


Homily of Card. José Saraiva Martins



8 posted on 01/23/2023 6:46:04 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex

9 posted on 01/23/2023 6:48:09 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (To the Greater Glory of God)

From: Hebrews 9:15, 24-28

The Rites of the Old Covenant Prefigure Those of the New
[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 covenants.

[22] Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.

[23] Thus it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. [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.


15-22. The covenant is shown to be new because it has been ratified by the death and by the shedding of the blood of the testator or mediator. "Man, having fallen into sin, was in debt to divine justice and was the enemy of God. The Son of God came into the world and clothed himself in human flesh; being both God and man he became the mediator between man and God, the representative of both sides, so as to restore peace between them and obtain divine grace for man, giving himself as an offering to pay man's debt with his blood and his death. This reconciliation was prefigured in the Old Testament in all the sacrifices that were offered in that period and in all the symbols which God ordained--the tabernacle, the altar, the veil, the lampstand, the thurible and the ark where the rod of Aaron and the tables of the Law were kept. All these were a sign and type of the Promised redemption; and it was because that redemption would come about through the blood of Christ that God specified the blood of animals--a symbol of the blood of the divine Lamb--and laid it down that all the symbolic objects mentioned above should be sprinkled with blood: 'Hence even the first Covenant was not ratified without blood"' ("ibid.", 9, 2).

For a third time Christ is stated to be the mediator of a New Covenant. Hebrews 7:22 and 8:6 say that he is the mediator of a better covenant because it can give eternal life. Here, as in 12:24, it is explained that Christ is the mediator of a New Covenant, ratified by blood which gives an eternal inheritance. The emphasis is on the sacrificial aspect: Christ is the mediator insofar as he is the atoning victim and at the same time the offerer of the sacrifice: in his sacrifice he is both priest and victim. "Christ is priest indeed; but he is priest for us, not for himself. It is in the name of the whole human race that he offers prayer and acts of human religious homage to his Eternal Father. He is likewise victim; but victim for us, since he substitutes himself for guilty mankind. Now the Apostle's exhortation, 'Yours is to be the same mind as Christ Jesus showed ' (Phil 2:5), requires all Christians, so far as human power allows, to reproduce in themselves the sentiments that Christ had when he was offering himself in sacrifice—sentiments of humility, of adoration, praise, and thanksgiving to the divine Majesty. It requires them also to become victims, as it were; cultivating a spirit of self-denial according to the precepts of the Gospel, willingly doing works of penance, detesting and expiating their sins" ("Mediator Dei", 22).

Christ's sacrifice is not only effective to forgive our sins; it is a manifestation of our Redeemer's love for us and it sets an example which we should follow. "And if God forgives us our sins it is so that we might use the time that remains to us in his service and love. And the Apostle concludes, saying, 'Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant.' Our Redeemer, captivated by his boundless love for us, chose to rescue us, at the cost of his blood, from eternal death; and he succeeded in doing so, for if we serve him faithfully until we die we shall obtain from the Lord forgiveness and eternal life. Such were the terms of the testament, mediation or compact between Jesus Christ and God" ("Reflections on the Passion", 9, 2).

15-17. As the RSV note points out the Greek word can be translated as either "covenant" or "will". The context and the parallel with the covenant of Sinai suggest the idea of covenant or pact, since the covenant with the chosen people was an unilateral pact, that is, a concession granted by God; however, it too can also be taken in a broad sense as a "will". Both the word "mediator" and the word "testator" (the one who makes the will) applied here to Christ serve to emphasize that his death needed to involve the shedding of blood. His is a death whereby we are called to "receive the promised eternal inheritance": "The work of our Redemption has been accomplished. We are now children of God, because Jesus has died for us and his death has ransomed us. "Empti enim estis pretio magno!" (1 Cor 6:20), you and I have been bought at a great price.

"We must bring into our life, to make them our own, the life and death of Christ. We must die through mortification and penance, so that Christ may live in us through Love. And then follow in the footsteps of Christ, with a zeal to co-redeem all mankind" (St J. Escriva, "The Way of the Cross", XIV).

18-22. The shedding of Christ's blood was necessary for the ratification of the New Covenant, just as the shedding of blood was needed for that of the Sinai covenant. Moses' action following on his solemn dialogue with God is described here in more detail than in the Exodus 24 account, probably following a Jewish oral tradition. Verse 22 gives the reason why Moses sprinkled the book of the Law, the people, the tabernacle and the ritual vessels: he did so to purify they; it is formulating a very important principle, which rounds off the whole point being made in this chapter--that the shedding of blood is needed for purification and for forgiveness of sins.

Although the Old Testament had "purifications" carried out with water, fire or cereal offerings--for example, cleansing from leprosy uncleanness (cf. Lev 22:6; 14:1ff), or the purification of booty captured from idolators (cf. Num 31:22-23)—In keeping with the Law (cf. Lev 17:11) almost everything was purified with blood in the sense that the sprinkling or anointing which the high priest carried out implied involvement in the essential act of sacrifice--the shedding of blood.

The Jews thought that the principle of life resided in blood, because no one could live without blood. Life and blood were taken as almost identical, and therefore God, the Lord of Life, was also the only owner of the blood. Hence the prohibition, in the Law of Moses, on eating food with blood in it: when a sacrifice was offered, the blood of the victim was reserved to Yahweh. Since many types of purification were done by blood offerings, the text says that "almost everything is purified by blood".

In the case of the simpler types of purification, sprinkling with blood was the most perfect but not the only method; but when it was a matter of obtaining "forgiveness" of sins and not just legal purification, the only recourse was a blood offering. That is why the rabbis used to say, 'There is no atonement without blood". It is true that the Old Testament does speak of sins being forgiven through almsgiving (cf. Tob 4:8-11; 12:9; Dan 4:27), fasting, prayers and other penitential practices, but it is referring to attitudes which express repentance. These attitudes or dispositions would have been ineffective were they not accompanied by worship of the true God by means of sacrifice. In fact both blood sacrifices and interior sacrifices (fasting and penance) were all orientated towards the ultimate sacrifice—the shedding of Christ's blood. Therefore, the principle enunciated by the rabbis, which is the background to v. 22, finds its perfect fulfillment only in Christ's sacrifice: without the shedding of his blood, there is no forgiveness of sin.

"In our case it was Christ, not Moses, who sprinkled us with blood, through the words he spoke: 'This is the blood of the new covenant for the forgiveness of sins.' By these words, not by hyssop smeared by blood, did he sprinkle all. Previously, people's bodies were cleansed externally, because it was a matter of physical purification; whereas now, since the cleansing is spiritual, it penetrates the soul and purifies it, not by mere sprinkling but, as it were, by a fount which wells up in our souls" (St John Chrysostom, Hom. on fileb, 16).

The shedding of Christ's blood is in some way renewed when any sacrament is being administered, particularly so at the eucharistic consecration when the priest repeats the words of consecration, "this is the cup of my blood, the blood of the new and everlasting covenant. It will be shed for you and for all so that sins may be forgiven". Therefore, the Church, in awe at the efficacy of Christ's sacrifice, commemorates his passion in these words: "But when thirty years were over, / time had made that fame mature; / now, his long-predestined passion / Christ will willingly endure: / on the cross the Lamb is lifted--/ Lo! the Victim they secure. / Of the gall he drinks, out-wearied, / thorns and nails and spear have vied, / till the blood and water issue / from his gentle riven side: / earth, sea, stars, yea all creation / lave them in that cleansing tide" ("Liturgy of the Hours", Hymn at lauds in Passiontide, trs. Fitzpatrick).

23-28. In these verses the sacred writer adds some additional considerations to the main line of his argument. His thought centers on linking the sanctuary, the sacrifices which were offered in the Old Testament sanctuary, and the sacrifice of the New Covenant. It was "necessary" for Christ to shed his blood so that men might" receive the promised eternal inheritance" (9:15), that is, forgiveness of their sins (cf. 9:14). This shedding of blood is also necessary for the "purification" of the heavenly things (9:23). The sacrifices of the Mosaic liturgy purified the things of the old sanctuary and, in some way, pointed to forgiveness of sins (9:9, 10). The sacrifice of Christ, on the other hand, really does blot out sin and opens for us the way to heaven itself, giving us entry into that new sanctuary (7:25; 9:12). But the parallel is not a perfect one, for the old sacrifices were multiple and were constantly repeated in petition of forgiveness (9:25). The sacrifice of Christ, on the contrary, is a unique sacrifice, because it is eternally effective (7:27; 9:12). Moreover, whereas the high priest offered a sacrifice not with his own blood but with the blood of animals, Christ offered his own blood in sacrifice. Therefore, Christ has offered himself "once" (7:28; 9:12, 26, 28) in the same sort of way as every man has to die only once and then undergoes judgment. Furthermore, through his sacrifice Christ has passed through the heavens once and for all and will not return to earth to renew his sacrifice. He will not return until the end of time, when he will come in glory.

Two truths interweave here a number of times. The first is that Christ entered forever not into a temple made by man but into heaven itself (9:24; 7:26; 8:1). The second is that Christ also enables us to enter into glory; that is, his sacrifice and his entry into heaven enable man to attain his last end.

27-28. These verses look at three basic truths of Christian belief about the last things--1) the immutable decree of death; 2) the fact that there is a judgment immediately after death; 3) the second coming of Christ, in glory.

"Not to deal with sin": this phrase means that the second coming of Christ or Parousia, will not be for the purpose of redeeming men from sin but rather to bring salvation, that is, glory, to those who placed their hope in him. Christ will come into the world for a second time, but not as Redeemer, for his sacrifice has already eliminated sin once for all; rather, he will come as Judge of all. His coming "is appointed": it is as necessary as death and judgment. These three truths are closely interconnected.

Although man is mortal, "a spiritual element survives and subsists after death, an element endowed with consciousness and will, so that the 'human self' subsists. To designate this element, the Church uses the word 'soul', the accepted term in the usage of Scripture and Tradition" (SCDF, "Letter on Certain Questions Concerning Eschatology", 17 May 1979).

Man, then, is made up of a spiritual and immortal soul and a corruptible body. However, when God originally endowed man with supernatural grace, he gave him additional gifts, the so-called "preternatural" gifts, which included bodily immortality. Adam's disobedience resulted in the loss of his friendship with God and the loss of this preternatural gift. From that point onwards death is "the wages of sin" (Rom 6:23), and it is to this divine decision that the text refers when it says that it "is appointed for men to die" (cf. Gen 3:19, 23; Rom 5:12). The Church has repeatedly stressed that death is a punishment; cf., for example, Pius VI, "Auctorem Fidei", prop. 1, 7: "in our present state (death) is inflicted as a just punishment for sin"; immortality was an "unmerited gift and not a natural condition". Verses 27-28 are an implicit exhortation to watchfulness (cf. also 1 Cor 7:29; Sir 14:12; and "Lumen Gentium", 48).

Immediately after death everyone will be judged on the conduct of his life. All "are to give an account of their lives; those who have done good deeds will go into eternal life; those who have done evil will go into everlasting fire" ("Athanasian Creed"). This is something which reason with the help of God's Word can discover, because people with a correct moral sense realize that good deserves to be rewarded and evil punished, and that it is impossible for this to occur completely in this life. It is difficult to say whether Hebrews 9:27 is referring to the "particular judgment", which happens immediately after death, or to the general judgment, which will take place on the last day. Both interpretations can be supported, for the judgment the verse refers to is connected, on the one hand, with death, and on the other with the second coming of Christ. In any event, it is clear that what is meant is a "personal" judgment, a trial at which each individual will be judged by Christ (cf. 2 Cor 5:10; Rom 14:10). The existence of a general judgment does not conflict with the certainty that there is a particular judgment, for the Church, in line with Sacred Scripture, although it awaits the glorious revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ on the last day, sees that event as distinct from and separate in time from the judgment which every individual will undergo immediately after death (cf. "Letter on Eschatology, op. cit.").

The idea of death and judgment, however, should not only inspire fear; it should also lead us to hope in Christ, for our Lord will come a second time to show himself a merciful judge to "those who are eagerly waiting for him".

Christians, therefore, combine their joyful hope in the establishment of the Kingdom of God, which they wholeheartedly desire, with a desire to make the best possible use of the time allotted to them in this life. "This urgent solicitude of the Church, the Spouse of Christ, for the needs of men--for their joys and hopes, their griefs and labors—is nothing other than her intense desire to share them in full, in order to illuminate men with the light of Christ and to gather together and unite all in him who alone is the Savior of each one of them. This solicitude must never be taken to mean that the Church conforms herself to the things of this world, or that her longing for the coming of her Lord and his eternal reign grows cold" (Paul VI, "Creed of the People of God").

10 posted on 01/23/2023 6:54:59 AM PST by fidelis (👈 Under no obligation to respond to rude, ignorant, abusive, bellicose, and obnoxious posts.)
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To: fidelis
From: Mark 3:22-30

Allegations of the Scribes
[22] And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, "He (Jesus) is possessed by Beelzebul, 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."

Sins Against the Holy Spirit
[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."


22-23. Even Jesus' miracles were misunderstood by these scribes, who accuse Him of being a tool of the prince of devils, Beelzebul. This name may be connected with Beelzebub (which spelling is given in some codexes), the name of a god of the Philistine city of Eqron (Accaron), which means "god of the flies." But it is more likely that the prince of devils is called Beelzebul, which means "god of excrement": "excrement" is the word Jews used to describe pagan sacrifices. Whether Beelzebub or Beelzebul, in the last analysis it refers to him to whom these sacrifices were offered, the devil (1 Corinthians 10:20). He is the same mysterious but real person whom Jesus calls Satan, which means "the enemy", whose dominion over the world Christ has come to wrest from him (1 Corinthians 15:24-28; Colossians 1:13f) in an unceasing struggle (Matthew 4:1-10; John 16:11). These names show us that the devil really exists: he is a real person who has at his beck and call others of his kind (Mark 5:9).

24-27. Our Lord invites the Pharisees, who are blind and obstinate, to think along these lines: if someone expels the devil this means he is stronger than the devil: once more we are exhorted to recognize in Jesus the God of strength, the God who uses His power to free man from enslavement to the devil. Satan's dominion has come to an end: the prince of this world is about to be cast out. Jesus' victory over the power of darkness, which is completed by His death and resurrection, shows that the light has already entered the world, as our Lord Himself told us: "Now is the judgment of this world, now shall the ruler of this world be cast out; and I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself" (John 12:31-32).

28-30. Jesus has just worked a miracle but the scribes refuse to recognize it "for they had said `He has an unclean spirit'" (verse 30). They do not want to admit that God is the author of the miracle. In this attitude lies the special gravity of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit--attributing to the prince of evil, to Satan, the good works performed by God Himself. Anyone acting in this way will become like the sick person who has so lost confidence in the doctor that he rejects him as if an enemy and regards as poison the medicine that can save his life. That is why our Lord says that he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not forgiven: not because God cannot forgive all sins, but because that person, in his blindness towards God, rejects Jesus Christ, His teaching and His miracles, and despises the graces of the Holy Spirit as if they were designed to trap him (cf. "St. Pius V Catechism", II, 5, 19; St. Thomas Aquinas, "Summa theologiae", II-II, q. 14, a. 3).

Source: Daily Word for Reflection—Navarre Bible

11 posted on 01/23/2023 6:55:21 AM PST by fidelis (👈 Under no obligation to respond to rude, ignorant, abusive, bellicose, and obnoxious posts.)
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To: fidelis
Click here to go to the My Catholic Life! Devotional thread for today’s Gospel Reading
12 posted on 01/23/2023 6:57:53 AM PST by fidelis (👈 Under no obligation to respond to rude, ignorant, abusive, bellicose, and obnoxious posts.)
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