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Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Thursday, January 10, 2019


Leviticus[1] begins, Moses has just led the Israelites out of Egypt in one of the most exciting adventures of all time. Burning Bush. Amazing plagues. A march through the sea. Meeting God on a mountain. So, after all that, there's only one thing a red-hot writer can do when folks are begging for more. Give the people what they want—twenty-four chapters filled with lists of laws, along with a couple blink-and-they're gone stories where people die because they sinned. Hmmm.
At first glance, Leviticus would seem to be The Phantom Menace of the Bible, just with purity rules and animal sacrifice instead of the taxation of trade routes. And you know what? Our response to Leviticus isn't just a modern one. Way back in the 2nd century CE, an influential Christian theologian named Origen wrote:
Provide someone with a reading from Leviticus and at once the listener will gag and push it away as if were some bizarre food. He came, after all, to learn how to honor God, to take in the teachings that concern justice and piety. But instead he is now hearing about the ritual of burnt sacrifices!
The thing is, unlike Jar Jar Binks, Leviticus was indeed what the people wanted. It was a way for people to make sense of everyday life. Violence, community, money, power—even if the Bible doesn't always match our own sense of what's right, it definitely provided answers for the masses back in the day. Remember, this was a world where sacrificing animals taught the importance of respecting animal life. A ban on tattoos helped curb slavery. Being fair in business meant forcing people to give back what they've bought. And laws on sexual intercourse—well, those might not have actually been about sex at all. So, as you roam around Leviticus, remember to check your preconceptions at the giant curtain that is the Tabernacle's door. These boring laws are biblical Transformers—much more than meets the eye.

Why Should I Care?

Gay rights. Immigrant rights. Atheism. And yes, even vampires and child sacrifice. Leviticus might have been written for goat herders and farmers more than 2500 years ago, but in recent years, it has moved from the margins to the mainstream in pop culture and political debates.
Yet for all the t-shirts, internet memes, magazine essays, and YouTube videos using quotes from Leviticus to make their point, how all these verses fit together can be as hard to figure out as why God thinks it's an abomination to wear a polyester-cotton blend. Sure, it's a steep mountain to climb, but it's worth it. Leviticus is a treasure trove of rich ideas that are all the more valuable because only a clever few dare to find them.
  • Books from Dracula to The Hunger Games have built on images from Leviticus to create compelling (and not-so-compelling) worlds.
  • A co-founder of PayPal and early investor in Facebook used insights from Leviticus to build a billion-dollar empire and promote social change.
  • Long before Xbox and smart phones, Leviticus used virtual space and gaming to map out new strategies for day-to-day life.
  • New generations of readers are discovering that what Leviticus says about ethics, community and scientific progress may not be as archaic as it seems.
So, come on. Let's crack open the doors of this sealed chamber and light up the place with a little strange fire. Pretty soon everyone will marvel at your level-12 literary intelligence when you show them that the so-called most boring book of the Bible is actually more than just a bunch of dusty old rules about cows and pigs and sacrifices and why sex is eeeeeeeevil.

January 10 Thursday after Epiphany

Leviticus, Chapter 19, verse 14
You shall not insult the deaf, or put a stumbling block in front of the blind, but you shall fear your God. I am the LORD.

Be like your Heavenly Father; God is not a bully. Christ was often confronted by the bullies of his time. When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them [a scholar of the law] tested him by asking, “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.” (Mt. 22:34-40)

The modern world attempts to bully the faithful in abandoning their relationship with the Lord. Saint Pope Pius X was a pope, who resisted the bullying of the modern world by establishing an oath against modernism[2]. The crux of this oath has five main points:

1.      I profess that God is the origin and end of all things.
2.      I accept and acknowledge the external proofs of revelation, that is, divine acts and especially miracles and prophecies as the surest signs of the divine origin of the Christian religion.
3.      I believe with equally firm faith that the Church, the guardian and teacher of the revealed word, was personally instituted by the real and historical Christ.
4.      I sincerely hold that the doctrine of faith was handed down to us from the apostles through the orthodox Fathers in exactly the same meaning and always in the same purport.
5.      I hold with certainty and sincerely confess that faith is not a blind sentiment of religion welling up from the depths of the subconscious under the impulse of the heart and the motion of a will trained to morality; but faith is a genuine assent of the intellect to truth.

Christmas Weekday - Day Seventeen[3]

Every country in the world has its own Christmas customs. Christmas in Australia is often very hot. Whereas the northern hemisphere is in the middle of winter, Australians are baking in summer heat. It is not unusual to have Christmas Day well into the mid 30 degrees Celsius, or near 100 degrees Fahrenheit. A traditional meal includes a turkey dinner, with ham, and pork. A flaming Christmas plum pudding is added for dessert. In the Australian gold rushes, Christmas puddings often contained a gold nugget. Today a small favor is baked inside. Whoever finds this knows that they will enjoy good luck. Another treat is Mince Pies. It is Father Christmas who brings the presents to the Australian children on Christmas Eve. Homes and gardens are decorated with greenery, Christmas tree and fairy lights. Seasonal plants are the Christmas bush and the Christmas bell.

·         Day Seventeen activity (Candles by Candlelight)
·         Day Seventeen recipe (Australian Christmas Pudding)

Complete My Joy[4]
The Mission of Every Christian Family

48. Having looked at the nature of the family, marriage, and marital love we can now look at the family’s mission. When family life is lived in accord with the dignity inherent to it, it heals and re-evangelizes the Body of Christ so that the light of Christ can shine forth to all peoples. This again, is because the family reflects the love of the Holy Trinity: “The family has the mission to guard, reveal and communicate love”—the love of the Trinity and Christ’s love for the Church.
49. This mission is carried out by fathers being fathers, by mothers being mothers, by sons being sons, and by daughters being daughters. St. John Paul II did not say “Family, do what you are” or “Family, strive to make yourselves a family.” Rather, he said “Family, become what you are”: Family allow your nature as a communion of love to grow, develop, mature, and overflow into the world with a generosity of life and joy. Living “in a manner worthy of the call you have received” (Eph. 4:1) depends firstly upon accepting that calling from God.

50. “Your mission, should you choose to accept it…” begins the drama of every Mission Impossible film.

Family, become what you are. ST. JOHN PAUL II

Do you accept your mission, Mom and Dad? Unlike the films, this mission is very possible, though difficult; like the films, you must personally accept the mission.

49 Godly Character Traits[5]

During this New Year let us take up the nature of God by reflecting on these traits that make us a model for our children and our sisters and brothers in Christ. Today reflect on:

Thoroughness vs. Incompleteness

Knowing what factors will diminish the effectiveness of my work or words if neglected (Proverbs 18:15)

175 "We guard with care the faith that we have received from the Church, for without ceasing, under the action of God's Spirit, this deposit of great price, as if in an excellent vessel, is constantly being renewed and causes the very vessel that contains it to be renewed."

1426 Conversion to Christ, the new birth of Baptism, the gift of the Holy Spirit and the Body and Blood of Christ received as food have made us "holy and without blemish," just as the Church herself, the Bride of Christ, is "holy and without blemish." Nevertheless, the new life received in Christian initiation has not abolished the frailty and weakness of human nature, nor the inclination to sin that tradition calls concupiscence, which remains in the baptized such that with the help of the grace of Christ they may prove themselves in the struggle of Christian life. This is the struggle of conversion directed toward holiness and eternal life to which the Lord never ceases to call us.

The Way[6] Mortification

"Read these counsels slowly. Pause to meditate on these thoughts. They are things that I whisper in your ear-confiding them-as a friend, as a brother, as a father. And they are being heard by God. I won't tell you anything new. I will only stir your memory, so that some thought will arise and strike you; and so you will better your life and set out along ways of prayer and of Love. And in the end you will be a more worthy soul."

You always come out beaten. Propose to yourself, each time, the salvation of a particular soul, or its sanctification, or its vocation to the apostolate. If you do so, you are certain of victory.

Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Universal Man Plan

[2] http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?id=5732

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