All the priests stand at their duty every day, offering sacrifices, over and over again which are quite incapable of taking sins away. The Jewish priesthood is a shadow of what was to come... How should we consider the old sacrifice and the New? Why did we need the True Sacrifice? How are we sanctified by this Sacrifice?
God has given each person with gifts and blessings. Every single gift we have is exactly that, a gift given by God. Given for his own good pleasure and according to his purposes. We can think of a garden with many kinds of flowers, some flowers are more beautiful than others. Is that a reason for one person to be jealous over another?
We have been given a gift, a precious faith which we have received at baptism. This faith is objective, not something we feel. It is concrete and explicit. It is manifested and articulated in doctrine. We must know the doctrine, this is what we have to believe if we are to be saved...
Our faith is important, your believing means that other people will receive grace. Your believing is the very means by which God has chosen to bring others to salvation. Why do you think the devil is so eager to break our faith, to destroy our practices?
There are many ways we can do penance. But what kind of penance does God want from us; the acceptance of the difficulties of each day (that is enough for those who are lukewarm). Those who want to make progress in spiritual life need to undertake more serious penances. How can you make effective sacrifices in your daily life?
After Our Lord, having delivered the beatitudes on the mount, He came down and immediately a leper came to Him and He cured the leper. Now we hear how Our Lord makes His way to Capernaum and the centurion makes his way to Him. Mystically we understand that in the leper we see the healing of the people of Israel and in the coming of the centurion the healing of the gentiles. In the case of the centurion, he comes on behalf of his servant whom he describes, ‘my servant is lying at home paralysed and in great pain’ which indeed is the condition of the gentiles.
Our Blessed Lord having been baptised, beginning His redemption of the Human race, starts off by calling the apostles so that they might be witnesses of His teaching, of His miracles and above all of His Resurrection. He chose them at the start of His mission so that they should be there from the very beginning, for this is the criteria used by St. Peter, when it was time to replace Judas who abandoned his post. St. Peter said we should choose someone who was with us from the very beginning.
Our Lord reaches the shores of Galilee, we are told that He then went up into the hills. Whenever He goes into the hills it is to remind us that we cannot find satisfaction, or healing or indeed salvation in the low places, but rather we must ascend into the heights. And so we find all the great revelations of God are found in the Hills, Moses on mount Sinai, and on mount Tabor, the Lord Himself was transfigured - and He ascended from the mount of Olives.
St Paul in the first letter to the Thessalonians tell us that, urges that we should make more and more progress in the kind of life we are meant to live. What kind of life? The life that God wants. How do we know the kind of life that God wants us to live? The apostle himself tells us, ‘as you learnt from us and as you are already living it.’ So St. Paul himself taught the Thessalonians what God required of them and the Thessalonians had actually began to put this into practise.
The rebellion of our first parents resulted in them being cast out of paradise and as a consequence, we who are destined to be in paradise were cast out with them. The gifts which God had given to our parents, the gifts of integrity; that is first and foremost the clearness of intellect, secondly, the will to do that which we wish; that is the good for which we were created, thirdly the control over our senses and our body and of course we must not forget the gift of God’s own life in our souls. These and other things are the preternatural gifts, which we lost.
Our Saviour is teaching. We’re told that He was doing so in a house. We are also told that His audience consisted of Pharisees and doctors of the law. That is experts in scripture, experts in law, in the prophets. What was more, that they came from every village in Galilee, from Judea as well as from Jerusalem. So there is a sense that these Pharisees and doctors had come to examine our Lord, since they came from right across the country. We are told that the power of the Lord were behind His works of healing.