Friday, March 5, 2021

Cotidie Ministrans | Religious Duties

"Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins." - Hebrews 10: 11 (NIV)

Is everyone – who chooses and is called to be a priest, a nun, a brother – or are all of us – who have become Catholics – certain to have received the salvation promised by Jesus Christ? Does salvation automatically belong to an individual or a community of faith? “For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year.” (Heb 10: 2-3)

Today's reading challenges our faith! Do we, who almost every day go to church and celebrate the Eucharist on Sundays also offer sacrifices in prayers and devotion, surely get Christ's salvation?

The frequency with which we enter the church is not a measure of our faith. It could be that people go to church just to show off their new clothes and fashion, or maybe they need a recognition to be called as godly and role models. It also could be someone else who is just following a regular routine so he won't be labelled lazy. Today's reading really challenges us! Indeed, Jesus' intention was clearly conveyed to the Israelites who regularly made sacrificial offerings. Jesus strongly condemned the Israelites for merely observing the sacrificial offerings as a religious routine and the law of Torah solely.

We as humans are not only far from God. By sinning we have wronged and defiled ourselves. In a state of sin we no longer deserve to face God. Therefore we must be grateful. The death and resurrection of Christ renew our lives from a state of sin to a new purification, a new life. We are even grateful to have got this precious opportunity from the sacrifice of Jesus himself.

This does not mean for us to be arrogant. Instead, a challenge for us of how to live our faith properly. Do we go to church just to carry out our religious routine? Do we consider ourselves holier than others?


Reflection on Hebrews 10: 1-18 by Sandre Loreng, SVD

 (Listen to the Podcast here)

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