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GOD'S WILL


 

 

 

BURNT OFFERINGS AND SACRIFICES

Burnt offerings were offered to God in the Old Testament;  these foreshadowed the sacrifice of the New Testament which consisted in "I come to do Thy will."  These burnt offerings were offered many times in the Old Testament because they really were not working.  The New Testament sacrifice was offered only once and it worked;  as in medicines, to heal, the excellent medicine has to be applied only once.  

In the Old Testament, there was an arraignment of sins and not a release from sin, an arraignment of weakness, not an exhibition of strength.  So the repetition of sacrifices was evidence of its non-effectiveness; man's continuous slavery to sin, an evidence of weakness.  So, like a photo-picture of man, the Old Testament sacrifice had the image of a true sacrifice but not the life and power of a true sacrifice.  

"He had appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself."  He made sin contemptible for sin lost its boldness.  Because of sin, we should be punished and destroyed; but now we can destroy sin instead.  

The New Testament sacrifice consisted in "a remembrance of My death."  The sacrifice was made once daily; the rest will consist in just "a remembrance" of that one sacrifice.  We offer the same sacrifice.  We do not offer a sacrifice today and another tomorrow.  

Which is more profitable?  To partake of the sacrifice rarely or to partake daily?  It is not the number of times that count but the disposition of the partaker.  The partaker must have a pure conscience, a pure heart and an irreproachable life.  Of course, with such a disposition, you are encouraged to partake more often.  The New Testament sacrifice must not be received carelessly and by chance.  The sick eat different food;  strong food is for the healthy.  The sick could get sicker if they ate strong food.  The same goes with those who are spiritually unhealthy.  

In the early times of the Catholic Church, the deacon used to announce before Holy Communication, "The Holy Things for the Holy."  He is accusing no one.  Each man must accuse himself.  If anyone is not holy, let him not draw near. . .not merely free from sin. . . you must go one step further;  you must be holy, i.e. possessed of a wealth of good works.  

"To do Thy Will; To give myself up,"  this is the sacrifice of the New Testament.  

St. John Chrysostom: "On Heb."

 

 

 

 

 

(11-05-04)

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