Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Bring me a three-year-old heifer

A few Sunday's ago, the Word of the Lord told us, “The Lord God took Abram outside and said…” Did anyone pause and ask themselves, “Why is Christ telling me this?” or did it just go over everyone’s head, in one ear and out of the other?

There are some very strange things in that passage. First, the Lord takes Abram out in the daylight, tells him to look up at the sky, and count the stars. How many stars can you count in the daytime? Secondly, when Abram asks God, “How am I to know that I shall possess [the land],” God answers, “Bring me a three-year-old heifer…” What was Jesus telling us?

 Christ desires that we think. The more our minds contemplate Christ, the more we love Him, the more we obey Him. God takes Abram outside in the daylight. Light signifies being enlightened in Truth. “Abram put his faith in the Lord, who credited it to him as an act of righteousness.” God said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars, if you can.” Although stars can very seldom be seen in daylight, they are there. By this, Christ is referring to those descendants of Abraham who will trust in God by faith. They are future; they cannot be seen; yet they are there. We know they are those of faith for God was also talking about the Land He was going to give to Abraham after Abraham was dead. We know this because Abram asked, how am I to know that I shall possess “it”? God was not referring to Abraham’s descendants through Ishmael, but those descendants through Isaac.

“Bring me a three-year-old heifer…” This is a covenant, and Abraham knew that God was making a covenant with him. This brings my mind to Jesus and the New Covenant.

We live by Faith. Christ is our Hope. This “hope” is not wishful thinking; it is concrete—as long as we persevere in the Faith. We persevere when we live by the doctrines of the Catholic Church, the Body of Christ, of whom Jesus is the Head. Nevertheless, we are weak; therefore, we ask, “How am I to really know I shall make it to the Fatherland?” Now hear Him speak, “Bring me a Sacrifice.” Familiar? We call it “the Mass,” the summit of which is the Eucharist. In it, we have Jesus perpetually crucified, perpetually risen, and perpetually ascending—reigning. We are on a journey for we are exiled pilgrims. There will be times that “deep, terrifying darkness” will envelope us, but Christ has overcome the world and will lead us through them, delivering us. “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear?”

The Gospel account (Lk 9:28-36) is the promised outcome. The epistle reading is a guideline on how to live and how to persevere.

People have accused me of not being able to think for myself because I try to live by the doctrines of the Catholic Church, often referring to “the Church.” They accuse the Church of taking away our freedom to think. The Catholic Church does not tell us what to think, but it does give us guidelines (doctrines) to shape our thinking. We do this to our children. We do not tell them, “I can’t tell you what to think about drugs; you’ll have to arrive at your own conclusions.” That would be telling them to use drugs and find out for themselves. As Catholics, we are members of The Church. Our doctrines do not come from men; they come from Jesus, our Head.

 We are either going to allow Jesus to give us guidelines for our thoughts, or we are going to allow creatures (the world) to dictate those guidelines. Which one is true--the Creator or the created (the creature/the world)? Due to concupiscence, many times we initially lean to the world’s way of think; it “seems” to be more practical; but it is a lie and leads to destruction, e.g. sex, birth control, abortion, homosexuality, etc. It is the Creator/Savior who knows Truth, who is Truth. Concupiscence and sin always make us lean toward untruth. Christ will not deceive His Body, the Catholic Church. T.T.