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Exodus 29

1 ‘This is what you will do to them, to consecrate them to my priesthood. Take one young bull and two rams without blemish;

2 also unleavened bread, unleavened cakes mixed with oil, and unleavened wafers spread with oil, made from fine wheat flour,

3 and put these into a basket and present them in the basket, at the same time as the bull and the two rams.

4 ‘You will bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting and bathe them.

5 You will then take the vestments and dress Aaron in the tunic, the robe of the ephod, the ephod, and the breastplate, and tie the waistband of the ephod round his waist.

6 Then you will place the turban on his head, and on it put the symbol of holy consecration.

7 You will then take the anointing oil and pour it on his head and so anoint him.

8 ‘Next, you will bring his sons and dress them in tunics,

9 and fasten waistbands round their waists and put the head-dresses on their heads. By perpetual decree the priesthood will be theirs. Then you will invest Aaron and his sons.

10 ‘You will bring the bull in front of the Tent of Meeting, and Aaron and his sons will lay their hands on the bull’s head.

11 You will then slaughter the bull before Yahweh at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting.

12 You will then take some of the bull’s blood and with your finger put it on the horns of the altar. Next, pour out the rest of the blood at the foot of the altar.

13 And then take all the fat covering the entrails, the fatty mass over the liver, the two kidneys with their covering fat, and burn them on the altar.

14 But the young bull’s flesh, its skin and its offal, you will burn outside the camp, for this is a sin offering.

15 ‘Next, you will take one of the rams, and Aaron and his sons will lay their hands on the ram’s head.

16 You will then slaughter the ram, take its blood and pour it against the altar, all round.

17 Next, cut the ram into quarters, wash the entrails and legs and put them on the quarters and head.

18 Then burn the whole ram on the altar. This will be a burnt offering for Yahweh, a pleasing smell, a food offering burnt for Yahweh.

19 ‘Next, you will take the other ram, and Aaron and his sons will lay their hands on the ram’s head.

20 You will then slaughter the ram, take some of its blood and put it on the lobe of Aaron’s right ear, on the lobes of his sons’ right ears, the thumbs of their right hands, and the big toes of their right feet, and pour the rest of the blood against the altar, all round.

21 You will then take some of the blood on the altar and some of the anointing oil, and sprinkle it on Aaron and his vestments and on his sons and on his sons’ vestments: so that he and his vestments will be consecrated and his sons too, and his sons’ vestments.

22 ‘You will then take the fatty parts of the ram: the tail, the fat covering the entrails, the fatty mass over the liver, the two kidneys with their covering fat and also the right thigh — for this is a ram of investiture-

23 and a loaf of bread, a cake of bread made with oil, and a wafer, from the basket of unleavened bread before Yahweh,

24 and put it all on the palms of Aaron and his sons, and make the gesture of offering before Yahweh.

25 Then you will take them back and burn them on the altar, on top of the burnt offering, as a smell pleasing before Yahweh, a food offering burnt for Yahweh.

26 ‘You will then take the forequarters of the ram of Aaron’s investiture and with it make the gesture of offering before Yahweh; this willbe your portion.

27 You will consecrate the forequarters that have been thus offered, as also the thigh that is set aside — what has been offered and what has been set aside from the ram of investiture of Aaron and his sons.

28 This, by perpetual decree, will be the portion that Aaron and his sons will receive from the Israelites, since it is the portion set aside, the portion set aside for Yahweh by the Israelites from their communion sacrifices: a portion set aside for Yahweh.

29 ‘Aaron’s sacred vestments must pass to his sons after him, and they will wear them for their anointing and investiture.

30 Whichever of the sons of Aaron succeeds him in the priesthood and enters the Tent of Meeting to serve in the sanctuary, will wear them for seven days.

31 ‘You will take the ram of investiture and cook its meat in a holy place.

32 Aaron and his sons will eat the meat of the ram and the bread which is in the basket, at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting.

33 They will eat what was used in making expiation for them at their investiture and consecration. No unauthorised person may eat these; they are holy things.

34 If any of the meat from the investiture sacrifice, or the bread, should be left till morning, you will burn what is left. It may not be eaten; it is a holy thing.

35 This is what you will do for Aaron and his sons, implementing all the orders I have given you. You will take seven days over their investiture.

36 ‘On each of the days you will also offer a young bull as a sacrifice for sin, in expiation. You will offer a sin sacrifice for the altar when you make expiation for it; then you will consecrate it by anointing it.

37 For seven days you will make expiation for the altar, then you will consecrate it; it will then be especially holy, and whatever touches the altar will become holy.

38 ‘This is what you must offer on the altar: two yearling male lambs each day in perpetuity.

39 The first lamb you will offer at dawn, and the second at twilight,

40 and with the first lamb, one-tenth of a measure of fine flour mixed with one-quarter of a hin of pounded olive oil and, for a libation, one-quarter of a hin of wine.

41 The second lamb you will offer at twilight, and do it with a similar cereal offering and libation as at dawn, as a pleasing smell, as an offering burnt for Yahweh,

42 a perpetual burnt offering for all your generations to come, at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting before Yahweh, where I shall meet you and speak to you.

43 ‘There I shall meet the Israelites in the place consecrated by my glory.

44 I shall consecrate the Tent of Meeting and the altar; I shall also consecrate Aaron and his sons, to be priests in my service.

45 And I shall live with the Israelites and be their God,

46 and they will know that I am Yahweh their God, who brought them out of Egypt to live among them: I, Yahweh their God.’

Leviticus 21

1 Yahweh said to Moses: ‘Speak to the priests descended from Aaron and say: “None of them must make himself unclean by touching the corpse of one of his people,

2 unless it be of one of his closest relations-father, mother, son, daughter, brother,

3 or virgin sister, since she being unmarried is still his close relation: he can make himself unclean for her;

4 but for a close female relation who is married he will not make himself unclean; he would profane himself.

5 “They will not make tonsures on their heads, shave the edges of their beards, or gash their bodies.

6 They will be consecrated to their God and will not profane the name of their God. For their function is to offer the food burnt for Yahweh, the food of their God, and so they must be holy.

7 “They will not marry a woman profaned by prostitution, or one divorced by her husband, for the priest is consecrated to his God.

8 “You will treat him as holy, for he offers the food of your God. For you, he will be a holy person, for I, Yahweh, who sanctify you, am holy.

9 “If a priest’s daughter profanes herself by prostitution, she profanes her father and will be burnt alive.

10 “The priest who is pre-eminent over his brothers, on whose head the anointing oil has been poured, and who, robed in the sacred vestments, has received investiture, will not disorder his hair or tear his clothes;

11 he will not go near any corpse or make himself unclean even for his father or mother.

12 He will not leave the holy place in such a way as to profane the sanctuary of his God; for he bears the consecration of the anointing oil of his God. I am Yahweh.

13 “He will marry a woman who is still a virgin.

14 He will not marry a woman who has been widowed or divorced or profaned by prostitution, but will marry a virgin from his own people:

15 he must not make his own children profane, for I, Yahweh, have sanctified him.” ‘

16 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said:

17 ‘Speak to Aaron and say: “None of your descendants, for all time, may come forward to offer the food of his God if he has any infirmity,

18 for none may come forward if he has an infirmity, be he blind or lame, disfigured or deformed,

19 or with an injured foot or arm,

20 a hunchback, someone with rickets or ophthalmia or the scab or running sores, or a eunuch.

21 No descendant of the priest Aaron may come forward to offer the food burnt for Yahweh if he has any infirmity; if he has an infirmity, he will not come forward to offer the food of his God.

22 “He may eat the food of his God, things especially holy and things holy,

23 but he will not go near the curtain or approach the altar, since he has an infirmity and must not profane my holy things; for I, Yahweh, have sanctified them.” ‘

24 And Moses promulgated this to Aaron, to his sons, and to all the Israelites.

Psalm 119:121-176

121 All my conduct has been just and upright, do not hand me over to my oppressors.

122 Guarantee the well-being of your servant, do not let the proud oppress me.

123 My eyes are languishing for your salvation and for the saving justice you have promised.

124 Show your faithful love to your servant, teach me your judgements.

125 Your servant am I; give me understanding and I shall know your instructions.

126 It is time to take action, Yahweh, your Law is being broken.

127 So I love your commandments more than gold, purest gold.

128 So I rule my life by your precepts, I hate all deceptive paths.

129 Wonderful are your instructions, so I observe them.

130 As your word unfolds it gives light, and even the simple understand.

131 I open wide my mouth, panting eagerly for your commandments.

132 Turn to me, pity me; those who love your name deserve it.

133 Keep my steps firm in your promise; that no evil may triumph over me.

134 Rescue me from human oppression, and I will observe your precepts.

135 Let your face shine on your servant, teach me your will.

136 My eyes stream with tears because your Law is disregarded.

137 You are upright, Yahweh, and your judgements are honest.

138 You impose uprightness as a witness to yourself, it is constancy itself.

139 My zeal is burning me up because my oppressors forget your word.

140 Your promise is well tested, your servant holds it dear.

141 Puny and despised as I am, I do not forget your precepts.

142 Your saving justice is for ever just, and your Law is trustworthy.

143 Though anguish and distress grip me your commandments are my delight.

144 Your instructions are upright for ever, give me understanding and I shall live.

145 I call with all my heart; answer me, Yahweh, and I will observe your judgements.

146 I call to you; save me, and I will keep your instructions.

147 I am awake before dawn to cry for help, I put my hope in your word.

148 My eyes are awake before each watch of the night, to ponder your promise.

149 In your faithful love, Yahweh, listen to my voice, let your judgements give me life.

150 My pursuers are coming closer to their wicked designs, and further from your Law.

151 You are close to me, Yahweh, and all your commandments are true.

152 Long have I known that your instructions were laid down to last for ever.

153 Look at my suffering and rescue me, for I do not forget your Law.

154 Plead my cause and defend me; as you promised, give me life.

155 Salvation is far from the wicked, for they do not seek your will.

156 Your kindnesses to me are countless, Yahweh; true to your judgements, give me life.

157 Though my enemies and oppressors are countless, I do not turn aside from your instructions.

158 The sight of these renegades appals me; they do not observe your promise.

159 See how I love your precepts; true to your faithful love, give me life.

160 Faithfulness is the essence of your word, your upright judgements hold good for ever.

161 Though princes hound me unprovoked, what fills me with awe is your word.

162 I rejoice in your promise like one who finds a vast treasure.

163 Falsehood I hate and detest, my love is for your Law.

164 Seven times a day I praise you for your upright judgements.

165 Great peace for those who love your Law; no stumbling-blocks for them!

166 I am waiting for your salvation, Yahweh, I fulfil your commandments.

167 I observe your instructions, I love them dearly.

168 I observe your precepts, your judgements, for all my ways are before you.

169 May my cry approach your presence, Yahweh; by your word give me understanding.

170 May my prayer come into your presence, rescue me as you have promised.

171 May my lips proclaim your praise, for you teach me your will.

172 May my tongue recite your promise, for all your commandments are upright.

173 May your hand be there to help me, since I have chosen your precepts.

174 I long for your salvation, Yahweh, your Law is my delight.

175 May I live only to praise you, may your judgements be my help.

176 I am wandering like a lost sheep, come and look for your servant, for I have not forgotten your commandments.

Thoughts and Reflection

The priests of the New Covenant are ordained to lead the people in worship. They are called to be our intercessors. By definition, priests are called to be holy and live a certain way. At times priests and Christians fail to live up to the call to be holy as the Lord.

Let us pray and keep the priests in our minds so they will live holy lives and be faithful to the call of Jesus. Let us also pray that when we go astray, we will tell God that we have and have him seek us out. Pray that we may be brought home by the Lord who loves you.

In my upbringing, I have gone to many masses and received my sacraments starting from kindergarten on in Catholic schools. My interactions with priests have been positive and I was always struck by how they care for the whole church family. I hope that everyone will experience this love and intercession as I have through the years.

About This Project

For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!

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