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Thoughts and Reflection

Today we learn that we need to worship God in the manner he commanded and wants us to and not invent our own form of worship. When we go to Mass, the priests offer sacrifices that are outlined in the Old Testament and New Testament as Jesus commanded his apostles to do in memory of him. The worship that God instructs us is to shape our lives. It’s important to remember that going to Mass once a week for an hour isn’t enough, it must be at the heart of our lives.

In Leviticus, we read about the “sabbatical year”. During this year the Lord commands us to rest from planting and harvesting the Earth and this is similar to the sabbath rest on the seventh day. We can extrapolate this to our current lives, where we live in a culture of workaholism and consumerism. God wants us to rest from our labors and help us realize that we are sons and daughters of God.

What does it mean to be holy for God? Are there areas of your life that you are not living up to this call?

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!

Daily Readings

Exodus 35

1 Moses assembled the whole community of Israelites and said, ‘These are the things Yahweh has ordered to be done:

2 Work must be done for six days, but the seventh must be a holy day for you, a day of complete rest, in honour of Yahweh. Anyone who does any work on that day will be put to death.

3 You will not light a fire on the Sabbath day in any of your homes.’

4 Moses spoke to the whole community of Israelites. ‘This’, he said, ‘is what Yahweh has ordered:

5 Set aside a contribution for Yahweh out of your possessions. Everyone whose heart prompts him to do so should bring a contribution for Yahweh: gold, silver and bronze;

6 materials dyed violet-purple, red-purple and crimson, finely woven linen, goats’ hair,

7 rams’ skins dyed red, fine leather, acacia wood,

8 oil for the light, spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense;

9 cornelian and other stones to be set in the ephod and breastplate.

10 And all those of you who have the skill must come and make everything that Yahweh has ordered:

11 the Dwelling, its tent and its covering, its clasps and its frames, its crossbars, its pillars and its sockets;

12 the ark, its shafts and all its accessories, the mercy-seat and the screening curtain;

13 the table, its shafts and all its accessories, and the loaves of permanent offering;

14 the lamp-stand for the light, its accessories, its lamps, and the oil for the light;

15 the altar of incense and its shafts, the anointing oil, the fragrant incense, and the screen for the entrance, for the entrance of the tent;

16 the altar of burnt offerings and its bronze grating, its shafts, and all its accessories; the basin and its stand;

17 the curtaining for the court, its poles, its sockets, and the screen for the entrance to the court;

18 the pegs for the Dwelling and the pegs for the court, and their cords;

19 the liturgical vestments for service in the sanctuary — the sacred vestments for Aaron the priest, and the vestments for his sons, for their priestly functions.’

20 The whole community of Israelites then withdrew from Moses’ presence.

21 And all those whose heart stirred them and all those whose spirit prompted them brought a contribution for Yahweh, for the work on the Tent of Meeting, for its general service and for the sacred vestments.

22 Men and women, they came, all those whose heart prompted them, bringing brooches, rings, bracelets, necklaces, golden objects of every kind — all those who had vowed gold to Yahweh,

23 while all those who happened to own violet-purple, red-purple or crimson materials, finely woven linen, goats’ hair, rams’ skins dyed red, or fine leather, brought that.

24 All those offering a contribution of silver or bronze brought their contribution for Yahweh and all who happened to own acacia wood, suitable for any of the work to be done, brought that.

25 All the skilled women set their hands to spinning, and brought what they had spun: violet-purple, red-purple or crimson materials, and fine linen,

26 while all those women whose heart stirred them by virtue of their skill, spun goats’ hair.

27 The leaders brought cornelians and other stones to be set in the ephod and breastplate,

28 and the spices and oil for the light, for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense.

29 All those Israelites, men and women, whose heart prompted them to contribute to the entire work that Yahweh had ordered through Moses to be done, brought a contribution to Yahweh.

30 Moses then said to the Israelites, ‘Look, Yahweh has singled out Bezalel son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah,

31 and has filled him with the spirit of God in wisdom, knowledge and skill in every kind of craft:

32 in designing and carrying out work in gold and silver and bronze,

33 in cutting stones to be set, in wood carving and in executing every kind of work.

34 And on him and on Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, he has bestowed the gift of teaching,

35 and filled them with the skill to carry out every kind of work, that of the engraver, that of the embroiderer, that of the needleworker in violet-purple, red-purple and crimson materials and fine linen, that of the weaver, and indeed that of every kind of craftsman and designer.’

Exodus 36

1 ‘Bezalel, Oholiab and all the men whom Yahweh has endowed with the skill and knowledge to know how to carry out all the work to be done on the sanctuary, will do exactly as Yahweh has ordered.’

2 Moses then summoned Bezalel, Oholiab and all the skilled men whose hearts Yahweh had endowed with skill, all whose heart stirred them to come forward and do the work.

3 From Moses they received everything that the Israelites had brought as contributions for carrying out the work of building the sanctuary, and, as they went on bringing their offerings every morning,

4 the skilled men who were doing all the work for the sanctuary, all left their particular work

5 and said to Moses, ‘The people are bringing more than is needed for the work Yahweh has ordered to be done.’

6 Moses then gave the order and proclamation was made throughout the camp, ‘No one, whether man or woman, must do anything more towards contributing for the sanctuary.’ So the people were prevented from bringing any more,

7 for the material to hand was enough, and more than enough, to complete all the work.

8 All the most skilled of the men doing the work made the Dwelling. Moses made it with ten sheets of finely woven linen, dyed violet-purple, red-purple and crimson and embroidered with great winged creatures.

9 The length of a single sheet was twenty-eight cubits, its width four cubits, all the sheets being of the same size.

10 He joined five of the sheets to one another, and the other five sheets to one another.

11 He made violet loops along the edge of the first sheet, at the end of the set, and did the same along the edge of the last sheet in the other set.

12 He made fifty loops on the first sheet and fifty loops along the outer edge of the sheet of the second set, the loops corresponding to one another.

13 He made fifty gold clasps and joined the sheets together with the clasps. In this way the Dwelling was a unified whole.

14 Next he made sheets of goats’ hair for the tent over the Dwelling; he made eleven of these.

15 The length of a single sheet was thirty cubits and its width four cubits; the eleven sheets were all of the same size.

16 He joined five sheets together into one set and six sheets into another.

17 He made fifty loops along the edge of the last sheet of the first set, and fifty loops along the edge of the sheet of the second set.

18 He made fifty bronze clasps, to draw the tent together and make it a unified whole.

19 And for the tent he made a cover of rams’ skins dyed red, and a cover of fine leather over that.

20 For the Dwelling he made vertical frames of acacia wood.

21 Each frame was ten cubits long and one and a half cubits wide.

22 Each frame had twin tenons; this was how he made all the frames for the Dwelling.

23 He made frames for the Dwelling: twenty frames for the south side, to the south,

24 and made forty silver sockets under the twenty frames, two sockets under one frame for its two tenons, two sockets under the next frame for its two tenons;

25 and for the other side of the Dwelling, the north side, twenty frames

26 and forty silver sockets, two sockets under one frame, two sockets under the next frame.

27 For the back of the Dwelling, on the west, he made six frames.

28 He also made two frames for the corners at the back of the Dwelling;

29 these were coupled together at the bottom, staying so up to the top, to the level of the first ring; this he did with the two frames forming the two corners.

30 Thus there were eight frames with their sixteen silver sockets; two sockets under each frame.

31 He made crossbars of acacia wood: five for the frames of the first side of the Dwelling,

32 five crossbars for the frames of the other side of the Dwelling and five crossbars for the frames which formed the back of the Dwelling, to the west.

33 He made the middle bar, to join the frames from one end to the other, halfway up.

34 He overlaid the frames with gold, made gold rings for them, through which to place the crossbars, and overlaid the crossbars with gold.

35 He made a curtain of finely woven linen, dyed violet-purple, red-purple and crimson and embroidered with great winged creatures,

36 and for it he made four poles of acacia wood, overlaying them with gold, with golden hooks for them, for which he cast four sockets of silver.

37 For the entrance to the tent he made a screen of finely woven linen embroidered with violet-purple, red-purple and crimson,

38 as also the five columns for it and their hooks; he overlaid their capitals and rods with gold, but their five sockets were of bronze.

Leviticus 25

1 Yahweh spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai and said:

2 ‘Speak to the Israelites and say to them: “When you enter the country which I am giving you, the land must keep a Sabbath’s rest for Yahweh.

3 For six years you will sow your field, for six years you will prune your vineyard and gather its produce.

4 But in the seventh year the land will have a sabbatical rest, a Sabbath for Yahweh. You will neither sow your field, nor prune your vineyard,

5 nor reap any grain which has grown of its own accord, nor gather the grapes from your untrimmed vine. It will be a year of rest for the land.

6 But what the land produces in its Sabbath will serve to feed you, your slave, male or female, your employee and your guest residing with you;

7 for your cattle too, and the wild animals of your country, whatever it produces will serve as food.

8 “You will count seven weeks of years — seven times seven years, that is to say a period of seven weeks of years, forty-nine years.

9 And on the tenth day of the seventh month you will sound the trumpet; on the Day of Expiation you will sound the trumpet throughout the land.

10 You will declare this fiftieth year to be sacred and proclaim the liberation of all the country’s inhabitants. You will keep this as a jubilee: each of you will return to his ancestral property, each to his own clan.

11 This fiftieth year will be a jubilee year for you; in it you will not sow, you will not harvest the grain that has come up on its own or in it gather grapes from your untrimmed vine.

12 The jubilee will be a holy thing for you; during it you will eat whatever the fields produce.

13 “In this year of jubilee, each of you will return to his ancestral property.

14 If you buy land from, or sell land to, your fellow-countryman, neither of you may exploit the other.

15 In buying from your fellow-countryman, you will take account of the number of years since the jubilee; the sale-price he fixes for you will depend on the number of productive years still to run.

16 The greater the number of years, the higher the price you will ask for it; the fewer the number of years, the greater the reduction; for what he is selling you is a certain number of harvests.

17 So you will not exploit one another, but fear your God, for I am Yahweh your God.

18 “Hence, you will put my laws and customs into practice; you will keep them and put them into practice, and you will live securely in the country.

19 The land will give its fruit, and you will eat your fill and live in security.

20 “In case you should ask: What shall we eat in this seventh year if we do not sow or harvest our produce?

21 I shall order my blessing to be on you in the sixth year, which will yield you enough produce for three years.

22 You will have the old produce to eat while you are sowing in the eighth year, and even in the ninth year, you will be eating the old produce, while waiting for the harvest of that year.

23 “Land will not be sold absolutely, for the land belongs to me, and you are only strangers and guests of mine.

24 You will allow a right of redemption over any ancestral property.

25 If your brother becomes impoverished and sells off part of his ancestral property, his nearest male relative will come and exercise his family rights over what his brother has sold.

26 The man who has no one to exercise this right may, once he has found the means to effect the redemption,

27 calculate the number of years that the alienation would have lasted, repay to the purchaser the sum due for the time still to run, and so recover his ancestral property.

28 If he cannot find the sum in compensation, the property sold will remain in the possession of the purchaser until the jubilee year. In the jubilee year, the latter will vacate it and return to his own ancestral property.

29 “If anyone sells a dwelling house inside a walled town, he will have the right of redemption until the expiry of the year following the sale. His right of redemption is limited to the year;

30 and if the redemption has not been effected by the end of the year, the house in the walled town will become the property of the purchaser and his descendants in perpetuity; he need not vacate it at the jubilee.

31 But houses in villages not enclosed by walls will be considered as situated in the open country; they carry the right of redemption, and the purchaser will vacate them at the jubilee.

32 “As regards the towns of the Levites, town houses forming part of their ancestral property will carry a perpetual right of redemption in their favour.

33 If a Levite is the one to be affected by the right of redemption, at the jubilee he will vacate the purchased property and return to his own home, to the town in which he has a title to property. The houses in the Levites’ towns represent their ancestral property in Israel,

34 and the arable land depending on these towns cannot be sold, being their ancestral property for ever.

35 “If your brother becomes impoverished and cannot support himself in the community, you will assist him as you would a stranger or guest, so that he can go on living with you.

36 Do not charge him interest on a loan, but fear your God, and let your brother live with you.

37 You will not lend him money on interest or give him food to make a profit out of it.

38 I am Yahweh your God who brought you out of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan and be your God.

39 “If your brother becomes impoverished while with you and sells himself to you, you will not make him do the work of a slave;

40 you will treat him like an employee or guest, and he will work for you until the jubilee year.

41 He will then leave you, both he and his children, and return to his clan and regain possession of his ancestral property.

42 For they are my servants whom I have brought out of Egypt, and they may not be bought and sold as slaves.

43 You will not oppress your brother-Israelites harshly but will fear your God.

44 “The male and female slaves you have will come from the nations round you; from these you may purchase male and female slaves.

45 As slaves, you may also purchase the children of aliens resident among you, and also members of their families living with you who have been born on your soil; and they will become your property,

46 and you may leave them as a legacy to your sons after you as their perpetual possession. These you may have for slaves; but you willnot oppress your brother-Israelites.

47 “If a stranger or guest living with you gets rich and your brother, in the course of dealings with him, becomes impoverished and sells himself to this stranger or guest, or to the descendant of a stranger’s family,

48 he will enjoy the right of redemption after being sold, and one of his brothers may redeem him.

49 His paternal uncle, his uncle’s son, or a member of his own family may redeem him; if he has the means, he may redeem himself.

50 By agreement with his purchaser, he will count the number of years between the year of sale and the jubilee year; his sale-price will be proportionate to the number of years, his time being valued as that of an employee.

51 If there are still many years to run, in proportion to their number he will refund part of his sale-price as payment for his redemption.

52 And if there are only a few years still to run before the jubilee year, he will calculate with him what should be refunded for his redemption, in proportion to their number,

53 as though he were hired by the year. You will see to it that he is not harshly oppressed.

54 “If he has not been redeemed in any of these ways, he will go free in the jubilee year, both he and his children;

55 for the Israelites are my servants; they are my servants whom I brought out of Egypt. I am Yahweh your God.” ‘

Psalm 81

1 [For the choirmaster On the . . . of Gath Of Asaph] Sing for joy to God our strength, shout in triumph to the God of Jacob.

2 Strike up the music, beat the tambourine, play the melodious harp and the lyre;

3 blow the trumpet for the new month, for the full moon, for our feast day!

4 For Israel has this statute, a decision of the God of Jacob,

5 a decree he imposed on Joseph, when he went to war against Egypt. I heard a voice unknown to me,

6 ‘I freed his shoulder from the burden, his hands were able to lay aside the labourer’s basket.

7 You cried out in your distress, so I rescued you. ‘Hidden in the storm, I answered you, I tested you at the waters of Meribah.

8 Listen, my people, while I give you warning; Israel, if only you would listen to me!

9 ‘You shall have no strange gods, shall worship no alien god.

10 I, Yahweh, am your God, who brought you here from Egypt, you have only to open your mouth for me to fill it.

11 ‘My people would not listen to me, Israel would have none of me.

12 So I left them to their stubborn selves, to follow their own devices.

13 ‘If only my people would listen to me, if only Israel would walk in my ways,

14 at one stroke I would subdue their enemies, turn my hand against their opponents.

15 ‘Those who hate Yahweh would woo his favour, though their doom was sealed for ever,

16 while I would feed him on pure wheat, would give you your fill of honey from the rock.’

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