CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 15 September 2018

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A message from the Catholic Church Lenten Campaign – Fifth Week

Christ’s resurrection glorifies God

 

“..just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:2)

 

Jesus chose to take the road of suffering and the cross, and resurrected on the third day. He died not as a ceremonial sacrifice but as a glorious saviour. Christ overcame death thus the cross became the eternal symbol of victory and life.

But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant” (Hebrews 9:11-15).‭ ‬

“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die” (John 11: 25-26). 

I remember how my friend related her calling to me. Just before attending her father-in-law’s funeral service, she had a near death experience—suffering an electric shock that almost cost her life. Hearing the priest’s homily at the ceremony, she felt that life could extend beyond her present limited journey. Since then, she has decided to follow Christ; a path which she is certain will lead her to eternal life. She even became a catechist and is active at her church. “For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day”(John 6:40). 

Are all devoted Christians close to God? This is not an easy question. Nevertheless, we must follow God’s steps with a humble heart, reflect on his suffering and live out his love through retreat and doing good in everyday life. As Pope Francis reminds us in the Bull of Indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, as the servants of God we may reflect on corporal and spiritual works of mercy in order to enter more deeply into the heart of the gospel. This will allow us to know whether or not we are living as his disciples. 

“I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead” (Philippians 3:10-11).

“What shall I return to the Lord for all his goodness to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord. I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants. Truly I am your servant, Lord; I serve you just as my mother did; you have freed me from my chains. I will sacrifice a thank offering to you and call on the name of the Lord. I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people” (Psalm 116:12-18).

 

 

Lenten Campaign Organising Committee, 2016