25 February 2012
I it is, who must blot out everything and not remember your sins
-Extracted from the prophet Isaiah, Chapter 43:
Thus says the Lord:
18 No need to remember past events, no need to think about what was done before.
19 Look, I am doing something new, now it emerges; can you not see it? Yes, I am making a road in the desert and rivers in wastelands.
20 The wild animals will honour me, the jackals and the ostriches, for bestowing water in the desert and rivers on the wastelands for my people, my chosen one, to drink.
21 The people I have shaped for myself will broadcast my praises.
22 But, Jacob, you have not invoked me; no, Israel, you have grown weary of me.
23 You have not brought me lambs as your burnt offerings and have not honoured me with your sacrifices. I have not subjected you to cereal offering, I have not wearied you by demanding incense.
24 You have not bought expensive reed for me or sated me with the fat of your sacrifices. Instead you have burdened me with your sins, troubled me with your iniquities.
25 I it is, I it is, who must blot out everything and not remember your sins.
The forgiveness of sins is available to everyone through the Church of Jesus Christ, as Jesus Christ has given this “authority to forgive sins” to Saint Peter, the Apostles and their valid successors based on the following records:
· Jesus had told Peter, ‘I will give you the keys of the kingdom of Heaven: whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.' (Matthew 16:19).
· Jesus told Peter & the Apostles after his resurrection, ‘...If you forgive anyone's sins, they are forgiven; if you retain anyone's sins, they are retained.’ (John 20:23)
This forgiveness of sins is done through the “Sacrament of Reconciliation” of the Church.
However, we need to have the right disposition to receive this forgiveness from God, who tells us that He would forgive and forget all our sins / wrong-doings. Then what is this right disposition?
Here’s the meaning of “right disposition”:
1. True sorrow for sins committed;
2. Determination to change for the better;
3. Detestation of the sins committed;
4. To make reparation for the harm done (to make good the damage), i.e. to make restitution. See what the Senior Tax Collector Zacchaeus did in Luke 19:1-10.
25 February 2012
You are to keep all my laws and all my customs and put them into practice. I am Yahweh
Extracted from Leviticus, Chapter 19:
1 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said:
2 'Speak to the whole community of Israelites and say: "Be holy, for I, Yahweh your God, am holy.
3 "Each of you will respect father and mother. "And you will keep my Sabbaths; I am Yahweh your God.
9 "When you reap the harvest of your land, you will not reap to the very edges of the field, nor will you gather the gleanings of the harvest;
10 nor will you strip your vineyard bare, nor pick up the fallen grapes. You will leave them for the poor and the stranger. I am Yahweh your God.
11 "You will not steal, nor deal deceitfully or fraudulently with your fellow-citizen.
12 You will not swear by my name with intent to deceive and thus profane the name of your God. I am Yahweh.
13 You will not exploit or rob your fellow. You will not keep back the labourer's wage until next morning.
14 You will not curse the dumb or put an obstacle in the way of the blind, but will fear your God. I am Yahweh.
15 "You will not be unjust in administering justice. You will neither be partial to the poor nor overawed by the great, but will administer justice to your fellow-citizen justly.
16 You will not go about slandering your own family, nor will you put your neighbour's life in jeopardy. I am Yahweh.
17 You will not harbour hatred for your brother. You will reprove your fellow-countryman firmly and thus avoid burdening yourself with a sin.
18 You will not exact vengeance on, or bear any sort of grudge against, the members of your race, but will love your neighbour as yourself. I am Yahweh.
26 "You will eat nothing with blood in it. You will not practise divination or magic.
28 You will not gash your bodies when someone dies, and you will not tattoo yourselves. I am Yahweh.
29 "Do not profane your daughter by making her a prostitute, or the country itself will become prostituted and filled with incest.
30 "You will keep my Sabbaths and revere my sanctuary. I am Yahweh.
31 "Do not have recourse to the spirits of the dead or to magicians; they will defile you. I, Yahweh, am your God.
32 "You will stand up in the presence of grey hair, you will honour the person of the aged and fear your God. I am Yahweh.
33 "If you have resident aliens in your country, you will not molest them.
34 You will treat resident aliens as though they were native-born and love them as yourself - for you yourselves were once aliens in Egypt. I am Yahweh your God.
35 "You will not be unjust in administering justice as regards measures of length, weight or capacity.
36 You will have just scales, just weights, a just ephah and a just hin. I am Yahweh your God who brought you out of Egypt;
37 hence you are to keep all my laws and all my customs and put them into practice. I am Yahweh." '
3 March 2012
3 March 2012
Is not this the sort of fast that pleases Me: to break unjust fetters, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break all yokes?
-Extracted from Isaiah, Chapter 58:
1 Shout for all you are worth, do not hold back, raise your voice like a trumpet. To my people proclaim their rebellious acts, to the House of Jacob, their sins.
2 They seek for me day after day, they long to know my ways, like a nation that has acted uprightly and not forsaken the law of its God. They ask me for laws that are upright, they long to be near God:
3 'Why have we fasted, if you do not see, why mortify ourselves if you never notice?' Look, you seek your own pleasure on your fast days and you exploit all your workmen;
4 look, the only purpose of your fasting is to quarrel and squabble and strike viciously with your fist. Fasting like yours today will never make your voice heard on high.
5 Is that the sort of fast that pleases me, a day when a person inflicts pain on himself? Hanging your head like a reed, spreading out sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call fasting, a day acceptable to Yahweh?
6 Is not this the sort of fast that pleases me: to break unjust fetters, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break all yokes?
7 Is it not sharing your food with the hungry, and sheltering the homeless poor; if you see someone lacking clothes, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own kin?
8 Then your light will blaze out like the dawn and your wound be quickly healed over. Saving justice will go ahead of you and Yahweh's glory come behind you.
9 Then you will cry for help and Yahweh will answer; you will call and he will say, 'I am here.' If you do away with the yoke, the clenched fist and malicious words,
10 if you deprive yourself for the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, your light will rise in the darkness, and your darkest hour will be like noon.
11 Yahweh will always guide you, will satisfy your needs in the scorched land; he will give strength to your bones and you will be like a watered garden, like a flowing spring whose waters never run dry.
12 Your ancient ruins will be rebuilt; you will build on age - old foundations. You will be called 'Breach-mender', 'Restorer of streets to be lived in'.
13 If you refrain from breaking the Sabbath, from taking your own pleasure on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath 'Delightful', and the day sacred to Yahweh 'Honourable', if you honour it by abstaining from travel, from seeking your own pleasure and from too much talk,
14 then you will find true happiness in Yahweh, and I shall lead you in triumph over the heights of the land. I shall feed you on the heritage of your father Jacob, for the mouth of Yahweh has spoken.