Genesis 9:8-15; Ps 25:4-9; 1 Peter 3:18-21; Mark 1:12-13
Do you have or have you seen your family photo albums or videos? We like to look back at past family picture events. Or for some of us when we were boys, did we collect baseball player cards from bubble gum packages? At Liturgies (Masses) the scripture stories are like looking at old photos or story reruns.
As we have begun Lent, we closed St. Mark’s photo album about Jesus and now we look at various "reruns" of our faith (salvation history). We used to eat fish and abstain from meat on all Fridays of Lent. After Vatican Council II Pope Paul VI only required abstinence on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. We are free to continue to eat fish on the other Fridays. Our bodies need the Omega fish oils. Fasting was encouraged in a personal way by looking at our daily life and seeing where we could improve by asking, "What would Jesus do in this situation?" So how can we get closer to Jesus and care for others with Jesus’ loving power? The object is to improve our behavior.
As we received ashes last Wednesday we probably heard to words, "Repent and be faithful to the Gospel." OK, what is a gospel, which one and what does that mean? In the "Our Sunday Visitor’s Catholic Encyclopedia," 1991, is presented a good historical view of the word Gospel. For us now it really means getting closer to Jesus and learning his secrets for living in his new kingdom, not what is "politically correct."
The Trinitarian Person who leads us to Jesus is the Holy Spirit. He is the Spirit of God’s truth, (Jn 14:16). He instructs and reminds us of all that Jesus said and did, (Jn 14:26). He proves the world wrong about its ideas, (Jn 16:8). And he guides us to Jesus and our future, (Jn 16:13). So we need to ask him to guide and direct us.
Today’s "rerun" takes us back to God’s covenant with Noah, his family and descendants after the great flood. This was the second of six covenants God made with us humans after the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden (modern day Iraq.) The St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, founded by Dr. Scott Hahn, in Steubenville, OH, www.salvationhistory.com, is a tremendous resource for looking at our family album or reruns. He has a wonderful book about the 6 covenants in "A Father Who Keeps His Promises." God vowed in each covenant to abundantly bless humanity. Each one was made to a person and contained, the role, form and sign of each covenant. I shall attempt to draw a chart and you can see the historical progress up to Christ’s last covenant.
Person: Adam Noah Abram Moses David Jesus
Role: Husband Father Chieftain Judge King Kingly High Priest
Form: Marriage Household Tribe Nation National Catholic Church
Sign: Sabbath Rainbow Circumcision Passover Throne Eucharist
Dates: ? ? 2000 BC 1300 BC 1000 BC 33 AD On going
As we watch the news and read papers and magazines, we can see clearly the growth of sin and destruction in our own day. Today we can’t get close enough to our enemies to convert them. Daily prayers for their conversion are our greatest divine weapons. These are our drone missals with greatest accuracy. I beg you first to pray the Novena of Divine Mercy and its chaplet (rosary). When you finish 9 days we begin again.
We need God‘s mercy. If possible attend daily Mass and receive the free and best meal on earth, Christ’s own Body and Blood. If you have time in your busy lives, pray the rosary. Mary has helped us defeat terrorist Moslems in two previous battles or they would have destroyed all of Christianity in the Western countries.
Be wrapped with peace, hope and joy,
+ Fr. Bob Hilz
(© 2015 Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR)