Friday, May 8, 2015
Thoughts on Leviticus 11-15
I know I've been MIA for a while now but since losing my mother in February and having a baby in January, life has been hard. Now that I am enjoying my Summer Break, I joined a Bible study at women living well blog. I joined late but have been reading my daily reading and then one from the beginning to catch up. Now, on to my observations:
Basically this week's readings have been all about cleanliness/legal purity. This is pretty dry reading art first glance but makes you think about purity in the world today.
Morally, we are still so unclean but luckily our lamb has been sacrificed for us. When sin, we are offered instant forgiveness. In the Catholic tradition, we choose to confess our sins to a priest. We are not bound by church teaching to participate in the sacrament of reconciliation for all sins, only those that directly defy the ten commandments. All other songs can be forgiven through personal and private confession although many choose to congress those to a priest as well. This may leave you wondering: Why do Catholics confess to man?
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, "only God forgives sins" and "since he is the Son of God", he "has authority on earth to forgive sins. Further, by virtue of his divine authority he gives this power to men to exercise in his name" (CCC #1441). In 2 Corinthians 5:20, St. Paul tells us "... we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God".
Also, remember in Matthew 16:19, Jesus says, "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.". This means that Jesus transferred his earthly authority onto man (specifically Peter) just as in Isaiah 22:22 when the keys to the Davidic kingdom were transferred. The key is a symbol of authority.
So basically we believe that Jesus handed over his earthly authority to man. One of his main actions while on earth was to forgive sins, therefore we believe that he ordered that some men on earth continue this action in the form of a sacrament administer by a priest.
On a personal level, it is very refreshing to confess sins in the sacrament of Reconciliation. The act of actually having to SPEAK the sins committed is very hard. We can explain them away and make excuses for ourselves in our heads but when it's actually spoken, we have to face it. Also it is freeing. If you read much about human psychology you have probably heard of the importance of speaking about fears and anxieties because sometimes this fees a person from thier internal thoughts. This works for speaking sins as well. Lastly, when we speak to another person who we know will not judge us and will offer advice on how to begin the healing process for this particular sin, it makes us love God even more.
On my way home from my first reconciliation in 2006, I Sat in my car and suddenly a light went off and I realized and spoke aloud, "I just talked to Jesus!". That's what it's all about!