Mass Readings: September 20

First: Ezra 6:7-8,12,14-20
Resp: Psalm 122:1-5
Gospel: Luke 8:19-21

CHURCH, SACRIFICE, AND PASSOVER

"They finished the building according to the command of the God of Israel." –Ezra 6:14

For the work on the house of God to be completed, we must build the building, make the sacrifices, and celebrate the Passover (Ezr 6:14, 17, 19). We have usually been successful in physically building the building. We have met in homes, built parish churches, and even erected cathedrals.

We made many sacrifices to build these buildings. However, the Lord calls us to intensify our sacrifices. To build the Church spiritually, we must sacrifice not only our money and time, but also our very lives in imitation of Jesus, the Head of the Church (see Eph 5:25).

We also need to celebrate the Passover, the ultimate event of liberation. We can be freed from sin, the fear of death, selfishness, addictions, unforgiveness, self-hatred, and confusion. Then, we are free for worship, evangelization, discipleship, and ministry. Then and only then do we truly build the Church "as an edifice of spirit, into a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ" (1 Pt 2:5). The Passover empowers us to build the Church truly and spiritually.

Celebrate the new Passover (see Lk 22:15), the Mass. Build the Church.

PRAYER: Father, may each Mass be a sacrifice and a Passover for me.
PROMISE: "My mother and My brothers are those who hear the word of God and act upon it." –Lk 8:21
PRAISE: The Korean Martyrs were mostly lay people: fathers, mothers and children, who gave up their lives for love of Jesus