God provides Moses with the blueprint for the vestments that are to be worn by Aaron and his sons for those occasions when they will enter the Holy Place as ordained priests. These ornate vestments serve a number of purposes, not the least of which is protection from God and mark the fact that those who wear them have been set apart to minister to God and to represent His people.
Similarly today, Catholic priests wear vestments that symbolically set them apart from the people as they celebrate the sacred mysteries during Holy Mass. We too, certainly in the past but perhaps less so now, wear our ‘Sunday best’ to attend Mass and present ourselves before God as we reverently receive the Holy Eucharist. We are people who are not of this world but are in the world (cf. Romans 12:2) hence our dress code at Mass symbolises the spiritual side of our human nature.
Jesus also talked about signs that set His people apart from the rest of creation, for example good works. Feeding the hungry, visiting prisoners, caring for the sick will not in themselves obtain for us eternal life. However, they are a sure sign that we are being faithful to God as true followers or disciples of Jesus Christ. For if we obey the commandments to love God and to love one another, good works must surely be a natural consequence.
These works are greater still when we understand that when we help the poor and needy, or take time to listen to the lonely or undertake some random act of kindness, not only do we serve that individual, but we serve Jesus too.
What a wonderful opportunity we have to serve out God!
Scripture: Exodus 28:1-43; Matthew 25:31-26:13; Psalm 31:9-18; Proverbs 8:21-13