In Leviticus, God reminds His people that the Sabbath must be kept holy and He also decrees that a number of festivals must be held during the year that include times for holy gatherings, fasting, joy and feasting. The purpose of these is to praise and worship God in remembrance and thanksgiving for all He has done for the people of Israel.
The Catholic Church today marks special times during the year which should be kept holy, for example the seasons of Advent and Lent allow for a period of preparation involving times of fasting, prayer and repentance, before the great feasts of Christmas and Easter. The Church insists that we should hold holy gatherings on Sunday for the whole community, that is, celebrate Holy Mass together and celebrate feast days in honour of our Blessed Lady and the saints who provide worthy testimonies for us to follow in our lives.
All these occasions help us to remember important aspects of the life of Jesus and at each Mass we are called to receive the Holy Eucharist, the source and summit of our faith and to recall the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ who was sent to save us. In Mark’s gospel in the days leading up to His death, Jesus over hears the disciples arguing about who is the greatest among them. Jesus rebukes them and says that they should act as servants to everyone else. This is the reason today, the Pope as leader of the Catholic faithful is often referred to as the ‘servant of the servants’.
Jesus also extends the power of his ministry to anyone who is acting faithfully in His name. This empowers us today to pray earnestly for the healing of the sick and to cast out evil spirits after all, Jesus reminds us, no-one acting in His name will speak evil of the Lord.
Furthermore, as the psalmist sings, by trusting in the name of Jesus we give glory to Him and praise His name.
Scripture: Leviticus 22:17-23:44; Mark 9:30-10:12; Psalm 44:1-7; Proverbs 10:19