Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” – Jeremiah 1:5. The Lord chooses people to do his work. For we read in the book of Chronicles, “My sons, do not now be negligent, for the Lord has chosen you to stand in his presence to minister to him, and to be his ministers and make offerings to him.” – 2 Chronicles 29:11. “We have priests ministering to the Lord. They offer to the Lord every morning and every evening burnt offerings and fragrant incense.” – 2 Chronicles 13:10-11. “They taught the people having the book of the law of the Lord with them.” – 2 Chronicles 17:9. In this way, my dear brothers and sisters, the Lord chooses his people to work in his kingdom, to proclaim his word, and to bring the lost back to him.

In the old testament we read the work of priests given by God. The Lord says, “They shall teach my people the difference between the holy and the common, and show them how to distinguish between the unclean and the clean.” – Ezekiel. 44:23. “When the priests enter the holy place they shall not go out of it into the outer court without laying there the vestments in which they minister, for these are holy.” – Ezekiel. 42:14. The Lord says, “It is they who shall enter my sanctuary, it is they who shall approach my table to minister to me, and they shall keep my charge.” – Ezekiel. 44:16

The Lord commands his people, “With all your soul fear the Lord, and revere his priests. With all your might love your maker, and do not neglect his ministers. Fear the Lord and honor the priest, and give him his portion, as you have been commanded: the first fruits, the guilt offerings, the gift of shoulders, the sacrifice of sanctification and the first fruits of the holy things.” – Sirach. 7:29-31. The Lord blesses his appointed people, “May the Lord grant you wisdom of mind to judge his people with justice, so that their prosperity may not vanish, and that their glory may endure through all their generations.” – Sirach. 45:26

The Lord has thus blessed his appointed ones to work in his kingdom and commanded all his people to revere and respect his appointed ones. But the Lord sees the corruption of the priesthood and says “O priests, who despise my name. You say, ‘How have we despised your name?’ By offering polluted food on my altar. And you say, ‘How have we polluted it?’ By thinking that the Lord’s table may be despised. When you offer blind animals in sacrifice, is that not wrong? And when you offer those that are lame or sick, is that not wrong? The fault is yours. Will he show favor to any of you? says the Lord of hosts. Oh, that someone among you would shut the temple doors, so that you would not kindle fire on my altar in vain. I have no pleasure in you says the Lord of hosts, and I will not accept an offering from your hands.” – Malachi. 1:6-10.

And now, O priests, this command is for you. If you will not listen, if you will not lay it to heart to give glory to my name, says the Lord of hosts, then I will send the curse on you and I will curse your blessings; indeed I have already cursed them, because you do not lay it to heart. I will rebuke your offspring, and spread dung on your faces, the dung of your offerings, and I will put you out of my presence.” – Malachi 2:1-3.

Seeing the corruption of his appointed ones, the Lord sacrificed his only son, Jesus Christ, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. – John. 3:16. “Therefore, Jesus had to become like his brothers and sisters in every respect, so that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people.” – Hebrews. 2:17

Since, then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathise with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” – Hebrews. 4:14-16


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TESTIMONIALS

MERCIFUL GOD

I came to your temple seeking your help,
With heart full of hurts and with bitterness overwhelmed,
With no strength in my bones, I reached at your gate,
You are a merciful God, who never shuns the lame.

With riches of your glory and love, you saved me from death,
Hands of scars lifted my life from the hell,
Cursed life was made new with your blessings and Holy Spirit,
In Jesus alone, I find my hope for living.

He will never turn his back from the one who seek him
Jesus is the morning star of those whose hope have become dim,
Take courage, take one step towards him in his name,
Look he will come running towards you, with love and grace

Bless the Lord, you who sinners made saint,
Proclaim his deeds all the days that you live,
For his love, what in return can we give,
Our life is the only best thing that we can give back to him.

- K. Maria Lobo, Mumbai

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OUR WORDS

The life which we have received with great toil,
We may lose it with our words spoken, within no time,
Let us guard our lips and recall his holy name in our mind.
And this hour of temptation will pass like cloud in the sky.

The relationship with God and our neighbor is so precious,
But we do not know,we can lose them only because of our words,
Let us mind our tongue and we will stand firm,
With balanced words, let us show them honour and love.

Silence is the strongest weapon in this world,
But this world perceives it as weak and low,
But Almighty God is the one who loves peace and love,
Let us remain silent and he will fight our war.

Let our mouth only speak about Jesus,
Let our mind always count his blessings.
Let our heart always feel his love and mercy,
All our life let us adore the one who Yahweh the Almighty.

- K. Maria Lobo, Mumbai