Scripture Reading: Galatians 5:1

In ancient Israel, as recorded in Numbers 35:11, 26-28, there were special cities named cities of refuge. These were places of refuge for men guilty of man-slaughter, because such persons were at risk of being killed by the relatives of the dead, referred to as ‘the avenger of blood’. Once the guilty man escapes into the city of refuge, the avenger of blood has no right to touch him, but if the avenger of blood finds him outside the city of refuge, he is justified to kill him.

This means that the guilty man would be estranged from his loved ones and all he owned, and would live in fear for as long as the avenger of blood lives. Interestingly however, at the death of the anointed high priest, the offence of the guilty man is cancelled like it never happened! He is free to return to his home town and dwell freely. He goes around town not worried about the avenger of blood. In other words, the threat of the avenger of blood over the guilty man finishes at the death of the high priest. This clearly illustrates what the death of our High Priest, Christ Jesus, did for us. A curse was laid by God against sin; “the soul that commits sin shall die.” And so death reigned down through the ages, because men were slaves to their sinful nature. And there was the accuser of the brethren, the devil, who held the power of death, and held men in slavery by the fear of death, (Heb. 2:14-15). He subjected men to do his biddings by the threat of death. He kept them in bondage, estranged from the common wealth of the elects, their inheritance and, most pathetically, from God. But the death of Christ freed man from this slavery, granted man access to all that man lost since the fall of man at the Garden of Eden.

Unfortunately, even though our High Priest had died and resurrected, many still live in confinement, and in fear of the avenger. Beloved, do you live, full of sin-consciousness and guilt-consciousness? Do you live in fear of, and under the threat of the devil? If you still do, there is good news for you today; you are free! “Freedom is what we have- Christ has set us free! Stand, then, as free people, and do not allow yourselves to become slaves again.”

MASS: VIOLET: Is 30: 19-21. 23-26; Ps 147: 1-2. 3-4. 5-6(R.Is 30:18); Matt 9: 35 – 10: 1. 5a. 6-8ST. JUAN DIEGO, H, 1STWEEKDAY OF ADVENT

Prayers points:

1. Take the hymn, ‘Standing on the Promises of God’.

2. Pray for all who are lost in drugs, alcoholism, abortion and prostitution that the good Lord may intervene in their lives.

3. Pray for all in prison confinement that the good Lord may have mercy and release them.

4. Pray for all the members of your church community that have lost hope. That the Lord intervenes in their lives.

Exercise: Encourage someone to start preparing for the 21-day fasting programme starting on the 2nd of January, 2018.

Meditation: John 8:36