Our
Fellowship

Our
Branch

AHC G Hebrew Catholic Fellowship Messianic Eucharistic Evangelistic - Hebrew Catholics

Association of

Hebrew Catholics

New Zealand Branch

Hebrew Catholic Fellowship  


Messianic   Eucharistic   Evangelistic

 

Click here for a printable copy of this paper



  http://hebrewcatholic.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/candlestick.jpg      

                                                          Dedication                                    Page   2

                                                           Foreword                                     Page   3

                                     Our Charism and Purpose                               Page   4
                                        

       Step 1       Renewal                                                            Page    9
                                                      
       Step 2       Restoration                                                       Page  19

       Step 3       Service                                                              Page  26

                          An Invitation To You                                        Page 37
                  

Appendix 1.     Listen  ― Love  ― Live                            Page 38

Appendix 2.     Some Special Books                                 Page 41

Appendix 3.     Relationship with the Association
                          of Hebrew Catholics                                 Page 42

Appendix 4      Connection with Catholic Spirituality     Page 44

Appendix 5.     Additional Recommended Reading        Page 46

Appendix 6.     Hyperlinks to Our Website                       Page 47

 

 

Dedication

To the Greater Glory of God:

Father, Son and Holy Spirit — in honour of

The Holy Family

holy_family

 

 The Divine Family

“It has been said, in a beautiful and profound way, that our God in his
deepest mystery, is not a solitude, but a family, since he has in himself
fatherhood, sonship, and the essence of the family, which is love.”
                                              John Paul II, Homily of 28 January, 1979.at Puebla.

 The Holy Family

We look upon the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph as the most
perfect earthly model of a family which reflects the love and spiritual
wholesomeness of the Divine Family, the Blessed Trinity.

 The Parish Family

Our Fellowship is intensely focussed on upholding and supporting families,
especially in their spiritual needs. We are committed, within the expression
of our Charism, to give priority to helping religious practice within family
homes to flourish; and from these centres, dispersed throughout the
community, to embrace neighbours, friends and relatives in our Christian
celebrations. In this way we seek to extend to all around us, the blessings
emanating from our parish family, and its most sacred Family Celebration
— the Holy Eucharist — for which we continue to gather until our Messiah,
the Lord Jesus, returns.

 Hebrew Catholic Fellowship

The Hebrew Catholic Fellowship, therefore seeks to reflect in all its activities,
the warmth of God’s love and His strong desire to draw into His
Household and Family circle, all who wish to share in the gifts and
privileges this brings: life in all its fullness.

 Let us bless God

Blessed be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who chooses to include
our families, our homes and celebrations as a special resting place of
His Divine Family Presence.

 

Foreword

1.     Without Roots ― the Vine Dies

It is perfectly clear to everyone today, that with regard to Christianity, the heat is being turned up! Without deeper roots we could well wither; indeed, we already experiencing dramatic shrinkage and destruction. However, connected to the well-springs of our Hebrew / Judaeo-Christian culture, we will not only be enabled to endure more steadfastly whatever is projected at us, but we will also be able to thrive in the midst of it all, and continue to carry out God’s purposes.

Our perception is that it is not that the Church had its roots in Judaism; but rather, that the Church has its roots in Judaism — and it continues to draw life through them, and will do so until the Lord returns.

The well-springs of our Christian culture flow from our Hebrew heritage within which the Church emerged and evolved. This heritage belongs to every member of the Church, and our Fellowship seeks to help everyone draw strength from it. We would therefore like to share with you an expression of what we see in this Fellowship as our modest contribution to the wellbeing of the Church in the world. We find our confidence to make this offer arising from our Lord’s own teaching to which we will refer in this document.

 

2.     Remember: In Jesus Messiah, we can thrive in a chaotic, confused world.

As we introduce our thoughts on the Hebrew Catholic Fellowship and our service of renewal in the Church and in the world, our Lord′s Parable of the Tares and the Wheat offers some important reminders. His parable shows that wonderful wheat can still thrive even when surrounded by terrible tares and weeds. This is really important to remember if we find ourselves distraught at all the devastating things happening both in the Church and in the world at large. You can read the parable in Wheat, Mustard and Yeast.

One area of profound disquiet however is sometimes overlooked and may be worth considering for a moment ― and that is the amazingly successful deception that takes place in modern societies. If you are going to deceive anyone, it seems that by today′s standards, it pays to do it “big time”! We are daily confronted with almost unbelievable deception in such things as political schemes, banking and finance, and even more spectacularly in bizarre religion. Despite the impressive amount of exposure of the deception involved, they continue on their course; such is their momentum and power to attract support, or at least compliance. Reasonable people, if they become aware of these things, often feel powerless to do anything positive about them.

Fortunately, we do not have to remain suspended in a sea of confusion. When we read the Prophets and their messages and warnings, and remember our Lord′s comments on the human situation, there is every reason to have a profound sense of hope in God′s purposes.

It is true that we are witnessing the unprecedented success of atheistic forces destroying much Judaeo-Christian culture. But it is also true that we are witnessing an unmistakably strong determined search among young people for authentic and relevant spirituality. The tares growing up around us are indeed terrible ― if not terrifying. But the new wheat emerging far outclasses the tares among which it has had to survive. It is critical for us to open our eyes and ears ― our spiritual eyes and ears, that is ― and behold the authentic works of God in our midst. It may take time and effort in reflection to perceive these signs of hope ― but they are there, just the same.

 

3.     Some Hebrew Christian Biblical Principles

Our Lord’s teaching method consistently confronted His listeners with urgent issues calling for decisive reflection and commitment. He never let up in His pressure to arouse people from their spiritual slumber, to take Him seriously.

The parable Jesus told about the “tares and the wheat” is no exception. It provides a good starting place to “find our feet”, and begin identifying important principles to guide the protection and nurturing of the Body of Christ

The first is that we must, at all costs, keep our focus on His mission rather than allowing ourselves to be distracted by forces looking for any opportunities they can use for their destructive purposes.

A second aspect of renewal we need to keep in mind is the ancient Biblical teaching, strongly endorsed by our Lord Jesus Christ ― that when we despair at the state of things all around us, all renewal, cleansing, restoration, and rebuilding begin within ourselves. That is God′s way, and it is futile to try and take shortcuts by moralising and seeing evil everywhere but in ourselves. The Biblical precedent is critically important: to build anew, the builders must first be renewed themselves. Thus, personally renewed, they go about works of restoration and consecrated service to the greater glory of God.

The Sacred Scriptures are thoroughly consistent, from most ancient times to our Lord′s establishment of His Church, that the people who form God′s Household must remain consecrated in His Service. As in the ancient times of the prophets, so the Church constantly calls her members to be humble and grateful, and remain both purified and renewed in holiness. This cannot be emphasised too much.

That is the starting point God requires. The rest of this leaflet is about where we go from there.

The leaflet is, in fact, a resource for meditation and discussion and could be the basis of a day of recollection, a seminar, or a retreat. All of the support reading is on-line and can be printed for individual use.

 

4.     Hebrew Catholic Fellowship Thanksgiving

Before we proceed to explain our purpose and role, let us pause to give thanks to God for His endless gifts to us and all humanity. Please view this Extract of Appendix entitled: “Extract of Appendix Hebrew Catholic Fellowship Thanksgiving To The Blessed Trinity”.

 

Shalom!

 

 

Our Charism and Purpose

Uncovering and reconnecting with our Hebrew heritage

 

I     Our Use of Certain Terms

While we may not wish to become buried and lost in a myriad of words, we should at least know what is meant generally by the terms used in discussing our apostolate in the Church.

1.    We are uncovering a feature of the Church; it is already there, though somewhat obscured by a whole range of historic events, trends and customs. For some people, this may be a discovery, even seemingly, a re-introduction of a new perspective. For others it will be more of taking an old heirloom, giving it a good dusting and clean-up, and then letting it take its own place again.

2.   We are reconnecting with a very beautiful heritage which, although never lost in the Church, needs a little uncovering and explanation, as we have said. With study and training, we can all reconnect with the Hebrew elements of our Faith and culture. This will empower us to draw from the great depths of Judaeo-Christian spirituality and thus strengthen our Faith in a world desperately trying to suppress it.

3.    When we refer to something Hebrew, we usually mean associated with ancient Temple Judaism up to the time of the Gospel accounts of Jesus. As a matter of esteem for our Jewish brothers and sisters, we tend to leave the term “Jewish” for members of contemporary Judaism, and their venerable customs and culture which we hold in the highest respect.

4.    For us the term Messianic is of special importance, since the coming of Yeshua the Messiah ― our Lord Jesus Christ ― is the time of the fulfilment of all Old Testament prophecy, all of which is the key to understanding the Hebrew-Christian Scriptures.

The term is frequently heard in the title “Messianic Jews”, and more recently, “Messianic Gentiles”. Our use of the term is somewhat different, and this will be explained as we “unfold” our vision and goals.

5.    The term charism is not so well known. So let’s consider for a moment what a charism is.

Charisms are often referred to as the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Whilst the Sacred Scriptures highlight very special gifts to the
Church, the range can also be seen to include any gift with
which the Holy Spirit wishes to endow us, to help us carry out
our appointed tasks. Charisms tend to identify special works
the Holy Spirit turns our attention towards. They also
empower us to develop skills and spiritual stamina in
particular fields of endeavour that we may carry out God’s Will
to His Greater Glory.

We will go to some length in this leaflet to explain how we view our particular charism.

It is our Charism which answers a deep call within us to respond to God in a way He identifies as a particular and specific calling. This becomes therefore both an over-arching and unifying covering as well as an under-pinning of all we do. Thus it supports us in defining and living up to our purpose.

We will go some way in this document to demonstrate how we view our Charism and try to translate it into concrete action. It takes time for this to become clear and we should not be surprised, nor distressed, if we find ourselves at times struggling, at other times full of inspiration, only to settle down again to the “long, hard slog”. We need to be patient with ourselves and with others and pray much for the light of the Holy Spirit.

6.     We believe everyone can experience “fulfilment” in Jesus Messiah. All of the above points assume a Biblical understanding of the fulfilment achieved in and by Jesus Christ. Our article: “Fulfilment For All in Jesus Messiah” outlines our understanding of this great truth, and can be read to advantage in connection with this article.

 

II   The Christian Message (Kerygma)

A Hebrew Catholic Perspective

Humanity was created by God as part of His personal Household, to enjoy life with Him in His presence as family of God.

Humanity grew more and more attracted to disobedience and violence and became disconnected from the Household of God — choosing instead to follow human inclinations, despite repeated warnings from the long line of Prophets.

Jesus came as the promised Messiah — the One anointed to lead humanity back to its privileged membership of God’s Household. He suffered much to achieve this.

He died the death of a criminal (though no charges were proved against Him) and rose from the dead to set us free from all attraction to evil and restore us to New Life — True Life — in fact, His own Risen Life.

Jesus continues to call all who would listen to Him, to be cleansed by Him, of any wrongdoing and observe His Teaching as the God-given path to Eternal Life with Him as God’s Family, experiencing joy and fellowship in His mercy and love.

This is the real Jesus of the Sacred Scriptures, calling us to our true home, even in this life, and promising to return at the end of time to bring everything to perfection.

 

III   Our Messianic Charism:

Bringing forth “the New and the Old”

A basis for clarifying our purpose.

Jesus said “Every scribe (Teacher of Torah) who has
been instructed in the Kingdom of heaven is like the
head of a household who brings forth from his storeroom
both the new and the old.”                          (St. Matthew 13: 52.)

This is how we are called, in this apostolate, to serve God: to bring forth and teach the treasures of His Household, both new and old. Our Lord spoke in this manner, having declared that He Himself is the fulfilment of all that the Old Testament teaches about the Messiah — “the Desired of the nations who is to come”. All that the Ancient Scriptures point towards is fulfilled in Him. This is a critically important understanding we need to have if we are to be clear about the role we are called to perform in His service. (We commend, again, the reading of our foundational article, “Fulfillment For All In Jesus Messiah.)

In light of this, we should identify our purpose and how it can be achieved.

Our Fellowship, seeking always to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit, considers these treasures: “the new and the old,” as vital for the life of the Church in the world. Indeed, it is in the light of the Holy Spirit that we find our inspiration in the rediscovery of our heritage in both the “Old” as well as the “New” Testaments; in both the Hebrew and Christian cultures. We therefore understand our service, and the gifts given to us to put this into practice, to be the work God calls us to perform in harmony with other ministries within the Church. It is to share in the re-awakening within the Church, of its own Hebrew Messianic spiritual heritage — somewhat covered over by events in the world — but now re-emerging: quietly, gently, yet fervently in the perilous times we are experiencing. It is, indeed, a work of the Holy Spirit and becoming recognised as part of the restoration within the Church, of its genuine charismatic and contemplative Messianic dimension.

Our use of the term “charismatic” does not imply any connection with what is commonly referred to as the Charismatic Renewal. Similarly, our use of the term “messianic” does not indicate connection with the various organisations using the banner, “Messianic Jews / Judaism”.

For reading on Matthew 13: 44 to 52 see “Treasures New and Old“.

What we call our Messianic Charism refers to a way of seeing, interpreting, acting and passing on a heritage which is both truly Hebrew as well as Christian. A number of organisations have this as their purpose, each making their own particular contribution. Teaching, learning and sharing the Faith are of very particular importance in the outworking of our charism.

In our corner of the Lord’s vineyard we are profoundly aware of a particular feature which should dictate how we teach, study and learn. This directly helps in the restoring of the Hebrew Messianic Heritage for all its members. This feature reflects a distinctive manner witnessed in the teaching of the ancient prophets as well as that of St. John the Baptist and our Lord Himself. It is, for us, the crystal-clear standard which is to characterise all our work, and is thus identified as our core function. So what is this distinctive function?

Our charism is: to present in all our gatherings, the Person of Jesus Christ ― the Living Word — Jesus Christ, the Torah ― Christ our King, and His Holy Teaching in the simplest, plainest, most intelligible language possible for the edification of everyone present. This is to be evident in our written as well as oral teaching and is to draw from the full treasury of the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures.

This standard permits no other mode of delivery than that which is offered in the language and culture of the people present at gatherings in which we participate.

Our Messianic Charism therefore requires and empowers us to achieve a specific purpose: ― to proclaim in plain, straightforward teaching drawn from the Old and New Testaments, in harmony with the teaching of the Church, that:

Jesus Christ (The Messiah) is our King!

The real Jesus Christ

is the real answer

to the real needs

of this world!

 

Our “Reflections on the Sunday Gospels” ― Years A, B, and C are intended to help serve this urgent real need. Thus we seek to share with our neighbour, the fruit of our study and contemplation of the Divine Word: Christ the Word ― the Word proclaimed and the Word made flesh for us.

In this matter we are much encouraged by St. Paul of the Cross, one of the great teachers of prayer and the spiritual life, who instructed the members of his religious congregation in this way:

•     No member is to teach or preach in so lofty and elevated
       a style that the message becomes obscure to the average
       listener.

•     They should break the bread of God’s Word with clarity
       and sincerity, so that it will be more effective in reaching
       hearts and in promoting the greatest glory of God and the
       salvation of souls.

•     They are to teach the people how to meditate in the
       easiest and simplest way possible.

•     They are not to favour locations where there will be large
       crowds but are to seek out the poor and needy, going even
       to remote places including those neglected by other
       apostolic ministers.
                             (From the original Rule of St Paul of the Cross 1741)

These are important foundation principles of our Fellowship as well.

 

IV   Our Charismatic Vocation  

A Model for Implementing Our Purpose

The charismatic vocation of the Hebrew Catholic Fellowship is ―
true to our Charism of drawing from the Old and New Testaments,

to:

PROCLAIM             ―      Jesus Christ is our King!

                                                and:

DEMONSTRATE     

  ―      The real Jesus

                                ―      is the real answer

                                ―      to the real needs of the world!

BY:

   •       Personal Renewal in the Biblical tradition;

   •       Restoration of our joint Hebrew Christian heritage:

   ―     in traditional Hebrew Catholic culture, liturgy,
            spirituality, hospitality and worship;

   ―     in making available our teaching,
            spirituality and religious practice, with
            an authentic Hebrew aspect, to any
            interested person of Jewish or Gentile
            background.

    •      Service within and beyond the Church;

IN:

                                 ≠        our own home;

                                 ≠        our parish family;

                                 ≠        our own community as our extended family,
                                            remembering that they too, are people for
                                            whom God cares.

Adonai Yeshua HaMashiach.

The Lord Jesus, Messiah, is our King!

 

V     Messianic, Eucharistic, and Evangelistic

Application in our work

It will have become evident that we are, as we wrote, “crystal-clear” that all of our ministries should take place in an atmosphere of plain, everyday language understood by all present. For us, to remain faithful to our calling, this is a pressing standard to be maintained strictly and literally. In this way we exemplify the Messianic, Eucharistic, and Evangelistic charism of our Lord Jesus Christ who never departed from this practice. Our use of the term “charismatic” does not imply any connection with what is commonly referred to as the Charismatic Renewal. Similarly, our use of the term “messianic” does not indicate connection with the various organisations using the banner, “Messianic Jews / Judaism.

The Hebrew Catholic Fellowship is Messianic, Eucharistic, and Evangelistic, in all that it proclaims.

Messianic: Drawing from our roots

The great joy associated with our Charism is how it keeps us connected with the core of our Judaeo-Christian heritage. So, how can this be expressed to help us understand the precious gift of our charism?

If we recall the essential core truth of the Hebrew Faith (distilled and refined to pristine clarity) it is usually quoted as being encapsulated in the Great Commandment:

“Hear, O Israel the Lord our God is Lord alone!”
(This sentence is called after the first word — in Hebrew — “Schema”
— hear, listen.)

This was reaffirmed by Jesus who was politely asked one day   (Mark 12: 29):

“Which is the first of all the commandments?”

Jesus replied, “The first is this: ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God
is Lord alone!

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your
soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength’.
                                                                             (Deuteronomy 6: 4 — 5).

The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbour as you love
yourself’.”                                                                      (Leviticus 19: 18).

We note how Jesus followed the distinguished rabbis of His day and attached Leviticus 19: 18 as part of the summary of the whole of the Torah (God’s Teaching recorded in Sacred Scripture).

Eucharistic: Jesus is the Torah made flesh

The first Christians, who saw themselves as loyal, observant Jews, understood Jesus (as Son of God) to be the Word of God — the Teaching — the Torah in the flesh. St. John, in his Gospel account, recorded this belief. It was not a new article of Faith, but as the early teachers of the Church testified, the fulfilment of Prophecy: “Jesus Messiah is Christ the Torah!”

In His teaching ministry, Jesus had claimed to be such:

“I am the Path, the Truth and the Life.”            (St. John 14: 6)

All His listeners knew what He meant — He was claiming to be, in His Person, the Divine Truth of God, the Truth which provided the safe Path (or way) for God’s People, to lead them to their Heavenly Home where they would enjoy the Life for which they were created.

Just as the Word proclaimed Himself to be the Way, the Truth, and the Life — so He declared He is the Bread of Life. In His celebration of the Passover on the night before He died He gave us His Body and Blood in the elements of Bread and Wine, and commanded us to celebrate His Thanksgiving until He returns at the end of Time. He is indeed: Christ our Torah — Word made Flesh.

Evangelistic: We are called to carry this Truth to the ends of the earth

We are a People of the Word. Our calling (vocation) is to serve within the teaching ministry of the Church (Christ’s Body) and help its members to be faithful, informed and observant disciples — His Talmidim (His students).

Here we find no room for anything which might distract from this pursuit, which, after all, is commanded:

•     “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased;
        listen to Him.”                                            (Matthew 17: 5).
•     “Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!
                                                                             (Luke 11: 28).
•     “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising
        them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the
        Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all I have commanded
        you.”                                                         (Matthew 28: 20).

In light of this, our Fellowship can be said to be “kerygma-oriented”: promoting the core teaching of Jesus which calls forth a strong faith in Him and builds an everdeepening personal relationship.

In this way we are called to absolute fidelity to the plainly spoken — bold, yet merciful and loving the message of Jesus in the Gospels. Nothing is permitted to displace or compromise this ultimate and binding principle.

 

Action!

We invite all who would like to join us, to take together, three exciting steps towards extending Christ’s Kingdom in this world and enjoying His fellowship:

                             •        Step 1:     Taking spiritual Renewal seriously.

                             •        Step 2:     Helping in the Restoration of our
                                                                         Hebrew-Christian heritage.

                             •        Step 3:     Giving ourselves in the Service of
                                                                         Christ’s Body, the Church.

 

Shalom!

 

- – – – – – – – – – – – – – -

 

 
Step 1 — Spiritual Renewal

Introduction The Biblical Model

A     Spectacular Renewal

B     The Constant Call of the Prophets: A Recurring Theme.

C     Call For “Renewal” Echoed in the New Testament

D     Turning and Listening to the Word of God Made Flesh

E     Listen – Love – Live

To Summarise

 

Introduction: The Biblical Model

In the Biblical understanding of “renewal, it helps to recall the link between the Prophecy of Isaiah (65: 17) of “the new heavens and new earth” and the advent of the Messiah to bring this to perfection. In St. Matthew’s Gospel (19: 28) our Lord used a word (translated in Greek ‘palingenesia‘) which means the renewal of all things — the new birth of the world. Although this is to be revealed in all its glory at the end of time, it has also been in progress from the time of His resurrection. St. Paul (Titus 3: 5), talking about baptism, considered this renewal, this regeneration in Christ, as the new creation prophesied by Isaiah — or at least the beginning of the restoration of the blessedness and harmony lost by the disobedience of our first parents.

Thus, to talk about Biblical renewal we glance back at where mankind has come from, as well as look forward to the return of the Messiah to bring God’s plan of restoration to perfection. The Return of the Messiah will see the perfect return or restoration of all creation to its primeval beauty, peace and harmony.

In the Christian vision, as St. Paul so forthrightly claims, our baptism is our first step on the path God has provided for us to return fully to His Household. The Church elaborates this magnificently in the Holy Week and Easter Liturgies. At this time we renew our Baptismal vows and acknowledge we have strayed from the path; but in God’s love, have been brought back, cleansed from sin and fully reinstated as members of His family.

In practical terms —

Renewal never involves the construction or introduction of new doctrines ― “hitherto not revealed”: yet gives witness to the unfolding of new understandings of ancient texts;

Renewal never fosters the pursuit of entertaining signs and wonders and instant gratification of the senses: yet continues to include miracles as signs of God′s caring concern for our human condition;

Renewal never involves the total abandonment of time-honoured devotions and practices, nor replacing them with new: yet it approves the introduction of new additional approaches to spirituality.

Renewal always involves, essentially, a return to the Lord and His Teaching through conviction of sin and a desire to reform ― to respond to the Holy Spirit’s call to be regenerated in and through His Son, Jesus Messiah. Thus “renewal” is, as it were, a consequence of our conversion and consecration to our Lord Jesus Christ. It is a new capacity to love the Lord God with all our might. This can occur every time we confess to God our failings and weaknesses.

If we are going to demonstrate to the world what the real Jesus is like, we should remember the first word spoken in His public ministry: “Repent!” But our Lord was not moralistic ― He was the epitome of God’s lovingkindness and mercy. His parables demonstrated that true repentance brings spectacular renewal! That renewal is most evident in our ability to love as Jesus loves us.

This is so important we will “unpack” five Biblical aspects of Renewal!

 

A.   Spectacular Renewal

One of the most beautiful parables in all of Sacred Scripture is often referred to as “the Parable of the Prodigal Son”. Usually when we hear it told, or when we read it, we are struck by the changes that came over the young man. And they are certainly remarkable. But so often we miss something equally revealing about the son′s father.

Chapter 15 of St Luke′s Gospel opens with parables showing God as not only waiting for the return of those who have wandered from Him ― but also going off to search for them and rejoicing when they are found. The parable of the Prodigal Son reinforces these truths more than any other teaching by our Lord. In this parable the father is thrilled beyond description at his son′s return ― knowing that the young man had just done the hardest thing he would ever be called upon to do: to admit that he was wrong and to ask to be forgiven. He therefore needed warm, loving hospitality more than anything else at this time.

Our Lord could not be more emphatic; despite all the son′s foolish and selfish misdeeds, and since he is genuinely sorry ― what matters is that he has come home! He has returned to the father′s household where he would always belong! That being the case, everything else could then be put right! In fact the ever-faithful father talks of his son not just being reconciled, but coming back to life ― he is a new person. It is a new beginning.

Now that is real “renewal”!

So the first thing we learn from our Lord as far as putting things right, is concerned, is that we need to turn around, turn back if need be, and show genuine sorrow for leaving the way God laid out for us. Only then can we be reconciled. The great joy is that our Father’s door is always open.

Since the Parable of the Prodigal Son is one of the most important lessons our Lord gave, and because it focuses so strongly on a great return and a whole new life, which emerges from the event, it is worth taking a quiet “walk” through the account and note how it unfolds. We find the account presented to us in St Luke 15: 11 ― 32.

See our Reflections, “Our Prodigal Father”.
Recommended Reading Set 1.

In this wonderful illustration, our Lord is reiterating what the Prophets had long preached to the People Israel when they departed from God′s way. Let′s take a brief moment to be reminded of their constant message. In doing this we will review just some of the great passages which show God calling His people, through His agents ― the Prophets ― to return to Him and to His path leading to the fullness of life which He desired for them.

 

B.   The Constant Call of the Prophets:

A Recurring Theme.

In telling the various parables about “turning back” to God ― repenting of sin and all Heaven rejoicing, our Lord was giving voice to the frequent call from the Prophets to the People Israel: Return to serving God and Him alone! The same call is heard loud and clear in the early days of the infant Church, firmly grounded as it was in the Hebrew Scriptures. Let’s now look at some examples, and get a “feel” for what the great sages were on about.

 

•     First Duty of God’s People
Words God commanded Moses to proclaim to his People Israel.

Hear O Israel! The Lord is our God, The lord alone!
Therefore you shall love the Lord, your God, with your whole heart,
with your whole being, and with all your strength.

Take to heart these words which I command you today.
Keep repeating them to your children. Recite them when you are
at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you
get up (or: whether you are busy or at rest).    Deuteronomy 6: 4 – 7

 

•     A Promise of Restoration

Since the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my statutes,
and have not kept them. Return to me and I will return to you,
says the Lord of Hosts.                                              Malachi 3: 7

 

•     Conversion: An Absolutely Vital Condition

If you wish with your whole heart to return to the Lord, put away
your foreign gods and your Ashtaroth (statues of the goddess Astarte)
#, devote yourselves to the Lord and worship him alone. 1 Samuel 3

# Astarte ― In other words, “Get rid of your personal idols'; the things you
have allowed to crowd in your life and reduce your time and space for God”.

 

•     Interior Renewal Reveals God’s Loving Nature

Return to me with your whole heart, with fasting and weeping and
mourning. Rend your hearts, not your garments #, and return to the
Lord your God. For gracious and merciful is he, slow to anger, rich
in kindness, and relenting in punishment.                           Joel 2: 12
# God calls for consecration by interior renewal and transformation.

 

•     Repentance Dissolves Offences

I have brushed away your offences like a cloud, your sins like a mist;
return to me, for I have redeemed you.                Isaiah 44: 22

Let’s take a moment to examine how this theme has continued in
the New Testament.

 

C.     Call For “Renewal” Echoed in the New Testament

 

•     Each Person Must Remove Obstacles.

In those days John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of
Judea (and) saying, “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!”
It was of him that the prophet Isaiah had spoken when he said:
“A voice of one crying out in the desert, ‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths‘.”                           St. Matthew 3: 1 to 3

See our Reflections, “Calling In The Desert”
Recommended Reading Set 2.

 

•     First Step Each Person To Take

Jesus Messiah begins His public ministry with the proclamation of the Prophet, John the Baptist.

From that time on, Jesus began to preach and say,
Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
                                                St. Matthew 4: 17

This is how St. Mark records the opening lines of our Lord’s ministry

“This is the time of fulfilment.
The kingdom of God is at hand.
Repent, and believe in the gospel.”
                                                           St Mark 1: 15

The word gospel comes from Old English: good spel meaning good words, therefore good story. This is the Anglo Saxon rendering of the Greek — evangelion — (good news). So getting real about Jesus is getting real about sin and believing His Good Message.

 

•     The Complete Torah
God the Father proclaims, from Heaven, His sole Commandment to the
Church in the New Testament in which He implies His Son is the embodiment of His entire teaching.

“This is my chosen Son; listen to Him.”
                                                             St. Luke 9: 35

By this God means: His Son, Yeshua (Jesus) is the Torah made flesh. God declares that the whole of His Teaching, His Words proclaimed to Moses, — the whole of His Law (and these all mean the same thing) —these are the Holy Torah. Jesus, Son of God, is the Torah made flesh. (John 1: 14). And God commands:

“Listen to Him”.

 

•     The Key Words and Meaning of Torah Renewed
Jesus Messiah affirms the proclamation of Moses Deuteronomy 6: 4
and adds Leviticus 19: 18 as was rabbinic custom. It is a solemn call

to Listen, Love and Live.

As Jesus declared, the first Commandment is this:

‘Hear O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone!

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with
all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’

The second is this:

‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’
                                                                                         St. Mark 12: 29 and 30

 

•     Approach God Having Been Cleansed
The Jewish Bishop of Jerusalem calls for renewal of mind and heart.

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your
hands #, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you of two minds.
St. James 4: 8.

#   St. James uses the customary Jewish language for being purified and rendered holy,
i.e. consecrated for the Lord’s service; emphasising the need to repent of having
two minds i.e. being called to serve God yet entertaining thoughts of worldly priorities,
which lead in the opposite direction!

 

D.     Turning and Listening to the Word of God Made Flesh

We pause for a moment to reflect on two of the very powerful quotations in the above collection.

 

First: Proclamation of St. John the Baptist

The stage for our Lord to commence His public ministry is set by His cousin St John the Baptist. His words remain as relevant to us today as they were when he declared:

Repent for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

We are so accustomed to decrying all the evils in the world that we easily overlook the essential message of St. John. He taught, as our Lord was to continue, that the true enemy was a person’s own sinfulness, and not the evils of others; not Rome but the impure Jewish or Christian heart! Christian groups who label other Christians as “the anti-Christ” and so on, have looked in the wrong place for the enemy. The Gospel accounts insist on the principle of putting your own house in order before you dare to criticise others. That is partly what St. John meant by, “make straight his paths”.

How much we need the Baptist’s message to stir us out of our slumber!

As Christian culture appears to be eroding all around us, we have some very good advice from the Baptist who spoke the truth with clarity and great courage. The challenge will be for us to listen to and absorb the message, as our Lord insists: “be of good cheer“, and go forth humbly but confidently to follow Him. He is the Head of the Church and He is, despite appearances, at the front, leading those who dare to follow as His disciples.

See our Reflections, “Calling in the Desert”.
Recommended Reading Set 2.

 

Second: Proclamation of God at the Transfiguration of Jesus.

This is my chosen Son; listen to him.”     St. Matthew 17: 1 to 9

During His three year ministry, our Lord was presented to His senior disciples as the very Word of God to whom He commanded them to listen — to hear as the Teacher, the Torah in Person — the embodiment of God the Father’s total message to His people. In this great moment in our Salvation History God proclaimed that Jesus Messiah and His Words, His teaching were to be the whole Way, the whole Truth, the whole Life.

One of the chief ways the Church has always encouraged and helped us obey God’s command is to call us to read or listen to Sacred Scripture reverently and reflect on it often, allowing the Divine Word to feed our soul and form in us the mind of Christ. This is the work of the Holy Spirit in us as we listen to the Word within the words — the Word behind the words. And we listen to obey. This is what we call meditation — learning to listen as well as learning to hearken, i.e. obey lovingly, and learning to live in the love of God.    

(See our unit Scripture Meditation.)

We recommend you meditate on this unique event as recorded by St. Matthew
                                                                                                     (Matt. 17: 1— 9).

See our Reflections, “The Transfiguration of the Lord”
Recommended Reading Set 3.

As we consider this wonderful passage, we soon learn that the command to “listen” to our Lord is not just to pay attention to His words. It is to listen eagerly with a grateful heart to hear His message and carry it out:

—      to prove our love by our obedience,

—      and to live a life dedicated to Jesus Christ.

 

E     Listen – Love – Live

The message of “Return to the Lord!” in the Hebrew Scriptures (O.T.) gains, therefore, in the New Testament, the added force of the Commandment from the Father: “This is my chosen Son; listen to Him!”

Thus God’s way forward for us is that we repent of our sins – are sorry for them and turn back to God, and listen to His appointed Teacher, that is, the Anointed One. The Biblical model for this important change of heart and mind is summarised in the three words:  Listen — Love — Live.

This therefore becomes our calling, our vocation, as members of Christ’s Body the Church. Christ is our model, and for us to “return” to the Lord God means following the Way, the Truth and the Life He teaches, guided by the teaching authority of the Church, as we await and pray for His Glorious Return.

To reiterate:

the first above all the Commandments is:
to love God with all our might.

For us, “renewal” means personal conversion and
consecration by listening to and following the
Lord Jesus as we prepare earnestly for the
Return of the Messiah in Glory!

We offer a brief meditation on our vocation in Appendix 1: “Our Calling as Members of Christ’s Body in the Church” which may assist in “unpacking” some of the profound richness of the Christian Life. We recommend discussion and meditation on this at some appropriate time.

 

To Summarise

These then are some of the first, essential foundation principles which have guided the formation of the Messianic Fellowship as an active community of Hebrew and Christian renewal — renewal which is a sincere attempt to contribute to the life of the Church drawing from the wellsprings of the Hebrew Scriptures and culture.

Thus Step 1 in this exciting apostolate is our personal renewal, dedication and consecration to the Lord Jesus — the Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One.

Now we look at the second step, in which we can all participate in helping restore our Hebrew heritage.

 

- – – – – – – – – – – – – – -

 

Step 2:

Restoration of our Hebrew Messianic Heritage

Our Fellowship has grown out of a desire to share our knowledge of aspects of Jewish culture in ways which support traditional worship and spirituality within the Church. This means in fact, drawing from what is already the Church’s patrimony since it is the living fulfilment of God’s promises to Israel. The Church has been doing this in some considerable measure for the past 2000 years. This is true throughout much of Christianity, but is more visibly so in the worship of Orthodox and Catholic Christians. Our Fellowship is therefore highlighting the cultural inheritance of the Church and encouraging fellow Christians and any interested persons to join us as we expand our awareness of this inheritance and its growing active presence in the Church.

For us, it is equally important to demonstrate how truly Hebraic many aspects of Christian worship and spirituality already are. Thus we like to share the experience with all who choose to join us, of worshipping, studying and socialising in a harmonious demonstration of genuine, exciting and dynamic Hebrew Messianic culture.

This culture is one of great reverence for the things of God, earnest study, in the Word of God, and exhilarating joy, excitement and fun as members of the Household of God. Out of all this arises an irrepressible urge to share these good things with others.

 

What’s In a Name?

The understanding which the first Christians had of belonging to the Household of God was grounded very much in the knowledge that they were included among God’s people, chosen for a mission, and grafted on to the “olive tree” St. Paul writes so much about. Writing to the new Ephesian Christians, (2: 19) he talks of them now, through Christ, belonging to the “Household of God“.

The names by which God’s people are called signify different aspects of their magnificent heritage. The Catechism of the Catholic Church for instance, reflects this beautifully in Part One (S.2. Chapter 3. Article 9.). Sub-sections 753 to 757 describe “Symbols of the Church”, and refers to a “sheepfold”, a “cultivated field”, the “building of God”, “that Jerusalem which is above,” and “our mother”. Paragraph 756 is especially meaningful for members of our Fellowship, which has as its subtitle, “of the Household of God”.

It reads: (The bold emphasis is ours.)

“Often, too, the Church is called the building of God.
The Lord compared himself to the stone which the
builders rejected, but which was made into the
corner-stone. On this foundation the Church is built
by the apostles and from it the Church receives solidity
and unity. This edifice has many names to describe it:
the house of God in which his family dwells; the
household of God in the Spirit; the dwelling-place of God
among men; and especially the holy temple. This temple,
symbolised in places of worship built out of stone,
is praised by the Fathers and, not without reason,
is compared in the Liturgy to the Holy City, the
New Jerusalem. As living stones we here on earth are
built into it. It is this holy city that is seen by John as it
comes down out of heaven from God when the world
is made anew, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband.”

 

What Do We Mean By “Reconnection With Our Heritage”?

The small but flourishing Hebrew Christian reawakening in the Church is evidenced in a number of significant emerging manifestations which help explain what we mean by reconnection with our heritage and belonging to a Messianic Fellowship in the Household of God:

•     Reclaiming time and space in our lives and in our
       contemporary society, in which to foster our ancient
       heritage which draws from the past riches of both Jewish
       and Christian spirituality to the glory of God and the
       benefit of mankind. This Fellowship is founded within
       traditional Catholic spirituality, reflecting the broadest
       and most wonderful cultural diversity.

•     Rediscovering the Jewish origins of personal and corporate
       worship in the life of the Church and encouraging renewed
       applications of these in our contemporary situation.

•     Re-invigorating within members of the Church and any
       interested person, a strong love of studying the Scriptures
       and Teaching of the Church to support the growth of a
       vibrant, robust and life-changing spirituality.

•     Releasing the joy of our return to our birthright in creative
       and beautiful celebrations, music, dance and companionship.

•     Restoring an Israelite community analogous to that present
       in the early centuries of the Church, to which all members of
       the Church are invited to participate.

•     Rekindling the irrevocable calling and gifts of the People Israel
       within the Church and the collective witness of the Jewish
       People to Jesus and His Church.                (Roman 11: 28 – 29).

•     Recovering a Hebrew Messianic perspective in our teaching and
       understanding of the Christian Faith in our contemporary world.

 #    So, why is it so important in our day to be reconnected with our
       ancient heritage?

 #    Because in our aggressive, anti-theistic age, there are rising
       suppressive and vindictive forces which are looking for every
       opportunity to destroy the Church. We need the strength of
       deeper roots and assertive belief that Jesus Christ is our King and
       our Lord! This is part of the real answer and what the world needs.

 

An Expression of Fellowship

The word “fellowship” has been carefully chosen. We use the term in a somewhat traditional manner referring to a band of people sharing a zeal, passion and commitment to something uniquely special in their lives. In our case it is about sharing our vision of restoration and renewal in the Church. Those who participate in our fellowship look on membership as a genuine part of their Christian vocation in the world. They therefore value its clear sense of purpose and direction, and willingly support its operations and associated disciplines.

At the centre of our understanding of what a fellowship is and does is the knowledge that we celebrate our membership of the Household of God. We are members of God’s family by virtue of our being restored through the life, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus — our redeemer, our Messiah — the Anointed One. We belong, therefore to one another, and seek to put this truth into real effect within the various communities which make up our Fellowship. In essence: we are family!

 

A Fellowship ― A Family

Though not a canonical establishment (such as a religious order) our Fellowship is nevertheless a coming together which operates within a set of agreed principles and guidelines. The structure provides the opportunity for various kinds of smaller local gatherings or cell groups to be established. They may be residential, or partially residential — but are likely in the main to be dispersed throughout the wider community, coming together for Fellowship activities. Some participants in our gatherings may not be physically part of a group — or as we refer to it, a havurah, but linked in some other way, e.g. via the Internet or telephone network.

Whatever structure a local community finds most appropriate, its members will strive to build a genuine family atmosphere and model the highest level of Hebrew Christian warmth, love, caring, concern and hospitality, of which it is capable.

To achieve this we keep before us the model of the Holy Family, presented by the Church for our spiritual enrichment. The Liturgy of the Feast of the Holy Family is therefore of special importance in guiding the spirit and development of our Fellowship. It is our Patronal Festival.

 

Hebrew Christian

Our Fellowship comprises members of the Church whose origins are Jewish, as well as those whose origins are Gentile. Both lines of heritage contribute, in their own way, towards a stream of Hebrew Christian culture in the Church. Our sub-title, “of the Household of God”, derives from both Jewish and traditional Christian understanding of Sacred Scripture, as highlighted for example in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, as we have already seen (Paragraph 756).

St. Paul constantly returns to this theme in his Epistle to the Ephesians, e.g. Chapter 2.

19     You are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow
         citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God,

20     built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with
         Christ Jesus himself as the capstone.

21     Through him the whole structure is held together and grows into
          a temple sacred in the Lord;

22     in him you also are being built together into a dwelling place
         of God in the Spirit.

The “culture” we frequently refer to is not a separate “rite”, as it were, within the Church. Rather it is a “stream” which finds its home quite naturally anywhere throughout the Church: in all rites. Members of our Fellowship can therefore see themselves as active members within that cultural stream. As baptised members of the Body of Christ — His Church — we are all united by our death and resurrection in Him.

Our Fellowship rejoices in the immense range of opportunities we have, to help one another in the Christian life, and to share this beautiful heritage with all people of goodwill, anywhere. On this basis we delight in the presence of members who are from Faith communities which are not Catholic.

 

Following the Messiah’s Example

Our Fellowship is a means by which its members can help one another to follow the Lord Jesus more closely. The People Israel were often reminded that they were to be “a light for the nations”. The Church has inherited this vocation which is expressed vividly in the Gospels.

There is one who enlightens every soul born into the world;
he was the true light. John 1: 9.

On one occasion Jesus said:

You are the light of the world.                Matthew 5: 14.

In fact, He also taught,

Your light must shine so brightly before others, that they can
see your good works, and give praise to your Father in heaven.

                                                                                Matthew 5: 16.

The vocation to be “a light for the nations,” or, “the light of the world” is indeed, a challenging one. Due to its great importance in the Church’s evangelisation, we offer an additional comment in our Reflection:

“Salt of the Earth: Light of the World”,
Recommended Reading Set 4.

We also offer a meditation on this calling to be “a light”:

“Hanukkah: Feast of the Dedication”,
Recommended Reading Set 5.

 

Finale

We say that the real Jesus is the real answer! But to assimilate the full power and impact of His message we are helped enormously by interpreting this through an understanding of His language, culture, customs and rabbinic style of teaching. These display the real Jesus and help unlock much of His message. It is interesting how much the Holy Spirit chooses to enlighten us through them.

 

- – – – – – – – – – – – – – -

 

Step 3 — Service to Jesus Christ our Messiah

Introduction

We have considered a few aspects of what is meant by renewal, belonging to the Household of God and participating in the restoration of our spiritual heritage. We now go a little bit further and consider what the Messianic Fellowship does, and how it seeks to help provide the real needs of the world.

In practical terms, our Fellowship pursues a distinct model of following the Lord’s call for all His followers to help Him take His light to every soul. This is the answer to the real needs of the world. He called us to serve as He served, and to renew daily our commitment to follow Him faithfully. It is in doing this that our commitment to both personal renewal, and restoration of our heritage, blossoms in heart-warming fulfilment.

 

Our Lord’s Command

Jesus gave a very clear exhortation about humble service among His followers:

You know that those who are recognised as rulers over the Gentiles
lord it over them, and their great ones make their authority over
them felt.

But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great
among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among
you will be the slave of all.

For the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to
give his life as a ransom for many.                        St. Mark 10: 42 — 45.

We seek to respond to our Lord by reflecting, in our actions, His model of service. All members of our Fellowship therefore, insofar as they are able, are called to participate in our Fellowship′s Sevenfold Model of Service, as we follow the Lord Jesus each day of our lives. Figuratively speaking, our contribution of service, whilst purifying and consecrating us in God’s Name, also helps the Light of Christ spread to our brother and sister human beings throughout the world. The seven-light candelabra becomes, then, a vivid symbol of Yeshua — our Lord Jesus Christ, reaching out to lighten every place of darkness and despair. In this service we ourselves are renewed, as we faithfully live as members of the Church — the Body of Christ, in the world. Our lives therefore manifest the fulfilment of our calling to be a light to the nations.

“I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation
may reach to the ends of the earth.”                Isaiah 49: 6.

http://hebrewcatholic.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/candlestick.jpg 

 

 Symbolism of Sevenfold

Most of us were first made aware of the spiritual significance of seven on reading the account of the Creation at the beginning of the Book of Genesis. There each member of the Blessed Trinity is seen acting in perfect unity as they bring forth, on each day, a new level of creation. The Father (first Person of the Blessed Trinity) commands each item to exist, and by His Divine Word (second Person) it was accomplished; while “over the waters, stirred the breath of God” (third Person).

In this great seven-day work of God, He brings forth, purely from a heart of love, the perfect representation of His Divine Glory. And this, He ordains, is to be shared with and enjoyed by mankind, whom He chose to rule over it for “ages unto ages”.

Our first parents, as Adam and Eve are called, failed in the commission to which they were appointed. Nevertheless, God remained faithful to His purpose, and continues to permit His creation, however imperfect it has become, to remain a visible icon of His Presence and Love. Thus the Psalmist can rightly sing:

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament
proclaims the work of his hands.                 Psalms 19: 1.

We are all familiar with the Biblical story of our salvation and the coming of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, the Messiah, the Son of God. In fulfilment of the teaching of the Prophets, He obediently undertook the work of our redemption, the restoration of all humanity and the renewal of our relationship with God.

What we call our Sevenfold Model of Service is the outworking of our charism and purpose: our response to the Teaching of the Church ― the Body of Christ, to play our part fully in the restoration of all humanity to God’s Kingdom. It is our framework whereby we ensure we remain focussed on our Lord Jesus Christ and the authority He passed to His Church, to guide us on our way, and be a true light for the nations.

 

Our Sevenfold Model of Service

Seven candles giving light to the world

 

Welcoming and nurturing one another ― We are family.

1.     Hospitality:

Highlighting the dignity of being members of the
Household of God, — building a culture and atmosphere
befitting such a Household; and welcoming any genuine
person who wishes to be associated with us.

2.     Caring:

Helping by prayer and action, any person in need,
especially those experiencing misfortune or suffering
from some disability, injustice, social disadvantage or
deprivation.

3.     Fellowship:

By intercession, personal spirituality and various
activities, fostering and maintaining a spirit of inclusivity,
belongingness, and unity among members, as well as
seeking the recovery, reconciliation and restoration of
anyone who has been separated from God in any way —
offering them every assistance within our reach.

Learning and Sharing ― We are disciples of Jesus Christ.

4.     Education:

Providing appropriate learning experiences ranging
from simple guided learning to advanced leadership
training and studies — thus equipping members and
interested persons who participate with
Christ-focussed Biblical and spiritual knowledge, skills
and values.

5.     Discipleship:

Fostering the spiritual life of each member of our
Fellowship and all who wish to be associated in any
way — thus strengthening their relationship with God:
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

6.     Evangelisation:

Pursuing a wide range of opportunities to
communicate the living vitality of our Lord Jesus to
all in need of His love and care.

Celebrating and Worshipping ― We are members of the Household of God.

7.     Worship:

Guiding private and public worship, meditation and
contemplation, to help us respond with love and gratitude
to the awesome presence of God in the world, in our
communities, in our homes, and in our hearts, as we await
the Glorious Return of His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ at
the end of time.

Celebrating the whole of life, centred in the Eucharist.

See the following supplement, “Sevenfold Model of Service”, for greater detail.
This is of special importance in appreciating the work of the Fellowship at local Church level.

Jesus Christ is our King!

 

Elements of Service

We have chosen seven very special aspects of service which combine roles of fostering, motivating and self-sacrifice. Together, these keep the teaching of our Messiah and His Holy Church foremost in our hearts and minds. They are presented in what might be viewed not as an ascending or descending order but rather moving from a place of seeking, calling and gathering (and attending to immediate needs) ― towards offering our hearts and minds united in Jesus Christ our King, to the greater glory of God.

Welcoming and Nurturing one another ― We are family.

1.     Hospitality
2.     Caring
3.     Fellowship

Learning and Sharing ― We are disciples of Jesus Christ.

4.     Education
5.     Discipleship
6.     Evangelisation

Celebrating and Worshipping ― We are members of the Household of God

7.     Worship

We offer the following jottings as examples of what these seven aspects of service contain. They are intended to be merely a starting point for groups to expand their own vision and service, appropriate in their context and circumstances.

1.     Hospitality

At home          At church          At gatherings

•     Extending warmth, a sense of belonging, welcome, guidance
       to visitors, respect, dignity, caring.

•     Making real and actual our membership of God’s Household.
       Showing what it is to be family, an understanding which includes
       our immediate family, our parish family, and our extended family
       of people among whom we live and work. Our constant highlighting
       of the importance of family is reflected strongly to us by St. Paul in
       his letter to the Christians at Rome:

       The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that
       we are children of God,

       and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs
       with Christ, if only we suffer with him so that we may
       also be glorified with him.          
Romans 8: 16 and 17

Thus, since we are children of God we are therefore sisters and
brothers of one another! Our Fellowship tries to put this into
practice as a priority of the highest order.

•     Going out of one’s way to do good deeds for others ― Nothing is
        to be too much trouble if it can reasonably be done.

•     Fostering

―     warmth of company;
―     sharing meals or snacks;
―     contacting and communicating;
―     transporting;
―     odd jobs to help.

2.     Caring

•     Demonstrating the truth that God is aware of our needs
       and works through others to supply them.
       The law of charity applies to each individual:―

―     “Caritas Christi urget nos!”
―     “The love of Christ urges us!”      2 Corinthians 5: 14.

•     Seeking out those in need even when they do not even
       seem to realise it. Reflecting God’s love in caring for
       people because they need it, not because we may think
       they deserve it.

•     Engaging in activities which: protect those less
       capable of doing so for themselves; enhance the physical,
       social and spiritual environments in which people live and
       work; identify examples of injustice, social disadvantage
       or deprivation to help correct them.

•     Listening to the stories people need to tell, and helping
       them to see God’s Presence in their lives, despite all appearances.

3.     Fellowship

•     Encouraging a sustained, conscious effort to promote
      reconciliation among members; to establish and maintain
      a sense of unity as well as a spirit of belonging and inclusivity
      within the Fellowship; and to foster a welcoming attitude of mind
      towards those who may not feel ready to become members but
      desire, nevertheless, to be involved.

•     Fostering a confidence in being accepted as family members
       of the Fellowship.

•     Honouring members from other backgrounds or Christian
       denominations for the spiritual gifts they contribute.

•     Trying honestly to remain consecrated members of
       Jesus Christ in union with His Holy Church and to avail
       ourselves of all means of doing this.

•     Seeking out the separated, marginalised, hurt, confused,
       misinformed, hoodwinked, misled, disillusioned, disappointed,
       bitter, fallen, forgotten, neglected and lonely, and attending
       to their “wounds”; and bringing them home: there to receive
       hospitality and caring to the best of our ability.

4. Education

•     Establishing organised, age-appropriate programmes
       of religious education which include among other topics:

―     Biblical stories;
―     History of the People Israel;
—     Role of Judaism in Salvation History;
—     Jewish Liturgy, Spirituality and Culture;
―     History of the Church;
—     The Papacy: a Biblical Understanding;
             See: The Pope as the King’s Royal Steward;
             Recommended Reading Set 6
―     Knowledge of the Catechism of the Catholic
         Church, and other appropriate materials;
―     Discernment regarding religious and political
         movements and local as well as international
         pressures;
―     Growth of atheism and anti-theism and the
         systematic, sustained destruction of
         Judaeo-Christian civilisation;
―     Nature of Messianic Renewal;
                                              Restoration;
                                              Service.

•     Promoting a correct understanding of the Church’s teaching
       in matters of the Christian Faith.

•     Training in:—

a)     How to remain aware of profound changes occurring
         in our society and the world at large, how to avoid
         letting them overwhelm us, and how we can take
         them into account in our Christian life;

b)     How to attend to any lingering or distorted
         misunderstandings about Jesus Christ which can, in
         turn, distort our views of the Church and its role in the world.

•     Facilitating, a sound knowledge about the inter-relationship
       of Judaism and Christianity and the entry of Jews into the Church.
       See the article, “The Return of the Jews”, Recommended Reading Set 7.

•     Learning how to respect the various Christian and Jewish
       denominations and value the contributions they make in our
       Judaeo-Christian culture.

5.     Discipleship

This ministry includes a wide range of knowledge and experiences
dealing with formation in Hebrew Catholic spirituality which
welcomes interaction with other Jewish and Christian groups.

•     Focussing in a sustained and consistent way, on the life,
       teaching, passion, death, resurrection and Kingship of our
       Lord Jesus Christ.

•     Honouring our Blessed Lady Miriam for her special role
       in Salvation History and as a model of Hebrew-Christian living.

              See: “Mary as Queen Mother of Jerusalem”, by Taylor R. Marshall:
               Recommended Reading, Set 8.

     See also, “Why We Honor Mary”, by Martin K. Barrack,
     Recommended Reading Set 9.

•     Organising: sustained spiritual support:

―     courses and seminars;
―     camps, mission and retreats;
―     visitation rosters;
―     arranging contacts and links.

•     Teaching a Rule of Life e.g. St Benedict’s Rule especially the
       “Prologue“; which provides a Biblical Vision of Christian life.
       It is offered as just one example which has proved helpful to
       many Christians and Jews over the last one and a half millennia.
       Other such work, Jewish and Christian, may be enlisted and
       drawn upon, with gratitude, as part of our heritage.

•     Building a culture within the Church which includes
       restoration of an Israelite Community. It also includes an
       understanding of our Fellowship as comprising members from
       both Jewish and Gentile backgrounds.

Note:     Groups can be formed with or without either
Jewish or Gentile members and be legitimately
Christian, Messianic or Hebrew Catholic in name,
function and purpose, provided they are not in
conflict with our Charism and Purpose.

A truly Israelite liturgy, spirituality and culture can
be established and carefully maintained according to
the Jewish background of the members involved.
This can therefore reflect a wide span and range
of practice.

•     Equipping members with skill-sets to deal with
       influences from opposing or deviant movements
       (which have gained momentum especially since
         the middle of the 20th century).

6. Evangelisation

•     Desiring ardently to share our Faith and all it teaches
       about God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

•     Discerning: what we mean by biblical evangelisation;

•     Communicating with the real, living Jesus Christ our King;

•     Being “a light to the nations”;

•     Walking the path with others, learning together, and
       helping one another, and sharing warm hospitality with
       all who choose to respond to God’s invitation to return to
       Him, and take their place as members of His Family.

7. Worship

•     Celebrating the whole of life, centred in the Eucharist.

•     Ensuring each member has an appropriate understanding
       regarding worship and devotions.

•     Encouraging strong, clear links between places of worship and home.

•     Providing support and encouragement for members to include
       neighbours, friends and others to join them in family worship
       in their homes.

•     Promoting:

a)     sensitivity to the Presence of God; and
b)     the appropriate ways to acknowledge and demonstrate this.

•     Proclaiming “Jesus is Lord!” He is “Christ our King”.

       Our Spirituality and religious practice are strongly and
       emphatically Messianic: thus we proclaim Jesus to be our
       Messianic Lord in ways which are:

—     Scriptural;
—     Eucharistic; and
—     Evangelistic.

       Together, these special offerings form the central core and
       foundation of our personal consecration and service to Christ’s
       Church upon earth, and thus to all humanity.
        See our, “Hebrew Catholic Presence in the Church

•     Rejoicing in our membership of God’s Household through
       dignified, joyful, solemn, meaningful, worship appropriate
       in the circumstances.

•     Welcoming all who choose to join us and taking special
       care of those who are unfamiliar with our worship or practices.

•     Giving clear instruction about matters which may not be
       understood by some:

+     Different roles in worship;
+     Appropriate attire;
+     Use of religious objects;
+     Sacred space and time.

•     Facilitating Interconnection within private and public religious life.

•     Teaching the use of a Hebrew Calendar, in conjunction with local
       Church calandars;

       Encouraging ancient and modern approaches to Lectio Divina,
       or other sound forms of Scripture Meditation.

 

Connection with Catholic Spirituality

Hebrew Catholic spirituality is deeply grounded both in Salvation History as it unfolds in Sacred Scripture, as well as in traditional Catholic Teaching exemplified in the long line of Christian writers down the ages and in works such as The Catechism of the Catholic Church. Some aspects of special importance and relevance therefore can be identified. We give just a few examples. (Those hyper-linked may be visited on our web site.)

1.      The understanding of “fulfilmentof the Mosaic Covenant in the Passion and death of our Blessed Messiah. Thus the following are especially significant:

•     Meditation on the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ.
       See our devotion, “Little Office of the Passion“.

•     Love of the Crucifix and associated devotions.
       Our “Visit to the Crucifix” is one example of a Hebrew Catholic
       Perspective with regard to the traditional Passionist Devotion.
          See our devotion, “A Visit to the Crucifix“.

•     Love for the Blessed Virgin Mary: honouring in her all the
       best in Jewish spiritual, and family preparation, for her unique role.
       See our Celebration, “Vespers of Our Lady“.

2.     The understanding of participation in Eucharist as the new Covenant. Arising
         from this therefore, is the hugely important place liturgical celebration of
         the Eucharist has. This is evidenced by such things as:—

•     Ernest preparation for it by studying and meditating on the
       appointed Scriptures for each celebration (especially on the
       Lord’s Day) with a special focus on the Gospels.
       Our Reflections on the Sunday Gospels for years A, B and C
       are intended to help in this important exercise.   
       See our, Reflections on the Sunday Gospels“.

•     An ancient Hebrew-Christian approach to Scripture Meditation
       (a form of Lectio Divina) is just one example of our devotion to
       Christ: the Word of God — Christ our Torah which we offer to all
       who would like the help it offers.    See our “Scripture Meditation“.

•     For Catholics love for the gift of the Blessed Sacrament reserved
       within sanctuaries — the Real Presence of Christ the Word made
       flesh in the Tabernacle: encouraging a daily visit in person, or at
       least spiritually. See our,
         “Spiritual Visit to the Blessed Sacrament and Spiritual Communion“.

•     A strong commitment to the Jewish tradition of processions of the
       Word of God among His People that they might come closer to Him —

+ the Word proclaimed in the Sacred Books and Scrolls;
+ the Word made flesh in the Blessed Sacrament. (John 6)

•     The passionate belief that Jesus Messiah is the True Shepherd of
       Israel — indeed the Good Shepherd who reaches out to every single
       person to bring them back into the Household of God, their true home.
                                                                  (Ezekiel 34: 11 — 16).

       Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, is one example of what can
       provide a link between devotion in the sanctuary of the home and
       the sanctuary at one’s place of worship. Devotion to Jesus,
       True Shepherd, is another.
          See our devotion, “Triduum to the Sacred Heart of Jesus“.
         See our article, “An Oratory At Home“.

 

 – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -

 

An Invitation To You

Our reflections have traversed through a number of aspects of our Fellowship, introducing our readers to the foundations upon which it has evolved and currently operates. It evolved over a number of years — and presumably, if it serves God’s purposes, will be permitted to continue its course of growth and development. Each participating member will have the opportunity to contribute to its ongoing organisation: adaptations and refinement.

Our invitation extends to our readers, in the first instance, to participate in our various activities. As we have stated: they revolve around our Sevenfold Model of Service. It is within this model of service that we participate as fully as we can in the Renewal, and Restoration on which we have been reflecting. Thus we become engaged in :

•     Coming together to share warm hospitality, to celebrate
       the goodness of God, to enjoy caring for one another, and
       to build a strong, united Fellowship active in the homes and
       gathering places of our members.

•     Studying the Scriptures and Teaching of the Church
       in accord with approved documents and sources.

•     Praying, meditating and worshipping at home or
       at church, in ways which include Hebrew-Christian aspects.

•     Learning how to develop a strong spiritual life, how to
       celebrate God’s Presence in our world, and how to share
       these gifts with others.

•     Reaching out to the local Church wherever it meets, and
       encouraging involvement in: Renewal, Restoration and Service.

•     Raising our hearts and souls to God: Father, Son and
       Holy Spirit and preparing for the Glorious Return of our
       Most Blessed Messiah and the perfect establishment of
       His Kingdom on earth. For that we all pray:
       Maranatha.    Amen.    Come Lord Jesus!

We appeal to all interested members of the Church to join us, or at least support in some way, our dedication to the mission of our Blessed Messiah — the Lord Jesus Christ.

If you would like to find out more about us, please contact us through our web site, or write to HCF, P.O. Box 228, Kaukapakapa, Auckland 0843, New Zealand.

 

Shalom!

Web site www.hebrewcatholic.org.nz

 

Appendix 1

 

Listen — Love — Live

Our Calling as Members of Christ’s Body, the Church

Our vocation, or calling as Christians, is deeply etched in the whole of our Judaeo-Christian Biblical culture. It can be enunciated in a single breath and yet take a life-time to explain. As mission-oriented Christians, we certainly need to be able to express our calling simply in our own language. We also need to live it out in our daily lives, and be able to give our personal view and understanding of it in a conversation or discussion. Some are called to be equipped to express this calling in greater scope and depth ― but all members of the Church can build an ever-deepening appreciation of our unique and wonderful heritage as Christians, at whatever level we feel is right for us.

Our experience in assisting ourselves and others to achieve this has shown that it can be helpful to start with a simple statement of fact and gradually enlarge it. What follows is one approach that has proved useful and effective. For some a good starting place is to be able to state:

“I am a Christian ― that is, a follower of Jesus Christ,
  learning to live the way of life He taught us.”

How we go on from that point is each person′s choice and depends upon circumstances at the time. We have assembled two charts with the intention of helping unpack the above statement. Some may call it too simplistic or forced. We do not see it that way and therefore pursue it as a means of deepening our personal understanding of our vocation as members of Christ′s Body, the Church. This is our way of responding to our vocation within the life of the Church. It is not a matter of stilted conformity to a charter. Rather it is welcoming opportunities to share what we are and believe in among those with whom we mix ― and we can do this quietly without seeking to force-feed anyone. It is as much doing and being what we believe, as it is in telling it!

The whole of our vocation as Christians is summed up by our Messiah, the Lord Jesus, when He re-affirmed the central core of the Hebrew Christian Faith:

to love the one and only God totally and follow His Divine Will which is the way Her has provided to bring us to fullness of Life — and to reflect this in everything we think, do and say.

This is how it is recorded in the Gospels: Jesus said:

The first Commandment is:
” ‘Hear, O Israel! The LORD our God, is LORD alone!

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all
your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength’.

The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbour as
yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.
The whole law and the prophets depend on these two
commandments.”

(Deuteronomy 6: 4.)   (Leviticus 19: 18.)   (Matthew 22: 39 — 41)   (Mark 12: 29 — 31)

Jesus demonstrated this perfectly in His life, death and resurrection; and has come to restore us so that we can do the same.

 

Our Messiah Is Our Model

From a reading of the four Gospels and a sweeping overview of the public ministry of our Lord, we could summarise three significant action-streams, which show what He stands for.

•     Jesus calls disciples and proclaims God’s message of love.
•     Jesus follows His Father in loving response, and sacrifices His life for us.
•     Jesus rises to New Life, ascends into Heaven, and sends
       the Holy Spirit to help us live with Him.

We can expand this a little to show how Jesus exemplified in His life the core of the message He delivered. So let us take a look at this in a diagrammatic overview, and note the pattern it reflects.

 

A Snapshot of the Messiah in Word and Action

I

JESUS PROCLAIMS
God’s MESSAGE of
LOVE and CALLS
disciples to follow Him

• He has come to call and deliver us from all that enslaves us, isolates us, limits us and separates us from God.

 

• He has come to fulfill prophecy in obedience to His Father and to sacrifice His life for our eternal salvation.

 

 

• He will rise from the dead to New Life and prepare a place for us in heaven: and will come again to restore the whole of creation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

II

JESUS
FOLLOWS
HIS FATHER’S WILL
PERFECTLY

• Jesus follows perfectly, the Path for God’s People which He provides in His Law / Torah.

 

• In His obedience to His Father’s Will, Jesus underwent His Passion and sacrificial death for our sake as well as that of all humanity.

 

 

• Jesus thus models for us the Love we owe God as our first obligation as members of His Family and Household.

 

 

 

 

 

 

III

JESUS
ROSE FROM THE DEAD
and
LIVES FOREVER

• Jesus rose to live with us and for us ― to give us LIFE to the full: His LIFE.

 

• He ascended into heaven to prepare a place for us. He sends the Holy Spirit to assist us and prepare us for service to God and equip us finally to be with Him.

 

• He will return at the end of time to complete God’s plan of total restoration of all creation in the glorious Kingdom of His Son. The world has always been the Kingdom of He who created it. It is now for us to recognise it as the vineyard of the Lord in which we are to apply every ability we have in His service, preparing it as we await His Glorious Return.

 

 

How Can We Reflect This Model?

Remember What We Are. — We are Christians — that is,
followers of Jesus Christ, learning to live the way He taught us!
Thus we reflect this model in our lives when:

I

We listen to the Messiah
and His message of
love and life to the
full, and let it dwell
in us richly.

LISTEN

• He calls us, invites us
to follow Him in a
journey away from enslavement to
ungodly beliefs and
practices none of
which lead to true
happiness.

• With the help of the
Holy Spirit we embark
on this journey of
returning to God,
helping and
encouraging one
another.

• We listen and respond wholeheartedly to Him
and follow His path ―
a journey out of
darkness into light.

 

 

 

Note:

   This journey
   includes   
   learning to pray, to
   study, to worship, to
   celebrate and to
   recover a new sense
   of hope and
   enjoyment of life.

 

 

 

II

We follow
His Teaching
by
responding in love
and dying
sacrificially with Him.

LOVE

• Jesus bids us to take
up our cross daily and
follow Him.

 

• We respond lovingly
to Him and unite our
will with His.

 

• We thus die daily to
our own selfishness, self-importance,
limitations and
indulgence. We do this
in union with His own
death.

 

 

 

 

Notes:

   In this way we prove
   our love for God, and
   for our neighbours.

   We die to self as we
   give priority to helping
   other people. Thus we
   listen to their stories
   of pain, hurt,
   deprivation, anger,
   despair, loneliness:
   and do what we can
   to redress injustice,
   oppression, and
   sadness.

 

III

WE LIVE
ABUNDANTLY
IN
HIM!
We rise
with Him,
 and receive
the Holy Spirit.

LIVE

• We receive the Holy
Spirit and share in His
Risen LIFE as members
of His Family Household,
even in this world.

• We begin to
experience
ABUNDANT LIFE
in the full which is a preparation for our
LIFE with Him in
Heaven.

• He will return to bring
the whole of God’s
plan to consummation
and glorious
fulfillment. Meanwhile
He commands us to
live by Gospel values
and take these out and
share them with
“every creature” in
preparation for His
Glorious Return
.

 
Note:

   This is something we
   do as members of
   God’s Household in
   the company of His
   Family.

 

 

 

 

 

Note: We offer an expansion of these three “streams” in Unit 6
             of our article — “The Gospel to Every Creature”.                     

A Final Word

May we be richly blessed as we reflect on what it means to belong to Jesus Christ.

Shalom!

 

Appendix 2

Some Special Books

In the course of our on-going activities, we will highlight a wide range of important literature impacting upon our apostolate. At this point we draw attention to some outstanding books, with links to sources where further information can be obtained.

Many Religions, One Covenant

 

1.     Many Religions
                         One Covenant     
           by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger  
                     Ignatius Press,
                     San Francisco. 1999. 

The CRucified Rabbi by Taylor Marshall  

2.     The Crucified Rabbi,
        
    b
y Taylor R. Marshall.    

                      St. John’s Press,
                      Texas. 2009.
 

Salvation is from the Jews  Shoeman

 

3.     Salvation Is From the Jews,
            by Roy Shoeman.    
                      Ignatius Press,
                      San Francisco. 2003.

Second Exodus  by Barrack

 

4.     Second Exodus,
           by Martin K. Barrack.   
                Magnificat Institute Press,
                     Houston, U.S.A. 1999.

 

5.     The Mystery of Israel
         and the Church
, (4 volumes)
            by Lawrence Feingold,   
                Miriam Press,
                      St. Louis,
                      U.S.A. 2008.

Volume I Figure and Fulfilment

Volume II Things New and Old

Volume III The Messianic Kingdom of Israel

Volume IV The Messiah of Israel (In preparation)

             

Appendix 3

Relationship with

the Association of Hebrew Catholics

 

Introduction to Association of Hebrew Catholics

The AHC is one of the most prominent organisations engaged in helping people of Jewish lineage or culture who have become Christians, to retain their Jewish identity, whilst finding their place in the Church. Although centred in the Catholic Church they welcome other fellow Christians as associate members who participate fully in the Association’s activities.

Fr. Elias Friedman, co-founder of the AHC wrote in one of his counsels:

“Consider the primary aim of the group to be,
not the conversion of the Jews, but the creation
of a new Hebrew Catholic community life and spirit,
an alternative society to the old.”

                      (Quoted from: The Hebrew Catholic No. 91 2013-2014)

This is a very exciting concept, and one which deserves much attention. Some readers may, in all sincerity, find themselves asking: “Why Hebrew Catholic? After all, that implies one has to be both a practising Catholic and having some sort of Jewish connection.”

First, the primary aim of the group is not exclusiveness!
Catholic culture is a vast expanse in time and throughout
almost countless cultures. The Catholic Church strongly
and emphatically declares in its promulgated teaching
documents that other Christian Faith communities contain
much in their creeds and articles of Faith which are in
harmony with its own doctrine. It therefore acknowledges
these areas of common ground to signify opportunities for
Christians of different persuasions to respect one another’s
membership of Christ’s Body, the Church.

On this basis AHC welcomes various forms of involvement and attachment.

 

http://hebrewcatholic.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/candlestick.jpg
Sharing In A Vision

The Messianic Fellowship of the Household of God is committed to support in every way possible, the restoration of a vibrant traditional Jewish culture of worship, spirituality, study, hospitality and religious practice within the Church.

As we have stated in several places within our documents, all such pursuits in the light of our Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ — can continue to promote the glory of God: May His Name be praised, whose glorious Kingdom is forever.

We therefore strongly support our Jewish sisters and brothers who believe they are called to be part of such movements within the Church.

As a Fellowship, we are equally committed to establishing clear guidelines for non-Jews who wish to join in the restoration of our Hebrew Christian heritage and, as Gentile members of the Church, seek to be full participants and members of this religious revival within the Church. Their presence and membership are critical and highly valued.

 

Messianic Fellowship: A Partner to AHC

The Messianic Fellowship has grown from a diverse mixture of Christian and Jewish background. It is strongly motivated to stimulate interest in personal renewal, restoration and service to (and beyond) the Church at large. For some, it may be a stepping stone towards membership of AHC. For others, it may provide a place to belong, to learn and support the promotion of Hebrew Christian thinking.

The Fellowship is committed to making available forms of prayer, meditation, worship, celebration, and community service which evolved from earliest Christian sources. These are for the use of individuals, family and in other group settings.

Indeed our Fellowship has been set up to embrace any sincere person who wishes to join in these activities. Thus the Fellowship, whilst strongly supportive of AHC, wishes to open pathways to people who have no Christian or Jewish background, and are not in a position to deal with what these entail.

The Messianic Fellowship seeks to facilitate the interface of Christians coming from vastly different backgrounds and traditions. It thus provides an atmosphere of learning, fellowship and worship, in appropriate ways, thus helping pave the way for future developments as inspired by the Holy Spirit.

It is our hope that we can work together in collaboration and make real and actual a love of our Hebrew heritage throughout the Christian world. As Family of God, we acknowledge our joint obligation to respect the wide variety of religious practice which exists in our different cultural traditions.

 

Shalom!

 

Appendix 4

Connection with Catholic Spirituality

The spirituality of the Messianic Fellowship is deeply grounded both in Salvation History as it unfolds in Sacred Scripture as well as in traditional Catholic Teaching exemplified in the long line of Christian writers down the ages and in works such as The Catechism of the Catholic Church. Some aspects of special importance and relevance therefore can be identified. We give just a few examples. (Those hyper-linked may be visited on our web site.)

1.     The understanding of “fulfilment” of the Mosaic Covenant in the Passion and death of our Blessed Messiah. Thus the following are especially significant:

•     Meditation on the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ.
      See our devotion, “Little Office of the Passion“.

•     Love of the Crucifix and associated devotions.
       Our “Visit to the Crucifix” is one example of a Hebrew
       Catholic Perspective with regard to the traditional
       Passionist Devotion.
       See our devotion, “A Visit to the Crucifix“.

•     Love for the Blessed Virgin Mary: honouring in her all
       the best in Jewish spiritual, and family preparation,
       for her unique role.
       See our Celebration, “Vespers of Our Lady“.

2.    The understanding of participation in the Eucharist as the new Covenant. Arising from this therefore, is the hugely important place liturgical celebration of the Eucharist has. This is evidenced by such things as:—

•     Ernest preparation for it by studying and meditating on
       the appointed Scriptures for each celebration
       (especially on the Lord’s Day) with a special focus on the
       Gospels. Our Reflections on the Sunday Gospels for years
       A, B and C are intended to help in this important exercise.
       See our, “Reflections on the Sunday Gospels“.

•     An ancient Hebrew-Christian approach to Scripture Meditation
       (a form of Lectio Divina) is just one example of our devotion
       to Christ: the Word of God — Christ our Torah which we offer
       to all who would like the help it offers.
       See our, “Scripture Meditation“.

•     For Catholics love for the gift of the Blessed Sacrament
       reserved within sanctuaries — the Real Presence of
       Christ the Word made flesh in the Tabernacle: encouraging a
       daily visit in person, or at least spiritually.
       See our,
       “Spiritual Visit to the Blessed Sacrament and Spiritual Communion“.

•     A strong commitment to the Judaeo-Christian tradition of
       acknowledging fervently and affectionately the Divine Presence
       in both Word and Sacrament demonstrated in processions
       among God’s People that they might come closer to Him in —

+     the Word proclaimed in the Sacred Books and Scrolls;
+     the Word made flesh in the Blessed Sacrament.

•     The passionate belief that Jesus Messiah is the
       True Shepherd of Israel — indeed the Good Shepherd who
       reaches out to every single person to bring them back into
       the Household of God, their true home. (Ezekiel 34: 11 — 16).
       This is especially evident in devotions such as the Sacred Heart
       of Jesus, which also provide a link between devotion in the
       sanctuary of the home and the sanctuary at one’s place of worship.
       See our devotion, “Triduum to the Sacred Heart of Jesus“.
         See our article, “An Oratory At Home“.

 

Appendix 5

 Additional Recommended Reading

Set 1        The Prodigal Father.

Set 2        Calling In The Desert.

Set 3        The Transfiguration of the Lord.

Set 4        Salt of the Earth : Light of the World.

Set 5        Hanukkah: Feast of Dedication.

Set 6        The Pope as the King’s Royal Steward.

Set 7        The Return of the Jews.

Set 8        Mary, Queen Mother of Jerusalem.

Set 9        Why We Honour Mary.

 

Appendix 6

Hyperlinks to our Website:

•      Prologue (with reflections) to the Rule of St. Benedict

•      Hebrew Catholic Presence In the Church

•      Little Office of the Passion

•      A Visit to the Crucifix

•      Vespers of Our Lady

•      Reflections on the Sunday Gospels

•      Scripture Meditation (Hebrew Catholic Lectio Divina)

•      An Oratory At Home

 

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