"And I beheld, and heard the voice of one eagle flying through the midst of heaven,
saying with a loud voice: Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth....
[Apocalypse (Revelation) 8:13]

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Fr. Campbell, " Covenant Woes and Blessings"

The Covenant Woes and Blessings

Today we celebrate the Feast of St. Luke, to whom we are indebted for the Gospel that bears his name, as well as the Acts of the Apostles. St. Luke worked with St. Paul preaching the Gospel in Greece and Rome. He died a martyr before the end of the first century.

St. Luke must also have known the Blessed Virgin Mary, who is featured prominently in the first two chapters of his Gospel. He reports her words to the Archangel Gabriel, which should become our words too: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to your word” (Lk.1:38). 

To do the will of God is the secret of the saints. When we do God’s will we are in perfect peace, and our works bear fruit that lasts eternally. It does not necessarily mean that we will prosper materially. Saints usually don’t. But it does us no good to be unhappy with God’s plan for our lives. We bring misfortune and disaster upon ourselves by ignoring God’s will and choosing a path that leads us away from God.

Those who obey God enter into a Covenant with Him through Baptism, and take part in the Covenant Ritual which is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. This is why attendance at Holy Mass every Sunday is so important for Catholics. Many must follow the Mass at home because the True Mass is not easily accessible to them. Those who are able to come, unless otherwise validly excused, must realize the consequences of disobeying God and His Church. How tragic to see them become a part of today’s disobedient generation!

The original covenant God made with the Israelites at Sinai is spelled out in detail in Sacred Scripture in the Books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy. Keeping God’s Commandments would bring blessings: “If you live in accordance with my precepts and are careful to observe my commandments, I will give you rain in due season, so that the land will bear its crops, and the trees their fruit; your threshing will last till vintage time, and your vintage till the time for sowing, and you will have food to eat in abundance, so that you may dwell securely in your land” (Lev.26:3-5). 

But there are also covenant curses, punishments that would be theirs if they broke the Covenant: “But if you do not heed me and do not keep all these commandments, if you reject my precepts and spurn my decrees, refusing to obey all my commandments and breaking my covenant… I will punish you with terrible woes…” (Lev.26:14-16).

The covenant woes of Leviticus are grouped in four sets of seven chastisements. If the people failed to repent after the first chastisements, they would suffer seven more severe punishments: “If you do not obey me I will punish you seven times more for your sins” (Lev.26:18). If they were still unrepentant, they would suffer seven more punishments until God’s patience would be exhausted, and they would have to endure the final set of seven terrible woes.  

Israel’s ultimate act of defiance against God was its rejection of Jesus Christ as the promised Messiah, 
which broke their Covenant with God and merited for them the seven-fold covenant curses. Jesus 
Himself foretold this when He thundered seven woes against the Scribes and the Pharisees, declaring 
that “all these things will come upon this generation” (Mt.23:33-36).
The Church is now the New Israel, so that there is now only one valid Covenant to which all must 
belong who wish to be saved. As St. Paul says in Romans: “Christ is the consummation of the Law 
unto justice for everyone who believes” (Rom.10:4). 
The Apocalypse of St. John, the last book of the Bible, gives us an account of the struggle between 
those who held to the Old Covenant, and the Church of the New Covenant. The Old Covenant fails, 
as the covenant curses described in Leviticus fall upon unfaithful Israel, initiated by the opening of 
seven seals by the Lamb, the sounding of seven trumpets by the angels, the roar of seven thunders, 
and the pouring out of seven bowls of wrath upon the earth by the angels. Jerusalem is utterly 
destroyed. St. John echoes the words of Jesus: “And in her was found blood of prophets and of saints, 
and of all who have been slain upon the earth: (Apoc.18:24). 
The fate of disobedient Israel has been spelled out in history. What happened to the descendants of the 
Israelites should fill us all with the fear of God. But the New Vatican has failed to learn the lesson. 
God’s Covenant is again disobeyed, and the bowls of God’s wrath are already being poured out anew
upon the earth. The dissident church of Vatican II, identifying itself with the revolutionaries who have
attempted to overthrow the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, has called down God’s terrible judgments and 
chastisements upon itself and upon the disobedient world. 
Almost daily we hear of fresh disasters overtaking the Modernist faction at the Vatican. And the 
sevenfold punishments foretold in Sacred Scripture will continue and worsen until Jesus Christ is 
again recognized and worshipped as King. In His Sermon on the Mount, Our Lord recalled the woes 
and blessings of the old Covenant, reminding us that they still apply. We can have little hope that 
mankind will learn its lesson any time soon. But those who are obedient to the Lord and strive to do 
His will have nothing to fear. St. Luke records four of each of the Woes and Blessings in his Gospel as 

“Blessed are you poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh. Blessed shall you be when men hate you, and when they shut you out, and reproach you, and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. Rejoice on that day and exult, for behold your reward is great in heaven. For in the selfsame manner their fathers used to treat the prophets. But woe to you rich! for you are now having your comfort. Woe to you who are filled! for you shall hunger. Woe to you who laugh now! for you shall mourn and weep. Woe to you when all men speak well of you! In the selfsame manner their fathers used to treat the prophets” (Lk.6:24-26).



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