That's what I do not recall having ever read before. Cool, right? I like it because of the symbolism- it's like the penances we receive when we go to confession, a small offering that works! And it is efficacious not because of the offering itself but because of the contrition and sentiments of the one performing the penance, the act of reparation. You know, it is easy to say, "gee whiz, going to confession and enunciating my sins to a priest is penance enough." Hey, no one is denying that. It is tough. But the additional penance is an important element, it is like that goat that Aaron sent off into the wilderness.
Aaron (I think) praying over the goat.... #scapegoat
During that same prayer session I read this:
In this context of sin, confession, and reconciliation, I think that it is most fitting to include this petition for wisdom. I know that in my personal prayer I ask for the gift of wisdom almost not at all (by the way, we have class on the wisdom books of the Old Testament this semester- that should bring up my average). Hopefully prayer and meditation on Sacred Scripture will augment our desire and petitions for wisdom. Life is short, fleeting, things come and go so quickly- like for Moses and the chosen people in the desert, it must have seemed like forever but then all of a sudden, one day, it was over and they were in the promised land.
For that reason, I want to encourage everyone to go to confession this Lent. Go to sacramental confession. Reach out to someone you have hurt or that has hurt you. Look to make peace. Peace is much needed in our world today. Let us pray the word of St. Francis: Lord, make me an channel of your peace.
To conclude I will share these beautiful lines from Origen which were also present in the liturgy of the hours that day:
From a homily by Origen on Leviticus...
"God taught the people of the old covenant how to celebrate the ritual offered to him in atonement for the sins of men. But you have come to Christ, the true high priest. Through his blood he has made God turn to you in mercy and has reconciled you with the Father. You must not think simply of ordinary blood but you must learn to recognize instead the blood of the Word. Listen to him as he tells you: This is my blood, which will be shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.
There is a deeper meaning in the fact that the high priest sprinkles the blood toward the east. Atonement comes to you from the east. From the east comes the one whose name is Dayspring, he who is mediator between God and men. You are invited then to look always to the east: it is there that the sun of righteousness rises for you, it is there that the light is always being born for you. You are never to walk in darkness; the great and final day is not to enfold you in darkness. Do not let the night and mist of ignorance steal upon you. So that you may always enjoy the light of knowledge, keep always in the daylight of faith, hold fast always to the light of love and peace."
It's Lent. Why not go to confession? Why not go again?
Find the readings of the office for that day here: http://divineoffice.org/lent-w04-mon-or/?date=20160307