Category: Bible

Protestant Assumptions about the Assumption  

What came first, the chicken or the egg?
What came first? The doctrine? Or the practice? In my opinion, Protestants function under the premise that:
a. all doctrine is first, written down.
b. the Church issues the doctrine in some sort of edict.
c. the Catholic faithful now begin to follow this doctrine.
Although that is how God promulgated the Ten Commandments in the Old Testament. That is probably ….(Read More).

Does the Bible say that missing the Mass is a mortal sin?

The Catholic Church teaches that missing the Mass is a mortal sin.

Protestants object vehemently to this teaching. They claim that the Catholic Church oversteps its bounds when she requires her members to attend the Mass on pains of mortal sin. Many nominal Catholics, having been convinced of the Protestant argument, have fallen away because of it. But, what does the Bible say?

See the rest, here.

What role do works play in our salvation?

Matthew 25:41-46

King James Version (KJV)
41Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
42For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
43I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
44Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
45Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
46And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
Note that the goats did nothing.  They did nothing at all.  They did not commit any evil sin.  They did not jump on or beat up the innocent.  They did not steal their food.

They simply did nothing at all.

Note also that they called Jesus, Lord.

Faith without works is dead, being alone.  (James 2:17)

Who is right? St. James or St. Paul?

St. James actually teaches the imprecise lesson. We are saved by faith and works, “so to speak”. Because they are necessary prerequisites.

I think we all agree that “faith” is a necessary prerequisite, do we not?

Hebrews 11:6But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

And works are also a necessary prerequisite. St. John says:

John 15:2

Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away:….

Does that mean then, that we work our way to heaven? By no means.

Does it mean that we cleanse our own souls of sins? No way.

Here is what the Catholic Church officially says:

Trent 6

CHAPTER VIII

HOW THE GRATUITOUS JUSTIFICATION OF THE SINNER BY FAITH IS TO BE UNDERSTOOD

But when the Apostle says that man is justified by faith and freely,[44] these words are to be understood in that sense in which the uninterrupted unanimity of the Catholic Church has held and expressed them, namely, that we are therefore said to be justified by faith, because faith is the beginning of human salvation, the foundation and root of all justification, without which it is impossible to please God[45] and to come to the fellowship of His sons;

and we are therefore said to be justified gratuitously, because none of those things that precede justification, whether faith or works, merit the grace of justification.

For, if by grace, it is not now by works, otherwise, as the Apostle says, grace is no more grace.[46]

 Note the bold italics.
St. Paul teaches the same thing, but more precisely. He says:

Romans 2:13

For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

The only thing he needs to add to that to be absolutely precise are the words, “by God”. It would then read:

For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified by God.

Here’s the rest of the Catholic Teaching from Trent:

CHAPTER VII

IN WHAT THE JUSTIFICATION OF THE SINNER CONSISTS, AND WHAT ARE ITS CAUSES

This disposition or preparation is followed by justification itself, which is not only a remission of sins but also the sanctification and renewal of the inward man through the voluntary reception of the grace and gifts whereby an unjust man becomes just and from being an enemy becomes a friend, that he may be an heir according to hope of life everlasting.[30]

The causes of this justification are:

the final cause is the glory of God and of Christ and life everlasting; the efficient cause is the merciful God who washes and sanctifies[31] gratuitously, signing and anointing with the holy Spirit of promise, who is the pledge of our inheritance,[32] the meritorious cause is His most beloved only begotten, our Lord Jesus Christ, who, when we were enemies,[33] for the exceeding charity wherewith he loved us,[34] merited for us justification by His most holy passion on the wood of the cross and made satisfaction for us to God the Father, the instrumental cause is the sacrament of baptism, which is the sacrament of faith,[35] without which no man was ever justified finally, the single formal cause is the justice of God, not that by which He Himself is just, but that by which He makes us just, that, namely, with which we being endowed by Him, are renewed in the spirit of our mind,[36] and not only are we reputed but we are truly called and are just, receiving justice within us, each one according to his own measure, which the Holy Ghost distributes to everyone as He wills,[37] and according to each one’s disposition and cooperation.

Again, please note the bold italics.

What the Church teaches is that it is God who justifies….those who have faith in Him and obey His will. In other words, those who permit Him to work through them to achieve His purpose.
Again I hope that I have not overcomplicated the matter for you. Your understanding is already correct.

What does the Bible say about transubstantiation?

Nothing.

Transubstantiation is a big word that means changing one substance to another.  The word itself is never found in Scripture because the word had not yet been coined.  That wouldn’t happen for many more centuries.

However, there are examples of transubstantiation in the Bible.  Jesus Christ transubstantiated water into wine in the Wedding at Cana.

And Jesus Christ transubstantiated bread into His Body and wine into His Blood in the Last Supper.

Matthew 26:
26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.
27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;
28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

Second Sunday of Advent – December 7, 2014

Lectionary: 5

Reading 1 IS 40:1-5, 9-11

A reading from the book of the Prophet Isaiah.  This reading is in the context of the Babylonian exile.  The Jews were captured and taken away from their homes.  Only a remnant remained in Jerusalem.  The rest were living in captivity in far away lands.  God permitted this because of their disobedience.  It was a result of the curses which God proclaimed in the very beginning, in the book of Deuteronomy in the “Punishment for idolatry“.  But now, the Lord is relenting and begun to pour His mercy upon Jerusalem.  Therefore, He says to Isaiah:

Comfort, give comfort to my people,
says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her
that her service is at an end,
her guilt is expiated;
indeed, she has received from the hand of the LORD
double for all her sins.

The suffering of Jerusalem has satisfied God’s demand for justice.  Their sin has been expiated.  So, God relents.

A voice cries out:
In the desert prepare the way of the LORD!
Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God!
Every valley shall be filled in,
every mountain and hill shall be made low;
the rugged land shall be made a plain,
the rough country, a broad valley.
Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
and all people shall see it together;
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

This voice in the desert is St. John the Baptist.  Isaiah is prophesying of his coming and his announcing the coming of Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Go up on to a high mountain,
Zion, herald of glad tidings;
cry out at the top of your voice,
Jerusalem, herald of good news!

Mount Zion is a mountain outside of Jerusalem.  If I’m not mistaken, it is the same as Mount Sinai, the place from where God spoke to Moses (Exodus 19:18).

Isaiah is prophesying the time of the coming of Jesus Christ and is comparing Jerusalem to the Precursor, St. John the Baptist.  The irony is that Jerusalem will climb the mountain not to rejoice, but to lament the coming of the Messiah.  Because it is upon a high mountain outside of Jerusalem that they crucify Him.

Fear not to cry out
and say to the cities of Judah:
Here is your God!
Here comes with power
the Lord GOD,
who rules by his strong arm;
here is his reward with him,
his recompense before him.

This brings us up to the Second Coming of the Lord in Power.  When He comes to judge the earth. 

Like a shepherd he feeds his flock;
in his arms he gathers the lambs,
carrying them in his bosom,
and leading the ewes with care.

And there will be a new heaven and a new earth.   And that is a great comfort, indeed.

Responsorial Psalm PS 85:9-10, 11-12, 13-14

R/ (8) Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.
I will hear what God proclaims;
the LORD—for he proclaims peace to his people.
Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him,
glory dwelling in our land.

God has made peace with His people.  He has forgiven their sins and again promised them salvation if they keep His commandments.

R/ Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.
Kindness and truth shall meet;
justice and peace shall kiss.
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
and justice shall look down from heaven.

When God redeems the earth, all things will be made new.

R/ Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.
The LORD himself will give his benefits;
our land shall yield its increase.
Justice shall walk before him,
and prepare the way of his steps.

God Himself will walk amongst His people.

R/ Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.

Reading 2 2 PT 3:8-14

Do not ignore this one fact, beloved,
that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years
and a thousand years like one day.

Don’t we know it?  Not only that, but God’s way are not our ways.  Things always work out, but not the way we expect.

The Lord does not delay his promise, as some regard “delay,”
but he is patient with you,
not wishing that any should perish
but that all should come to repentance.

God waits on us that we turn to Him and be saved.

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief,

But He won’t wait forever.  So, don’t let that day catch you unprepared.

and then the heavens will pass away with a mighty roar
and the elements will be dissolved by fire,
and the earth and everything done on it will be found out.
Since everything is to be dissolved in this way,
what sort of persons ought you to be,
conducting yourselves in holiness and devotion,
waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God,
because of which the heavens will be dissolved in flames
and the elements melted by fire.

Oh, yeah!  If God can dissolve things in this way, what manner of logic would persuade anyone to put God to the test?

But according to his promise
we await new heavens and a new earth
in which righteousness dwells.
Therefore, beloved, since you await these things,
be eager to be found without spot or blemish before him, at peace.

Yes!  Be eager to do good that God may turn to you and say, “well done, good and faithful servant!”  And He will let you in to His House, forever.

Alleluia LK 3:4, 6

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths:
all flesh shall see the salvation of God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Are you preparing for the birth of our Lord, in your hearts?  Jesus Christ was born long ago, in Bethlehem.  He will not be born there again.  It is time to prepare that Jesus Christ be born, in your heart, that you may be born again, in His Spirit.

Gospel MK 1:1-8

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God.

As it is written in Isaiah the prophet:
Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you;
he will prepare your way.
A voice of one crying out in the desert:
“Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths.”
John the Baptist appeared in the desert
proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

And preparing the People of God for the coming of their Saviour.

People of the whole Judean countryside
and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem
were going out to him
and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River
as they acknowledged their sins.

And many people repented of their sins and were Baptized by St. John.

John was clothed in camel’s hair,
with a leather belt around his waist.
He fed on locusts and wild honey.
And this is what he proclaimed:
“One mightier than I is coming after me.
I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals.
I have baptized you with water;
he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

That One is Jesus Christ.  Emmanuel, God with us.  He is the One who gives us living water in the Holy Sacraments, by the power of the Holy Spirit.