An Ancient Homily for Holy Saturday

An Ancient Homily for Holy Saturday

Something strange is happening- – there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness.

The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep.

The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began.

God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear.

He has gone to search for our first parent, as for a lost sheep.

Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow the captives Adam and Eve, he who is both God and the son of Eve.

The Lord approached them bearing the cross, the weapon that had won him the victory.

At the sight of him Adam, the first man he had created, struck his breast in terror and cried out to everyone: “My Lord be with you all.” Christ answered him: “And with your spirit.”

He took him by the hand and raised him up, saying:

“Awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light. I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. Out of love for you and for your descendants I now by my own authority command all who are held in bondage to come forth all who are in darkness to be enlightened, all who are sleeping to arise. I order you, O sleeper, to awake.

I did not create you to be held a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead. Rise up, work of my hands, you who were created in my image.

Rise, let us leave this place, for you are in me and I am in you; together we form only one person and we cannot be separated.

For your sake I, your God, became your son; I, the Lord, took the form of a slave; I, whose home is above the heavens, descended to the earth and beneath the earth. For your sake, for the sake of man, I became like a man without help, free among the dead. For the sake of you, who left a garden, I was betrayed to the Jews in a garden, and I was crucified in a garden.

See on my face the spittle I received in order to restore to you the life I once breathed into you.

See there the marks of the blows I received in order to refashion your warped nature in my image.

On my back see the marks of the scourging I endured to remove the burden of sin that weighs upon your back.

See my hands, nailed firmly to a tree, for you who once wickedly stretched out your hand to a tree.

I slept on the cross and a sword pierced my side for you who slept in paradise and brought forth Eve from your side. My side has healed the pain in yours. My sleep will rouse you from your sleep in hell. The sword that pierced me has sheathed the sword that was turned against you.

Rise, let us leave this place. The enemy led you out of the earthly paradise.

I will not restore you to that paradise, but I will enthrone you in heaven.

I forbade you the tree that was only a symbol of life, but see, I who am life itself am now one with you. I had appointed cherubim to guard you as slaves are guarded, but now they show you reverence and devotion.

The throne formed by cherubim awaits you, its bearers swift and eager.

The bridal chamber is adorned, the banquet is ready, the eternal dwelling places are prepared, the treasure houses of all good things lie open.

The kingdom of heaven has been prepared for you from all eternity.”

From An Ancient Homily for Holy Saturday (P.G. 43, 439, 451, 462-463)

Submitted by Robert K.

Did God pay a “ransom” to the devil in order to redeem mankind?

We know that as a result of Adam’s Fall, all of mankind became permanently enslaved to Satan, sin and death, and without divine intervention, it would always be so.

But there seems to be a significant difference of opinion between Protestants and Catholics as to precisely what price Jesus paid for our redemption, and to whom.

Much of that difference is due to the particular translation found in the King James Bible, where the word “ransom” replaces the word “redemption”.

To put it very simply, the devil has never been known for honest dealing. Anyone who believes that God would enter into a ransom deal with the evil “Prince of this World” in order to redeem mankind, doesn’t understand the eternal realities of things.

Satan would never have “held up” his end of the deal!

There’s no doubt that Jesus paid a heavy price for our redemption … but that price was paid to God the Father … NOT to the devil … since in his divinity and his sinless, innocent humanity, every moment of Jesus’ earthly existence, every drop of blood he ever shed, every slight and/or injustice he ever bore, including his passion and death … served to honor God the Father, atone for the sins of mankind, and subsequently, turn aside God’s not inconsiderable (and totally justifiable) wrath.

Living for over thirty years in a putrid little “backwater” of a town in 1st century, Roman occupied Palestine wasn’t exactly Heaven, either!

As the undisputed “Prince of this World” … Satan knew that he could do whatever he wished with sinners … for over them, he was given the ultimate power of death. But that power didn’t apply to anyone who did not (or in Jesus’ case, could not) commit sin.

So, for illicitly orchestrating the totally unjust crucifixion of the sinless Son of God, Satan deserved only punishment … and he got it … losing everything he had earlier gained from Adam’s Fall.

All power in Heaven and on Earth was subsequently awarded to the risen Jesus, and with his Father’s complete approval, Jesus promptly and mercifully extended the grace of salvation to all men, through his Church. The offer is still available!

Saint Anselm of Canterbury explains it:

“God demanded that man should conquer the devil, so that he who had offended by sin should atone by holiness.”

“God owed nothing to the devil but punishment, so man must only makes amends (to God) by conquering the devil, as man had already been conquered by him.”

“Whatever was demanded of man, he owed only to God, and not to the devil.”

Fully God and fully man, perfect in every way, Jesus successfully accomplished all of this and more … and he did it without giving Satan anything at all!

The Anti-Christmas Crowd Has Reason On Their Side, While All We Catholics Have, is God.

The anti-Christmas crowd has reason on their side.

It’s not rational for God, the Supreme Being of the entire universe, to care about the lowly inhabitants of an insignificant planet.

It’s not rational for God to condescend to becoming one of us.

It’s not rational to believe that one person could (at the very same time) be both fully God and fully man.

It’s not rational for God to choose a “putrid backwater” of the ancient world, then known as Roman occupied Palestine and Judea, to be the home of his divine son.

It’s not rational for God to choose a lowly Jewish maiden (the sinless, Virgin Mary) to be the mother of his son.

It’s not rational for God to ask the maiden’s consent.

It’s not rational for God to wait patiently for that consent.

It’s not rational to believe that a woman might conceive a child without benefit of some type of physical sex act or medical procedure.

It’s not rational for humans to believe in angels (or devils).

It’s not rational for a lowly human to even consider being part and party to such an unimaginable, boldly metaphysical, wholly unlikely and totally unparalleled event.

It’s not rational for the here-to-fore unseen, unknowable, ineffable God to expect anyone of sound mind to agree to take part in such a thing.

It’s not rational for the Son of God to be born after the usual nine months of gestation, without loss of the woman’s virginity.

It’s not rational for the Son of God to be born in a stable, because no room was available elsewhere.

It’s not rational for “Kings of the East” to set out on extended pilgrimage based primarily on their limited understanding of ancient and obscure Hebrew prophecy.

It’s not rational to believe that the same Kings were guided to their destination by the appearance of a mysterious, dedicated, still unexplained and unidentified heavenly light (star).

It’s not rational for the Son of God to have to flee the country of his birth in order to foil an assassination attempt on his person, by an earthly king.

It’s not rational for the Son of God to be raised by a decidedly “middle-class” foster-father, in an indistinct and virtually unknown little town called Nazareth, and to eventually become a carpenter.

It’s not rational for a married couple to voluntarily and permanently fore-go sexual relations with each other.

It’s not rational to believe in Scripture/Bible prophecy.

It’s not rational to believe that one man could, during the course of his short, thirty-three years of earthly existence, perfectly fulfill all of the hundreds of Bible prophecies that were written about him.

It’s not rational to believe that the atoning death of the Son of God at the hands of sinful mankind, could somehow ultimately result in the successful reconciliation of mankind with God.

It’s not rational to believe that God so loved the world, that he gave us his only begotten Son: that whoever believes in him may not perish, but may have life everlasting.

It’s not rational to believe that it is possible for a man to raise himself up again from the dead.

It’s not rational to believe that, having risen, that same man could give us his glorified flesh and blood to eat, as true food and true drink, and as the antidote to eternal death and hell.

It’s not rational to believe that a little group of eleven apostles and a few hundred disciples could establish one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church that would eventually convert the pagan Roman Emperor, then the entire Roman Empire, and one day, go on to encompass most of the known world.

It is not rational to believe that having reconciled the world to God by his life, death and resurrection, that Jesus Christ will one day return to judge the living and the dead, and that his kingdom will have no end.

It may not be rational, but the bulk of the above events have already occurred and passed into history, while our Christian faith informs us that the last will also truly come to pass, in God’s good time.

Merry Christmas!

More on this here

His Gospel was about light, so why do Christians preach about sacrifice when Jesus did no such thing?

Q: His Gospel was about light, so why do Christians preach about sacrifice when Jesus did no such thing?

A: Jesus also explained that he came to lay down his life, so we might be saved. Sacrifice was Jesus’ primary purpose. It was the fulfillment of hundreds of Bible prophecies, and the essential theme of all the Old Testament scriptures.

Malachai 1:11 For from the rising of the sun even to the going down, my name is great among the Gentiles, and in every place there is sacrifice, and there is offered to my name a clean oblation: for my name is great among the Gentiles, saith the Lord of hosts.

Without Jesus’ atoning death we would all still be eternally enslaved to Satan, sin, and death, crushed under Satan’s evil dominion, and we would have never even heard of the Kingdom of God.

And since Jesus is the only sacrifice that is truly acceptable to God the Father, it’s not surprising that he expressed his distain for typical sacrifices … especially the mite infested doves and the poor quality livestock that was then being sold for that purpose, at the Temple in Jerusalem.

Without Jesus’ one time, once for all, perfect and eternal sacrifice on the cross, which is and will be re-presented until the end of time at every Catholic Mass, precisely as Jesus commanded … there would be no light … no hope … and no salvation.

Anyone who fails to understand this most essential matter is not likely to understand much of anything else about the authentic Christian faith.

For more, go here:

https://douglawrence.wordpress.com/a-shor…

How can sacrificing Jesus on behalf of the sinner atone for another’s sin?

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Q: How can sacrificing Jesus on behalf of the sinner atone for another’s sin?

A: It’s tough to run a universe that’s out of balance.

Since man sinned and (among other things) separated himself from God, simple justice holds that it was up to man to atone for that sin.

But since man’s sin constituted an offense against the infinite dignity of God, no man, naturally born, had the ability to suitably atone.

Out of love for fallen humanity, God sent his divine son into the world as a man, to be the propitiation for the sins of the world.

Jesus’ mission was totally successful, and his great work certainly pleased his Father, who sent him.

Since Jesus is true man, the grace and mercy he obtained for us through his perfect life and sacrificial death, accrues to the benefit of all mankind.

Since Jesus is true God, the power and effectiveness of his great sacrifice is infinite and eternal.

The scales of divine justice have now been suitably and appropriately balanced.