A question about the possibility of divine justification, prior to Jesus’ perfect and atoning sacrifice, on the cross.


Question: In the Gospel of Saint Luke, Chapter 18, verse 9, we read the story of The Pharisee and the Tax Collector. In verse 14, it goes on to say that the Tax Collector went home justified, by God. I thought that prior to Jesus’ atoning sacrifice on the cross, nobody was ever justified, by God. What am I missing?

Answer: Prior to Jesus’ atoning sacrifice for the sins of mankind, God provided many types of opportunities for man to give God thanks and praise and to offer up imperfect forms of animal (and other) sacrifices to God, for various good purposes and intentions.

While none of those “forms” of worship (or even our best attempts at perfectly keeping the Old Law) had the power to destroy Satan’s power over man, or reopen the Gates of Heaven, they did serve to (imperfectly) please/appease God and impute a certain level of righteousness/justification to those who faithfully and correctly practiced them.

The souls of those who God considered to be “justified” in that manner, were supernaturally “marked” for eventual salvation, in Jesus Christ and subsequently detained in a special “place” in the afterlife – known (alternatively) as Hell, or “The Bosom of Abraham” – while they awaited the perfect and atoning sacrifice of our Holy Redeemer, on the cross, at Calvary.

Catholic Tradition informs us that Jesus escorted all those faithful souls to Heaven, while his dead body lay in the tomb, for three days and nights, awaiting his glorious Resurrection.

Stinkin’ Thinkin’? Fr. Thomas Berg writes that we are not necessarily called to be successful . . .

skunk

Biblical truth or a convenient excuse for a poorly run Church?

photo:Wikipedia

Catholic Apologetics – The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

apologetics9

Editor’s note: It doesn’t get any better than that … this side of Heaven!

The main reason for attending Mass

by Doug Lawrence

The Mass is the liturgical re-presentation of Jesus Christ’s one-time, once for many, propitiatory sacrifice for the sins of the world, at Calvary.

The Last Supper was the anticipation of that blessed event, the eternal fulfillment of the Jewish Passover, and the Christ-instituted model for our timeless Catholic liturgy.

What makes the Mass eternally unique and infinitely efficacious is the real presence on the altar, under the auspices of bread and wine, of Jesus Christ, the sinless God-man who was crucified, died, and was buried, who rose again from the dead, and who remains the only perfect and acceptable sacrifice for the sins of the world.

Since Jesus Christ personally embodies the one time, once for many, eternal sacrifice for the sins of the world, when Jesus becomes present on the altar at Mass, his eternal sacrifice for sin is also renewed and re-presented.

From a practical standpoint, this is necessary so that we might have a pure and perfect offering that will be acceptable to God the Father. Without Jesus’ real presence on the altar, such a thing would not be possible. 

Most people look forward to receiving Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, and typically consider that as their primary reason for attending Mass, but there’s much more to it … since it typically remains necessary for the People of God, with the assistance of the priest, to faithfully and regularly “line up” behind Jesus, offering him up to our Father in Heaven … so that “mountains” might move, all things might be reconciled and renewed, and divine grace might continue to flow, in supernatural abundance.

This happens shortly after the consecration and just before the “Great Amen”. Watch and listen carefully the next time you attend:

The priest takes the chalice, containing the blood of Christ,
and the paten, on which his body, in the form of the host, rests.
Raising both, he says:

Through him, and with him, and in him,
O God, almighty Father,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all glory and honor is yours,
for ever and ever.

The people acclaim:
Amen.

Having just offered Jesus Christ, our sinless brother, savior, perfect victim, Heavenly High Priest, mediator, and God, to our Father in Heaven, we rightfully expect this ultimate, totally spotless and perfect sacrifice to be accepted, affording us (and the whole Church) divine favor of all kinds.

Only then do we continue … rightly claiming Jesus’ Father as our own … and receiving Jesus Christ … body, blood, soul and divinity … for our divine sustenance … as we go forth.

The Mass – illustrated

Propitiation and Atonement – illustrated

Good Friday

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass (Short Instructional Video)


Watch the video

More about the Mass

Submitted by Ken K.

On the mount of sacrifice, God himself will provide.


Genesis 22:2-18 He said to him: Take thy only begotten son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and go into the land of vision; and there thou shalt offer him for an holocaust upon one of the mountains which I will show thee. So Abraham rising up in the night, saddled his ass, and took with him two young men, and Isaac his son: and when he had cut wood for the holocaust, he went his way to the place which God had commanded him.

And on the third day, lifting up his eyes, he saw the place afar off. And he said to his young men: Stay you here with the ass; I and the boy will go with speed as far as yonder, and after we have worshiped, will return to you. And he took the wood for the holocaust, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he himself carried in his hands fire and a sword. And as they two went on together, Isaac said to his father: My father. And he answered: What wilt thou, son? Behold, saith he, fire and wood: where is the victim for the holocaust?

And Abraham said: God will provide himself a victim for an holocaust, my son. So they went on together.

And they came to the place which God had shewn him, where he built an altar, and laid the wood in order upon it; and when he had bound Isaac his son, he laid him on the altar upon the pile of wood. And he put forth his hand, and took the sword, to sacrifice his son. And behold, an angel of the Lord from heaven called to him, saying: Abraham, Abraham. And he answered: Here I am. And he said to him: Lay not thy hand upon the boy, neither do thou any thing to him: now I know that thou fearest God, and hast not spared thy only begotten son for my sake.

Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw behind his back a ram, amongst the briers, sticking fast by the horns, which he took and offered for a holocaust instead of his son.

And he called the name of that place, The Lord seeth. Whereupon, even to this day, it is said: In the mountain the Lord will see. And the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven, saying: By my own self have I sworn, saith the Lord: because thou hast done this thing, and hast not spared thy only begotten son for my sake: I will bless thee, and I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand that is by the sea shore; thy seed shall possess the gates of their enemies. And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because thou hast obeyed my voice.


Editor’s note: The Book of Genesis, written by Moses, about 1500 B.C. contains many, many prophetic words and types, but few passages are as theologically “rich” as Genesis 22, the events of which date back to around 2000 B.C.

Just a few of the key parallels between Abraham’s sacrifice and the crucifixion of Jesus Christ:

  • A three-day process.
  • A beast of burden prominently figures here … and in the Christmas narrative … and on Palm Sunday.
  • Abraham’s Mount Moriah is the actual location of Mount Calvary (Golgotha) as well as the entire Jerusalem Temple complex.
  • Isaac, the designated sacrificial victim, carries the wood for the sacrifice.
  • Isaac is called Abraham’s “only begotten son”.
  • The designated victim is “flanked” by two others.
  • Isaac asks a few questions, but he never complains.
  • God provides the sacrificial victim – a perfect ram.
  • The ram’s head was caught in a thicket of thorns.
  • After three days, Abraham’s son was safely returned to him.
  • Both were obedient to God’s will, even unto death.
  • God’s providence saved Isaac, and indirectly, Isaac’s future son … Jacob/Israel … the “source” of the 12 tribes.
  • From Israel would eventually come Jesus Christ, in whom all the nations of the earth would indeed be blessed.
  • The Church that Jesus founded would go on to “possess the gates of their enemies” … and most importantly … the gates of hell would never prevail against it.