What every Christian should understand about the great Feast of Pentecost

… the Jewish Feast of Pentecost—which literally means “Fifty”, taken from the fifty days counted after Passover—was the Jewish liturgical celebration of the Giving of the Law at Sinai.  If one makes a careful count of the passing of time in the Book of Exodus, one discovers that the Sinai theophany (appearance of God) occurs exactly fifty days after the Israelites departed from Egypt.  So, Pentecost was not only an agricultural festival celebrating the end of the harvest, but also a sacred historical memorial of the day of the establishment of the Old Covenant.

This parallel and its significance is missed by modern readers, but not by ancient Jewish readers of Acts!  At Sinai the Law was given in a fearsome storm, and on tablets of stone.  At Pentecost, there is a “peaceful storm” of the Spirit (the rushing wind, the lightning-like tongues of flame) and the giving of the Law on the Heart.

As St. Thomas says in his treatment of the Old Law in the Summa, “the law of the New Covenant is nothing other than the Holy Spirit.”  The Spirit is the Law written on the heart promised with the New Covenant…

Read more from The Sacred Page

The Transfiguration

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Seen at The Catholic Treasure Chest Website

Seeking the Lost Ark: The place shall be unknown, till God gather together the congregation of the people, and receive(s) them to mercy.

arkofthecovenantcolor

by Doug Lawrence

My good friend Bob Stanley of the Catholic Treasure Chest website writes:

This post builds on the info recently received from my Israeli friend. Here is something that I think is of great importance, as the Bible appears to tell us where the Ark of the Covenant is.

2Ma 2:3 And with other such like speeches, he exhorted them that they would not remove the law from their heart.
2Ma 2:4 It was also contained in the same writing, how the prophet, being warned by God, commanded that the tabernacle and the ark should accompany him, till he came forth to the mountain where Moses went upand saw the inheritance of God. (see Deut 34:1 below for the name of the mountain, and the other verses which insure that they refer to the inheritance).
2Ma 2:5 And when Jeremias came thither he found a hollow cave: and he carried in thither the tabernacle, and the ark , and the altar of incense, and so stopped the door.
2Ma 2:6 Then some of them that followed him, came up to mark the place: but they could not find it.
2Ma 2:7 And when Jeremias perceived it, he blamed them, saying: The place shall be unknown, till God gather together the congregation of the people, and receive them to mercy.
2Ma 2:8 And then the Lord will shew these things, and the majesty of the Lord shall appear, and there shall be a cloud as it was also shewed to Moses, and he shewed it when Solomon prayed that the place might be sanctified to the great God.

nebojordan
Deu 34:1  Then Moses went up from the plains of Moab upon mount Nebo, to the top of Phasga over against Jericho: and the Lord shewed him all the land of Galaad as far as Dan.
Deu 34:2  And all Nephtali, and the land of Ephraim and Manasses, and all the land of Juda unto the furthermost sea,
Deu 34:3  And the south part, and the breadth of the plain of Jericho the city of palm trees as far as Segor.
Deu 34:4  And the Lordtsaid to him: This is the land, for which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying: I will give it to thy seed. Thou hast seen it with thy eyes, and shalt not pass over to it.
Deu 34:5  And Moses the servant of the Lord died there, in the land of Moab, by the commandment of the Lord:

Source: Douay-Rheims Bible

The Jews, the Arabs and the non-Catholics don’t have the books of Maccabees and they refuse to read them in Catholic Bibles. After all, they say the Catholic Bible is corrupted and Maccabees is not inspired…right? This reminds me of the Indiana Jones movie “Raiders of the Lost Ark” where Sallah (John Rhys-Davies) looked over about half mile away, saw the Nazi’s digging for the ark and rejoiced by saying “They are digging in the wrong place”.

Months ago I asked my Jewish friend where Mt. Nebo was, without mentioning why I would like to know. He said it is in Jordan. That is another reason why the Jews never tried digging there. It makes a lot of sense to me that since the temple mount is a relatively small area and has been explored, dug and tunneled for many centuries and yet never was even a sign or clue that something as large as the Ark was found within it. Even the crusaders made exhaustive but essentially fruitless searches there.

Go back and read again the 2nd sentence of 2Ma 2:7.  Maybe it is happening right now???

Doug replies:

There’s a lot of intriguing possibilities there. I find it interesting, looking at the map, that Moses did indeed have a clear view of precisely what is described in the scriptures. God really did let him see the Promised Land – pretty much in its’ entirety.

It’s been my experience that people expect the site of the lost Ark to be either somewhere on or around the temple mount, or even as far away as Mt. Sinai – assuming that anyone today actually knows the true location of that holy mountain.

Even with the sold description provided in Maccabees, there’s a lot of potential hiding places for the Ark, on and around Mount Nebo.

Maybe Moses will retrieve it and he and (either) Enoch or Elijah will come back to witness in Jerusalem, near the end of the tribulation period? The Ark may even be the energy source for the Heavenly “fire” and the drought. (Rev 11:3-6)

Another interesting note about Moses: Even the devil was unable to find his dead body, so Moses is a very good candidate for having being assumed into Heaven, by God – as was Elijah, in his fiery chariot. The fact that both later appeared with Jesus during the Transfiguration seems to add credence to that possibility.

So we have Enoch, Elijah, Moses, the Blessed Virgin Mary – and maybe even Lazarus – his second time around – all being assumed into Heaven, by the awesome power of God.

That’s almost a bigger deal than finding the lost Ark!

This Week’s Ask Alice: The Bible – Word of God?



Send A Question To Alice

She’ll answer your Catholic questions
right here, every Thursday.

Email responses will also be provided, as time permits.

Rational Asks: Why do you Christians believe the Bible is the Word of God?

Alice Answers: We Catholics and our Christian brothers and sisters believe God is the ultimate author of the Bible.

We believe that God inspired the human authors of the Bible, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to accurately write His words.

Many verses in the Bible proclaim God as the Divine Author of both the Old and New Testaments.

“All Scripture is inspired of God and is useful for teaching — for reproof, correction and training in holiness so that the man of God may be fully competent and equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16)

All Scripture is fulfilled in Christ. Jesus’ own words and deeds are recorded in Sacred Scripture.

The Bible contains a myriad of quotations and teachings from our Lord. In addition, Jesus himself quoted passages from the Old Testament. When He was hungry and being tempted in the desert, Jesus responded to Satan,

“Scripture has it: ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.’ ” (Matthew 4:4)

While theologians contend that the Bible is the compilation of 40 men who were unknown to one another, ranging from kings to a tent maker, each wrote with a single purpose: to unite people with God, for eternity. Throughout its pages the Bible provides eye-and-ear-witness testimonies to the empowering word of God.

“For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty.” (2 Peter 1:16)

To believe, as Catholics do, that the Bible is the word of God is an act of faith. Faith is believing what we cannot see or hear, that which cannot be scientifically proven.

“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.” (Isaiah 40:8)

In Christ’s Love,

Alice

Doug Lawrence adds: In addition to faith, we Christians also have tradition and fulfilled prophecy to back up our beliefs.

TRADITION

To put it very simply, tradition is the means by which the Holy Spirit guides and inspires the People of God, from age to age.

Before the Old Testament of the Bible was written, it was faithfully preserved by means of tradition. Before the New Testament was written, the truths contained therein were preserved and disseminated, via tradition.

The entire Canon of Scripture has in a very real sense, been inspired, preserved, set down in writing, defined, confirmed, proclaimed, translated and distributed, by means of Catholic Church tradition.

Why do we say this? Simply because nowhere can we find any specific written or even verbal instructions from God, ordering anyone to write down and/or otherwise record his collective words and/or commands.

About the closest we come to this is Moses’ receipt of the Ten Commandments, in stone, and his subsequent written codification (on paper) of several hundred related statutes and ordinances, known collectively as the Mosaic Law, which was first used to help govern the Israelites throughout their desert wanderings.

We know from scripture that, for some 40 years, Moses often spoke to God, “face to face”. If Moses decided to begin writing things down … and God permitted it to be done … then it must have been OK. (Moses wrote the first 5 books of the what we Christians refer to as the Old Testament.)

Later Hebrew prophets and scribes would choose to do likewise … as would the Holy Spirit inspired leadership of the early Christian church.

This is tradition, in action!

Until the complete Bible was set to writing and finally confirmed by the Catholic Church, it was constantly preserved via oral and written tradition, with the aid of some very distinctive, practical and effective cultural accoutrements, which were part and parcel of both the Hebrew and Christian ways of life.

We know and refer to this as the Judeo-Christian Tradition.

PROPHECY

Another reason people of the Christian faith believe the Bible is the Word of God is the fact that about one third of the Bible is prophetic … accurately predicting very specific persons and events to come, often hundreds or even thousands of years in advance.

People living in our times have the unique ability to identify and correlate specific Bible prophecies with their subsequent fulfillment in what is now past human history.

Some 300 ancient yet very specific Bible prophecies (relating to the divine person-hood, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ) were perfectly fulfilled in the 4 days between Holy Thursday and Easter Sunday, alone.

Many, many more biblical prophecies have already been fulfilled, and still more are thought to apply to the future … many of those centered around the “end times” and the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ.

See:

Proof from the Bible that Jesus Christ is God

What Everybody (especially Christians) Should Know About the Bible

Catholic Prophecies for the End Times

  Click here to see all of Alice’s other columns

Our Sovereign and Awesome God

by Sharon Fane

“Concepts create idols; only wonder comprehends anything. People kill one another over idols. Wonder makes us fall to our knees.” – St. Gregory of Nyssa

Idolatry is addressed by the first commandment, and it takes many forms.

Worshiping a concept, a system of thought, or an individual (holy or not) is a dangerous flirtation with what is antithetical to God’s will for mankind. Simplicity in a direct discourse with God, with Christ, and with the Holy Spirit vanquishes idol worship and cleanses the soul.

The image of Christ in artwork should enable us a closer relationship with Him. Not the image.

The communication of Christ by one human being to another or by one human being to many should (if it bears good fruit) bring them closer to Christ, not necessarily to the human being.

The quote above uses the word “wonder” in the context (by my understanding) of holy fear. Moses possesed this when he returned from Mt. Sinai with the commandments.

Holy fear makes us fall to our knees.

The Commandment: Exodus 20:4, Deuteronomy 5:8

The Israelites’ Response in Holy Fear: Exodus 20:18

Sharia Law: The False Messiah of Islam.

Muslim Sharia Law (with a few modifications) is based on the same Ten Commandments that were given to Moses on Mt. Sinai.

Like the Scribes and Pharisees, who officially interpreted and enforced the old Mosaic Law, Islam has its own group of Ayatollahs and Imams.

Unfortunately, the Jews and the Muslims never came to understand that the old Law 1) was never intended to last forever; and 2) was actually a curse.

Here’s how this works:

The first thing Moses did (after getting a set of replacement tablets, from God) was to add a rather extensive set of statutes and ordinances to the original Commandments, creating what we know as the Mosaic Law.

Over time, other statutes and ordinances were added, making the Law ever more heavy and onerous, until … by the time of Christ … the whole thing was so laden with arcane and pointless requirements … that it … along with its corrupt administrators … the Scribes and the Pharisees … served to spiritually oppress the entire Nation of Israel … much as the Roman occupation oppressed them, civilly.

The Jews of that time had to endure (literally) the worst of all possible worlds!

Now comes Jesus, the Messiah, the promised Holy One of Israel, who would perfectly fulfill all that was written about him in the books of the Psalms and the Prophets, and by his saving death, also fulfill every jot and tittle of his Law, setting it aside … in favor of his all new and better covenant, and his grace empowered Catholic (universal) Church.

Refusing to accept even the possibility that God might choose to send his only begotten son as the redeemer of all mankind, Muhammad fell victim to the same spiritual blindness that still afflicts the Jews.

Meanwhile … thanks to the Holy Spirit … we Christians came to understand that Jesus Christ freed us from the curse of the old Mosaic Law. A law which was never intended to save souls … or to last forever … but only to point out the utter sinfulness and imperfections of man … and to demonstrate the absolute need for a holy redeemer.

In truth … Jesus Christ and his grace … not any law … is the first, best, and final recourse … of every Christian.

So, anyone who prefers to rely instead, on “keeping the law” in order to please God, is bound to fail.

Failing, there is no recourse … so a person is then practically bound to live a cursed existence … constantly oppressed by the law’s onerous, essentially pointless requirements … and always “under the thumb” of various officials, who serve to interpret and enforce it.

This seems to be an apt description of Sharia Law, as currently practiced throughout the Muslim world today. Does it not?

The eternal consequences of this grievous error are also very significant, since as we know, no one ever obtained salvation by “keeping the law”.

But what about today’s Christians, still attempting to observe the Ten Commandments? Isn’t that equally absurd?

Absolutely not!

With Jesus Christ as our savior, the Law no longer constitutes a curse, since even when we fail to keep it, forgiveness, absolution, sanctifying grace, and a fresh start … remain constantly and freely available to us, through the sacraments and devotions of the Catholic Church.

So, even when we Christians fail, salvation is still within our means … since our “means” is none other than Jesus Christ! (How’s that for a practical definition of faith?)

Thanks be to God!

Click here to read more.

Why 40?

It is the number Forty that the Church now brings before us: – a number, as Saint Jerome observes, which denotes punishment and affliction [In Ezechiel, cap. xxix].

Let us remember the forty days and forty nights of the Deluge (Gen. vii. 12), sent by God in his anger, when he repented that he had made man, and destroyed the whole human race, with the exception of one family. Let us consider how the Hebrew people, in punishment for their ingratitude, wandered forty years in the desert, before they were permitted to enter the Promised Land [Num. xiv. 33]. Let us listen to our God commanding the Prophet Ezechiel to lie forty days on his right side, as a figure of the siege, which was to bring destruction on Jerusalem [Ezech. iv. 6].

Read more

It’s true. The Old Law of Moses (including the Commandments and everything) was perfectly fulfilled and then set aside, by Jesus Christ.

Mount Sinai On the First Pentecost:
Moses Receives the Ten Commandments

The ethical commands of the Mosaic Law are still highly regarded by the Church and the Church uses them.

By the same token, however, the Church does not want anyone legally bound to the Mosaic Law as an entity in itself because, if we were, then the Mosaic Law would condemn us with no chance of salvation (Gal 3:10-11).

THIS is why the whole law had to go, not just bits and pieces of it. For if any of the law remained, on a legal foundation, it would legally condemn us to hell.

Christians are free from the Law, since we are now bound to Jesus Christ, through his New Covenant Church.
(A much better deal!)

Read more

And more

Interesting stuff about the priesthood and the pope.

Moses (R) and Aaron (L)

When God made Aaron, the brother of Moses, the first high priest, he officially set up the office of priest in perpetuity (a man so ordained would remain a priest forever and the office of the priesthood would continue forever):

Exodus 29:9 – 11 To wit, Aaron and his children, and thou shalt put mitres upon them; and they shall be priests to me by a perpetual ordinance.


The high priest was endowed with awesome responsibilities, special powers and extraordinary authority. A high priest normally served for life (until later times, when that was changed). He was in charge of all the other priests, as well as the administration of the Tabernacle or Temple. When he died, his office was to be handed down to his successor:

Exodus 29:29 – 30 And the holy vesture, which Aaron shall use, his sons shall have after him, that they may be anointed, and their hands consecrated in it. He of his sons that shall be appointed high priest in his stead, and that shall enter into the tabernacle of the testimony to minister in the sanctuary, shall wear it seven days.

It was also normal for the high priest to prophecy. His prophetic words were considered to come straight from God. This was true even for corrupt high priests (like Caiphus, who condemned Jesus):

John 11:49 – 53 But one of them, named Caiphas, being the high priest that year, said to them: You know nothing. Neither do you consider that it is expedient for you that one man should die for the people and that the whole nation perish not. And this he spoke not of himself: but being the high priest of that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for the nation. And not only for the nation, but to gather together in one the children of God that were dispersed. From that day therefore they devised to put him to death.

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Exorcist says Satan exists but without ‘horns, wings or a tail’

“Yeah. Right!”

In an interview with the newspaper El Tiempo during his recent visit to Colombia, Fr. Fortea said, “The devil does not have a body, a color, or a visual form, nor does he have horns, wings or a tail.  He is an invisible, bodiless entity.”

“Believing in God means believing in what he has said.  And he has spoken of the existence of the devil,” the priest remarked, recalling that “at the end of the ‘Our Father’ he warned, ‘Deliver us from evil’.”

Fr. Fortea then explained that though he has never seen a demon, he knows they exist, saying he has felt the presence of evil. “I have approached this like a scientist: even though I wear a habit, I am not void of reason.”

“On a certain number of occasions, alone at my house or other places, I have felt an evil presence.” He continued. “I would be lying if I did not acknowledge that I felt that evil presence in an intense and powerful way.”

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Moses also had “horns”

Hello God. Nice to Meet Ya!

God has a Holy Name and He wants you to know it.

Sometime around the year 1500 BC the great prophet, Moses, was tending sheep in the Midian desert when he came across a bush that seemed to be on fire but wasn’t being consumed.

The “Burning Bush” then spoke, explaining to Moses the initial details of his mission to free the Israelites from slavery.

Amazed by this unexpected turn of events, Moses still had the good sense to ask, “What will I say to the people when they ask who sent me to them?” At that, the One, True God of all creation revealed His Holy Name to Moses.

Read more (and pay particular attention to the above illustration)

Samson had long hair, John the Baptist had long hair, Moses had long hair…and there’s even strong evidence that Jesus had long hair.


A teenage boy had just passed his driving test and inquired of his father as to when they could discuss his use of the car.

His father said he’d make a deal: ‘You bring your grades up from a C to a B average, study your Bible a little, and get your hair cut. Then we’ll talk about the car.’

The boy thought about that for a moment, decided he’d settle for the offer, and they agreed on it.

After about six weeks his father said, ‘Son, you’ve brought your grades up and I’ve observed that you have been studying your Bible, but I’m disappointed you haven’t had your hair cut.

The boy said, ‘You know, Dad, I’ve been thinking about that, and I’ve noticed in my studies of the Bible that Samson had long hair, John the Baptist had long hair, Moses had long hair…and there’s even strong evidence that Jesus had long hair.’

His father replied, ‘Did you also notice they all walked everywhere they went?

Link

Teen Driver Safety Site

Moses, Samson, John the Baptist and Jesus

A young boy had just gotten his driver’s permit and inquired of his father if they could discuss his use of the car. His father said he’d make a deal with his son.

“You bring your grades up from a C to a B average, study your Bible a little, get your hair cut, and we’ll talk about the car.”

The boy thought about that for a moment and decided that he’d settle for the offer, and they agreed on it.

After about six weeks his father said, “Son, I’ve been real proud. You brought your grades up, and I’ve observed that you have been studying your Bible, but I’m real disappointed that you haven’t gotten your hair cut.”

The young man paused a moment then said, “You know, Dad, I’ve been thinking about that, and I’ve noticed in my studies of the Bible that Samson had long hair, John the Baptist had long hair, Moses had long hair, and there’s even a strong argument that Jesus had long hair.”

And his father replied, “Did you also notice that they all walked everywhere they went?”

Submitted by Ken K.

Illustrated Christmas Bible Study: Christmas is A Catholic Tradition

2Thessalonians 2:13-14

But we ought to give thanks to God always for you, brethren, beloved of God, for that God hath chosen you firstfruits unto salvation, in sanctification of the spirit and faith of the truth: Whereunto also he hath called you by our gospel, unto the purchasing of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brethren, stand fast: and hold the traditions, which you have learned, whether by word or by our epistle.

View the presentation

Crime, punishment and Jesus

A burglar broke into a house one night. He shined his flashlight around, looking for valuables when a voice in the dark said,
‘Jesus knows you’re here.’

He nearly jumped out of his skin, clicked his flashlight off, and froze.

When he heard nothing more , after a bit, he shook his head and continued.

Just as he pulled the stereo out so he could disconnect the wires, clear as a bell he heard

‘Jesus is watching you.’

Freaked out, he shined his light around frantically, looking for the source of the voice.

Finally, in the corner of the room, his flashlight beam came to rest on a parrot.

‘Did you say that?’ he hissed at the parrot.

‘Yep’, the parrot confessed, then squawked, ‘I’m just trying to warn you that Jesus is watching you.’

The burglar relaxed. ‘Warn me, huh? Who in the world are you?’

‘Moses,’ replied the bird.

‘Moses?’ the burglar laughed. ‘What kind of people would name a bird Moses?’

‘The kind of people that would name a Rottweiler Jesus.’

Is everyone who submits to God’s will a Muslim?

biblekoran

Q:  If Muslims are called to be submissive to God’s will, does that mean that everyone who willingly submits to God’s will is actually a Muslim?

A: The key question should be: By what means can one actually discover and correctly discern the authentic will of God?

Muslims claim that God revealed himself to Mohamed. Hence, Muslims base their understanding of God’s will essentially on their particular interpretations of Mohamed’s Quran.

Jews claim that God revealed himself to them through Abraham, Moses, and other prophets, many of whom the Jews and Muslims revere in common, so the Jewish understanding of God’s will isn’t very far removed from that of the Muslims.

Muslim fundamental beliefs are codified in Sharia Law, which is very similar to what the Jews know as their own Mosaic Law (the Ten Commandments) along with several hundred related statutes and ordinances.

On the other hand, Christians take what was first basically revealed to the Jews and then build upon it, using the authentic teachings and personal revelations of Jesus Christ.

Jesus claimed to be the fulfillment of all the original scriptures … the Messiah … the promised savior of the world … making possible the reconciliation of mankind with God … just as God had originally promised … and Jesus died and rose again from the dead to prove that what he claimed was true.

While the Jews and Muslims know only the Old Testament God of wrath, Christians know a God of tender love and gracious forgiveness … resulting exclusively from the atoning work of Jesus Christ.

Anyone who adamantly remains mired in the past fails to get the complete message, and is likely to remain in fear and relative darkness, forever. That is hardly a position from which to properly discern the authentic will of God.

But thanks to Jesus Christ, who is (among other things) the light of the world, Christians know without a doubt that God loves us, that he wants us to know him, to love him, and to serve him, in this world and in the next, and that he (God) will provide everything necessary to make that possible … simply because he loves us … and that he’ll accomplish his will primarily through the good offices and sacraments of the only Church that Jesus Christ ever founded, for the purpose of our salvation.

So … since Muslims and Jews accept only the early, relatively obscure, and essentially incomplete portions of God’s divine revelation, they miss the most important and most fulfilling part of the message … redemption, peace, rest, and gracious pardon from God’s justifiable wrath.

Their world view remains skewed, and their discernment of God’s authentic will, fatally flawed.

Alternatively, faith in Jesus Christ, his teachings, and his Church, provides Christians with all the missing pieces of the puzzle, resulting in grace, rest, freedom from inordinate concerns about divine judgment and wrath, personal peace, and eternal life.

All of this should permit Christians (ideally, at least) to love God and to love their neighbor … which is indeed the express will of God, according to Jesus Christ … who ought to know, because he IS God … and he told us as much, as he went about preaching in first century Palestine … fulfilling all that had been written in the books of the Law, the Psalms, and the Prophets.

Even after official USCCB revision, controversy remains over Catholic Catechism, status of the Jews

catechismadults

“…the Catholic faith is rooted…in the irrevocable covenant made with Abraham…for it is the teaching of both the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures that the Jews are beloved of God, who has called them with an irrevocable calling.” This is the covenant that saves Jews and Gentiles, but neither the Jews nor the Gentiles can be a part of it unless they believe as Abraham believed, and today, that means accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, as Scripture says of Abraham and Moses (cf. John 8:56; Heb 11:26; Rom 4:1-4). This was the covenant that divided Jew from Jew, because only those Jews who had a genuine faith-relationship with God and confessed their sins could ever reap the benefits of that covenant (Romans 3:28-4:12). That is why Paul says in Romans 9:6: “For they are not all Israel who are from Israel.” When Christ came, the spiritual side of the Abrahamic covenant became the New Covenant, and Jews and Gentiles are presently being saved in that very covenant (cf. Romans 4:1-24; Gal 3:6-29; Hebrews 10:16-18; 2 Corinthians 3:6-18).

The difference between Abraham’s physical covenant of circumcision and the spiritual covenant of salvation is that all the Jews were part of the former, but only those who believed as God required them to believe were part of the latter.

In the same way, all Jews today who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior are part of Abraham’s spiritual covenant, and, of course, those who disbelieve are not members of that covenant, but of the synagogue of Satan, as it were.

The crucial point is: the covenant that is “not revoked” does not apply to ALL Jews. It only applies to believing Jews, Jews who believe in Jesus Christ, the God of Abraham (Galatians 3:29: “And if you belong to Christ then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise”).

Practically speaking, most Jews (since they do not believe in Jesus Christ) are not members of Abraham’s spiritual covenant, and they have no other covenant that can bring them to God, for there is only one name under heaven by which men can be saved, namely, Jesus Christ.

So, it would behoove Fr. Massa to stop teaching that the Jews, en masse or at large, have “a” covenant with God, and that because of this unidentified covenant they possess some “real relationship with God” or that they possess some lofty spiritual status with God that Gentiles don’t have. There is no such covenant, for in the only covenant that exists today there is no Jew or Gentile in Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:28).

Read the article

Pentecost is the day the Catholic Church officially replaced the old Law in the “economy” of salvation

pentecostenh

Our understanding of the Holy Spirit is limited by our finite human minds and by the revelation of God, but our faith teaches clearly that the Holy Spirit is God, the third person of the Holy Trinity, that He proceeds from the Father and the Son, and that He accomplishes His (God’s) will anywhere and at any time, with power and authority that is so awesome, no one and no thing can withstand it.

The early Hebrews understood that God “spoke” all things into existence, as if the Holy Spirit proceeded from the “mouth” of God, accomplishing whatever His supernatural intellect would conceive.  It should be no surprise then, that our first earthly biblical encounter with the Spirit’s power speaks of a mighty wind, “The Breath of God” which formed the young Earth and, among other things, gave life to Adam’s human form.

In the Old Testament Book of Exodus we are treated to a magnificent display of God’s power in the form of a “Pillar of Cloud” by day and a “Pillar of Fire” by night, which was said to “never fail” leading the Israelites out of Egypt, protecting and nurturing the Holy Nation all the way to the Promised Land.

While this “Glory Cloud” figures most prominently and is most clearly and explicitly described during the forty-year period the Israelites spent “Moseying around” (my characterization) in the desert, it is by no means the only time God made use of this extraordinary, supernatural phenomenon to manifest His power and glory in our temporal existence.

Read the whole article (PDF file)

How did the “Assumption of Mary into Heaven theory” come about?

woman_clothed

Q: How did the “Assumption of Mary into Heaven theory” come about?

A: It’s more than a theory. It’s an official dogma of the Catholic Church, and one of only two Ex Cathedra, infallible statements ever proclaimed by the Pope, throughout the history of the Church.

There are a number of valid theological reasons for the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, as well as earlier scriptural precedents for it in the apparent bodily “translations” of Enoch, Elijah, and possibly even Moses.

It is known from scripture that Satan spared no effort trying to locate and claim the dead body of Moses, as some sort of a “trophy” … finally being frustrated by the concerted efforts and strong rebuke of Michael the Archangel.

Knowing this, if you were Jesus, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, triumphantly returned to Heaven after your successfully completed mission, but knowing full well that Satan, while officially powerless, still remained a dangerous fugitive back on earth, how long would you permit Satan to have his way with your own mother?

Then there’s the traditional explanation:

A number of the apostles witnessed Mary’s apparent death. Her body was placed in a tomb, and several days later, the tomb was found to be empty, her body seemingly replaced by a huge volume of flowers.

Some time later, St. John received the Book of Revelation from Jesus Christ, and John correlated the images and events in the last part of chapter 11 and the first part of chapter 12 with the events surrounding the “dormition” of the Blessed Virgin.

Based on this, the Catholic Church has always understood that God would not allow the sanctified flesh that was used to fashion Christ’s human body to see the corruption of the tomb. And since Mary, by special privilege of God, was necessarily sinless from conception, and further sanctified by some 34 years of dwelling in the immediate presence of Christ himself, there was absolutely no need for Mary to await the resurrection, since according to God’s grace, Mary had absolutely no sin that would warrant divine judgment … or death … for that matter.

The Church authoritatively and dogmatically explains all of this here, much better than I have, complete with extensive citations:

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_x…

But this short excerpt from the above document sums things up pretty well:

40. Hence the revered Mother of God, from all eternity joined in a hidden way with Jesus Christ in one and the same decree of predestination,(47) immaculate in her conception, a most perfect virgin in her divine motherhood, the noble associate of the divine Redeemer who has won a complete triumph over sin and its consequences, finally obtained, as the supreme culmination of her privileges, that she should be preserved free from the corruption of the tomb and that, like her own Son, having overcome death, she might be taken up body and soul to the glory of heaven where, as Queen, she sits in splendor at the right hand of her Son, the immortal King of the Ages.(48)

And as St. John explains at the end of his gospel, there was indeed a whole lot of very significant, authentic stuff going on, that never made it into the Bible.

Believe it … or don’t. (Catholics are required to believe it.)

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

http://www.askmeaboutgod.org/passionfina…

Your views on the Bible?

sacramentarygirm
Q: Your views on the Bible?

I’m not at all a religious person, but I just want to see your views on the Bible. Do you believe everything in it? Think it’s nonsense? Another thing I want to know is, if they didn’t keep records, how did people write the Bible accurately? 

A: The Bible is the inerrant, written Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit and accurately set down by the sacred writers, infallibly expressing precisely what God intended.

Moses wrote the first five books of the Old Testament. The remaining OT books were a product of tradition, and were not set down in writing until around 400 BC.

Recent archaeological discoveries of ancient documents and sites have proved the biblical accounts to be highly reliable, even down to some very precise and minute details.

The one thing that sets the Bible apart from all other writings is the prophecies that are contained within.

And since the OT was written some 1500 to 250 years before Jesus Christ, one has to respect the accuracy of a book that found its’ prophetic fulfillment in one obscure but obviously very special, itinerant Jewish carpenter from the town of Nazareth, with literally hundreds of ancient biblical prophecies being perfectly fulfilled by Christ, during his 34 short years.

Most significant are those that came to pass during the last three days of his human life on earth.

The New Testament of the Bible points out many of these prophetic fulfillments, explains their eternal significance and their practical application, using several different languages and precise detail that has been painstakingly set to writing, confirmed through authentic world history, and faithfully handed down by means of authentic Catholic Church tradition.

The fact that today, we can go back and verify the authenticity of all those fulfilled prophecies also bolsters the Bible’s claim to being divinely inspired.

And since about a third of all Bible prophecies have yet to be fulfilled, dealing with future, end times events and personalities, the “best” is probably yet to come.

I’m not merely cutting and pasting here. I’ve done the research and made all the compilations and comparisons. You can too.

I was also pretty skeptical when I began the work, but I’m not anymore.

Here’s some links to make it easier for you:

https://douglawrence.wordpress.com/the-bi…

http://www.askmeaboutgod.org/passionfina…

http://www.askmeaboutgod.org/passionfina…

http://www.askmeaboutgod.org/passionfina…

http://www.clerus.org/bibliaclerus/index…