Tag Archives: Saint Peter

Solemnity of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Mass during the Day

Icon of Saints Peter and Paul“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Saint Peter on the Person on Christ, Matthew 16:16

Saints Peter and Paul are the founders of the Diocese of Rome. One was the Prince of the Apostles and the first Bishop of Rome, known as the office of the Papcy today, and the other was the majority author of the New Testament books and something of a travelling evangelical priest/bishop.

Catholic Culture wrote this short tidbit about these two great saints (more after the readings of course):

Veneration of the two great Apostles, Peter and Paul, has its roots in the very foundations of the Church. They are the solid rock on which the Church is built. They are at the origin of her faith and will forever remain her protectors and her guides. To them Rome owes her true greatness, for it was under God’s providential guidance that they were led to make the capital of the Empire, sanctified by their martyrdom, the center of the Christian world whence should radiate the preaching of the Gospel.

St. Peter suffered martyrdom under Nero, in A.D. 66 or 67. He was buried on the hill of the Vatican where recent excavations have revealed his tomb on the very site of the basilica of St. Peter’s. St. Paul was beheaded in the via Ostia on the spot where now stands the basilica bearing his name. Down the centuries Christian people in their thousands have gone on pilgrimage to the tombs of these Apostles. In the second and third centuries the Roman Church already stood pre-eminent by reason of her apostolicity, the infallible truth of her teaching and her two great figures, Sts. Peter and Paul.

A plenary indulgence may be gained today by anyone who makes devout use of a religious article blessed by a bishop and who also recites any approved profession of faith (e.g. the Apostles Creed), as long as the usual conditions are satisfied.

Catholic Culture prepared this special section during the Year of St. Paul.

via Catholic Culture | Liturgical Year


Read the Bible at Mass

First Reading: Acts 12:1-11

In those days, King Herod laid hands upon some members of the Church to harm them. He had James, the brother of John, killed by the sword, and when he saw that this was pleasing to the Jews he proceeded to arrest Peter also. –It was the feast of Unleavened Bread.–  He had him taken into custody and put in prison under the guard of four squads of four soldiers each. He intended to bring him before the people after Passover. Peter thus was being kept in prison, but prayer by the Church was fervently being made to God on his behalf.

On the very night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter, secured by double chains, was sleeping between two soldiers, while outside the door guards kept watch on the prison. Suddenly the angel of the Lord stood by him and a light shone in the cell. He tapped Peter on the side and awakened him, saying, “Get up quickly.” The chains fell from his wrists. The angel said to him, “Put on your belt and your sandals.” He did so. Then he said to him, “Put on your cloak and follow me.” So he followed him out, not realizing that what was happening through the angel was real; he thought he was seeing a vision. They passed the first guard, then the second, and came to the iron gate leading out to the city, which opened for them by itself. They emerged and made their way down an alley, and suddenly the angel left him. Then Peter recovered his senses and said, “Now I know for certain that the Lord sent his angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people had been expecting.”

Responsorial Psalm34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9

R. (5) The angel of the Lord will rescue those who fear him.

I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear me and be glad.

R. The angel of the Lord will rescue those who fear him.

Glorify the LORD with me,
let us together extol his name.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.

R. The angel of the Lord will rescue those who fear him.

Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,
and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the poor one called out, the LORD heard,
and from all his distress he saved him.

R. The angel of the Lord will rescue those who fear him.

The angel of the LORD encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
Taste and see how good the LORD is;
blessed the man who takes refuge in him.

R. The angel of the Lord will rescue those who fear him.

Second Reading: 2 Tm 4:6-8, 17-18

I, Paul, am already being poured out like a libation, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith. From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me, which the Lord, the just judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me, but to all who have longed for his appearance.

The Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the proclamation might be completed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil threat and will bring me safe to his heavenly Kingdom. To him be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Gospel Reading: Mt 16:13-19

When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply:

“Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”


St. Peter

Peter’s original name was Simon. Christ Himself gave him the name Cephas or Peter when they first met and later confirmed it. This name change was meant to show both Peter’s rank as leader of the apostles and the outstanding trait of his character — Peter (in Hebrew Kephas) the Rock. Peter was born in Bethsaida on the Sea of Galilee. Like his younger brother Andrew, he was a fisherman and dwelt at Capernaum. Peter’s house often became the scene of miracles, since the Master would stay there whenever He was teaching in that locality. Together with his brothers John and Andrew, Peter belonged to the first of Jesus’ disciples (John 1:40-50).

After the miraculous draught of fish on the Sea of Galilee, Peter received his definitive call and left wife, family, and occupation to take his place as leader of the Twelve. Thereafter we find him continually at Jesus’ side, whether it be as spokesman of the apostolic college (John 6:68; Matt. 16:16), or as one specially favored (e.g., at the restoration to life of Jairus’ daughter, at the transfiguration, during the agony in the garden). His sanguine temperament often led him into hasty, unpremeditated words and actions; his denial of Jesus during the passion was a salutary lesson. It accentuated a weakness in his character and made him humble.

After the ascension, Peter always took the leading role, exercising the office of chief shepherd that Christ had entrusted to him. He delivered the first sermon on Pentecost and received the first Gentiles into the Church (Cornelius; Acts 10:1). Paul went to Jerusalem “to see Peter.” After his miraculous deliverance from prison (Easter, 42 A.D.), Peter “went to a different place,” most probably to Rome. Details now become scanty; we hear of his presence at the Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15:1), and of his journey to Antioch (Gal. 2:11).

It is certain that Peter labored in Rome as an apostle, that he was the city’s first bishop, and that he died there as a martyr, bound to a cross (67 A.D.). According to tradition he also was the first bishop of Antioch. He is the author of two letters, the first Christian encyclicals. His burial place is Christendom’s most famous shrine, an edifice around whose dome are inscribed the words: Tu es Petrus, et super hanc petram aedificabo ecclesiam meam.

Excerpted from The Church’s Year of Grace, Pius Parsch

Patron: Against frenzy; bakers; bridge builders; butchers; clock makers; cobblers; Exeter College Oxford; feet problems; fever; fishermen; harvesters; locksmiths; longevity; masons; net makers; papacy; Popes; ship builders; shipwrights; shoemakers; stone masons; Universal Church; watch makers; Poznan, Poland; Rome; Diocese of Jackson, Mississippi; Diocese of Las Vegas, Nevada; Diocese of Marquette, Michigan; Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island; Diocese of Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Symbols: Two keys saltire; pastoral staff and two large keys; inverted cross; inverted cross and two keys saltire; crowing cock; fish; two swords; patriarchal cross and two keys saltire; two keys and a scroll; sword.
Often portrayed as: Bald man, often with a fringe of hair on the sides and a tuft on top; book; keys; man crucified head downwards; man holding a key or keys; man robed as a pope and bearing keys and a double-barred cross.

via Catholic Culture | Liturgical Year


St. Paul

Paul, known as Saul (his Roman name) before his conversion, was born at Tarsus in the Roman province of Silicia about two or three years after the advent of the Redeemer. He was the son of Jewish parents who belonged to the tribe of Benjamin, was reared according to the strict religious-nationalistic party of the Pharisees, and enjoyed the high distinction of Roman citizenship.

As a youth he went to Jerusalem to become immersed in the Law and had as a teacher the celebrated Gamaliel. He acquired skill as a tent-maker, a work he continued even as an apostle. At the time of Jesus’ ministry he no longer was at Jerusalem; neither did he see the Lord during His earthly-life. Upon returning to the Holy City, Paul discovered a flourishing Christian community and at once became its bitter opponent. When Stephen impugned Law and temple, Paul was one of the first at his stoning; thereafter his fiery personality would lead the persecution. Breathing threats of slaughter against the disciples of Jesus, he was hurrying to Damascus when the grace of God effected his conversion (about the year 34 A.D.; see January 25, Conversion of St. Paul).

After receiving baptism and making some initial attempts at preaching, Paul withdrew into the Arabian desert (c. 34-37 A.D.), where he prepared himself for his future mission. During this retreat he was favored with special revelations, Christ appearing to him personally. Upon his return to Damascus he began to preach but was forced to leave when the Jews sought to kill him. Then he went to Jerusalem “to see Peter.” Barnabas introduced him to the Christian community, but the hatred of the Jews again obliged him to take secret flight. The following years (38-42 A.D.) he spent at Tarsus until Barnabas brought him to the newly founded Christian community at Antioch, where both worked a year for the cause of Christ; in the year 44 he made another journey to Jerusalem with the money collected for that famine stricken community.

The first major missionary journey (45-48) began upon his return as he and Barnabas brought the Gospel to Cyprus and Asia Minor (Acts 13-14). The Council of Jerusalem occasioned Paul’s reappearance in Jerusalem (50). Spurred on by the decisions of the Council, he began the second missionary journey (51-53), traveling through Asia Minor and then crossing over to Europe and founding churches at Philippi, Thessalonia (his favorite), Berea, Athens, Corinth. He remained almost two years at Corinth, establishing a very flourishing and important community. In 54 he returned to Jerusalem for the fourth time.

Paul’s third missionary journey (54-58) took him to Ephesus, where he labored three years with good success; after visiting his European communities, he returned to Jerusalem for a fifth time (Pentecost, 58). There he was seized by the Jews and accused of condemning the Law. After being held as a prisoner for two years at Caesarea, he appealed to Caesar and was sent by sea to Rome (60 A.D.). Shipwrecked and delayed on the island of Malta, he arrived at Rome in the spring of 61 and passed the next two years in easy confinement before being released. The last years of the saint’s life were devoted to missionary excursions, probably including Spain, and to revisiting his first foundations. In 66 he returned to Rome, was taken prisoner, and beheaded a year later. His fourteen letters are a precious legacy; they afford a deep insight into a great soul.

Excerpted from The Church’s Year of Grace, Pius Parsch

Patron: Against snakes; authors; Cursillo movement; evangelists; hailstorms; hospital public relations; journalists; lay people; missionary bishops; musicians; poisonous snakes; public relations personnel; public relations work; publishers; reporters; rope braiders; rope makers; saddlemakers; saddlers; snake bites; tent makers; writers; Malta; Rome; Poznan, Poland; newspaper editorial staff, Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Diocese of Covington, Kentucky; Diocese of Birmingham, Alabama; Diocese of Las Vegas, Nevada; Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island; Diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts.

Symbols: Book and sword, three fountains; two swords; scourge; serpent and a fire; armour of God; twelve scrolls with names of his Epistles; Phoenix; palm tree; shield of faith; sword; book.
Often portrayed as: Thin-faced elderly man with a high forehead, receding hairline and long pointed beard; man holding a sword and a book; man with 3 springs of water nearby;

Things to Do:

  • From the Directory on Popular Piety, this feast is important because “it is always useful to teach the faithful to realize the importance and significance of the feasts of those Saints who have had a particular mission in the history of Salvation, or a singular relationship with Christ such as St. John the Baptist (24 June), St. Joseph (19 March), Sts. Peter and Paul (29 June), the Apostles and Evangelists, St. Mary Magdalen (22 July), St. Martha (29 July) and St. Stephen (26 December).”
  • The Directory on Popular Piety also explains the devotion of the Christian Pilgrimage. During the Middle Ages in particular, “pilgrims came to Rome to venerate the tombs of the Apostles Peter and Paul (ad Limina Apostolorum), the catacombs and basilicas, in recognition of the service rendered to the universal Church by the successor of Peter.”
  • Besides the recipes in our database, Cooking With the Saints by Ernst Schuegraf has seven recipes alone for the feast of St. Peter. This is a wonderful book, beautifully illustrated with art of the saints and the actual dishes. This would be a great addition to your liturgical year library.
  • Learn more about St. Paul, read Paul of Tarsus

via Catholic Culture | Liturgical Year

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Friday of the Seventh Week of Easter

First Reading: Acts 25:13b-21

King Agrippa and Bernice arrived in Caesarea on a visit to Festus. Since they spent several days there, Festus referred Paul’s case to the king, saying, “There is a man here left in custody by Felix. When I was in Jerusalem the chief priests and the elders of the Jews brought charges against him and demanded his condemnation. I answered them that it was not Roman practice to hand over an accused person before he has faced his accusers and had the opportunity to defend himself against their charge. So when they came together here, I made no delay; he next day I took my seat on the tribunal and ordered the man to be brought in. His accusers stood around him, but did not charge him with any of the crimes I suspected. Instead they had some issues with him about their own religion and about a certain Jesus who had died but who Paul claimed was alive. Since I was at a loss how to investigate this controversy, I asked if he were willing to go to Jerusalem and there stand trial on these charges. And when Paul appealed that he be held in custody for the Emperor’s decision, I ordered him held until I could send him to Caesar.”


Responsorial Psalm: 103:1-2, 11-12, 19-20ab

R. (19a) The Lord has established his throne in heaven.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Bless the LORD, O my soul;
and all my being, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits.

R. The Lord has established his throne in heaven.
or:
R. Alleluia.

For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him.
As far as the east is from the west,
so far has he put our transgressions from us.

R. The Lord has established his throne in heaven.
or:
R. Alleluia.

The LORD has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.
Bless the LORD, all you his angels,
you mighty in strength, who do his bidding.

R. The Lord has established his throne in heaven.
or:
R. Alleluia.


Gospel: Jn 21:15-19

After Jesus had revealed himself to his disciples and eaten breakfast with them, he said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” He then said to Simon Peter a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when he had said this, he said to him, “Follow me.”


Personal Reflection on the Gospel
Today’s Gospel reading is, as every Gospel, significant. In one sense we can see the love God has for us in His mercy and desire to save us. Peter, remaining in the lead role given to him in Matthew 16:18, is given a three-fold opportunity to, which he takes advantage of, receive forgiveness for denying Christ thrice.

In another sense, this passage gives more evidence for the role of the papacy or Chief of the Apostles. Christ speaking only to Peter, reaffirms the mandate and role of his office (cf Isaiah 22:22):

  • Feed my lambs
  • Tend my sheep
  • Feed my sheep

Christ rounds out this passage with a clear and sobering statement of what will happen, not only personally to Peter but potentially to all who bear witness to Him and His glory.

Friday of the Seventh Week of Easter

First Reading: Acts 25:13b-21
King Agrippa and Bernice arrived in Caesarea on a visit to Festus. Since they spent several days there, Festus referred Paul’s case to the king, saying, “There is a man here left in custody by Felix. When I was in Jerusalem the chief priests and the elders of the Jews brought charges against him and demanded his condemnation. I answered them that it was not Roman practice to hand over an accused person before he has faced his accusers and had the opportunity to defend himself against their charge. So when they came together here, I made no delay; he next day I took my seat on the tribunal and ordered the man to be brought in. His accusers stood around him, but did not charge him with any of the crimes I suspected. Instead they had some issues with him about their own religion and about a certain Jesus who had died but who Paul claimed was alive. Since I was at a loss how to investigate this controversy, I asked if he were willing to go to Jerusalem and there stand trial on these charges. And when Paul appealed that he be held in custody for the Emperor’s decision, I ordered him held until I could send him to Caesar.”


Responsorial Psalm: 103:1-2, 11-12, 19-20ab

R. (19a) The Lord has established his throne in heaven.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Bless the LORD, O my soul;
and all my being, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits.

R. The Lord has established his throne in heaven.
or:
R. Alleluia.

For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him.
As far as the east is from the west,
so far has he put our transgressions from us.

R. The Lord has established his throne in heaven.
or:
R. Alleluia.

The LORD has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.
Bless the LORD, all you his angels,
you mighty in strength, who do his bidding.

R. The Lord has established his throne in heaven.
or:
R. Alleluia.


Gospel: Jn 21:15-19

After Jesus had revealed himself to his disciples and eaten breakfast with them, he said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” He then said to Simon Peter a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when he had said this, he said to him, “Follow me.”


Personal Reflection on the Gospel
Today’s Gospel reading is, as every Gospel, significant. In one sense we can see the love God has for us in His mercy and desire to save us. Peter, remaining in the lead role given to him in Matthew 16:18, is given a three-fold opportunity to, which he takes advantage of, receive forgiveness for denying Christ thrice.
In another sense, this passage gives more evidence for the role of the papacy or Chief of the Apostles. Christ speaking only to Peter, reaffirms the mandate and role of his office (cf Isaiah 22:22):

  • Feed my lambs
  • Tend my sheep
  • Feed my sheep

Christ rounds out this passage with a clear and sobering statement of what will happen, not only personally to Peter but potentially to all who bear witness to Him and His glory.

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The Weekend Forecast: Partly Cloudy Skies with a Chance of Being Left Behind

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Image by Getty Images via @daylifeAccording to “self-taught biblical scholar and radio mogulHarold Camping the Just Judge, Jesus Christ, will return on May 21, 2011 “at exactly 6 p.m. local time, whatever your local time is. He’s been delivering this prediction for several years, a recalibration from his earlier prediction that the Rapture would happen in 1994″ (Preachers Line Up Against May 21 Leader).

It is amazing to me that people will believe false prophets such as these even while considering themselves Christians. Persons such as Mr. Camping are, by definition, antichrist[1]. Not in the sense of some horror movie but in the true sense that the Gospel they preach is not that which was preached by the Apostles[2] who are the foundation[3] of the Church.

Mr. Camping’s false prediction back in 1994 already shows him as a failed prophet and antichrist, especially since he continues to preach this falsity in clear opposition to Jesus’ own words. Speaking of the Eschaton, Christ states, “But of that day or that hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Mark (RSV) 13:32).

Then of course there is the false and very recent teaching of the “Rapture.” This idea has become wildly popular since the publication of the Left Behind series of novels. I think most would agree that the author of these books took inspiration from the Book of Revelation and Protestant theology that twisted Bible passages such as 1 Thessalonians 4:17, which says, “…then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord.”

Those who hold to this recent theological theory (about 150 to 200 years old) that has no basis in Sacred Scripture and/or Sacred Tradition will read 1 Thessalonians 4:17 and point the passage as clear evidence of the “Rapture” as they know it. And as they know it divided. This division of teaching shows evidence against Sola Scriptura and shows Protestantism for what it is: Christianity without the Fullness of Truth.
In the eternal wisdom granted her by Christ, the Church has always taught us that:
The Last Judgment will come when Christ returns in glory. Only the Father knows the day and the hour; only he determines the moment of its coming. Then through his Son Jesus Christ he will pronounce the final word on all history. We shall know the ultimate meaning of the whole work of creation and of the entire economy of salvation and understand the marvellous ways by which his Providence led everything towards its final end. The Last Judgment will reveal that God’s justice triumphs over all the injustices committed by his creatures and that God’s love is stronger than death.(Song of Songs 8:6[4]) (1997 Catechism of the Catholic Church 1040)
What does this mean for us? Well, basically it means that properly catechised Catholics (Christians since AD33) understand that there will only be ONE Second Coming of Jesus and that we are effectively living in the Amillennial period, which is in the Glorious reign of Our Lord – for we are living in a time of Grace. All of this Grace, of course, begins and ends with the mystery of the Holy Eucharist – the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Blessed Lord Jesus Christ under that appearances of bread and wine.

Anyway, Camping is wrong and preaches a gospel that is not of Our Lord. Saint Peter speaks of persons such as this in 2 Peter 2:1:
But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their licentiousness, and because of them the way of truth will be reviled.
And in their greed they will exploit you with false words… (2 Peter (RSV) 2:1-3a)

[1]Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit which confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit which does not confess Jesus is not of God. This is the spirit of antichrist, of which you heard that it was coming, and now it is in the world already. (1John (RSV) 4:1-3)
[2]I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and turning to a different gospel — not that there is another gospel, but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, If any one is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed. (Galatians (RSV) 1:6-9)
[3]So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built into it for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. (Ephesians (RSV) 2:19-22)
[4]Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, jealousy is cruel as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, a most vehement flame. (Song of Songs (RSV) 8:6)
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The Weekend Forecast: Partly Cloudy Skies with a Chance of Being Left Behind

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 13:  Participants in a move...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeAccording to “self-taught biblical scholar and radio mogulHarold Camping the Just Judge, Jesus Christ, will return on May 21, 2011 “at exactly 6 p.m. local time, whatever your local time is. He’s been delivering this prediction for several years, a recalibration from his earlier prediction that the Rapture would happen in 1994” (Preachers Line Up Against May 21 Leader).

It is amazing to me that people will believe false prophets such as these even while considering themselves Christians. Persons such as Mr. Camping are, by definition, antichrist[1]. Not in the sense of some horror movie but in the true sense that the Gospel they preach is not that which was preached by the Apostles[2] who are the foundation[3] of the Church.

Mr. Camping’s false prediction back in 1994 already shows him as a failed prophet and antichrist, especially since he continues to preach this falsity in clear opposition to Jesus’ own words. Speaking of the Eschaton, Christ states, “But of that day or that hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Mark (RSV) 13:32).

Then of course there is the false and very recent teaching of the “Rapture.” This idea has become wildly popular since the publication of the Left Behind series of novels. I think most would agree that the author of these books took inspiration from the Book of Revelation and Protestant theology that twisted Bible passages such as 1 Thessalonians 4:17, which says, “…then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord.”

Those who hold to this recent theological theory (about 150 to 200 years old) that has no basis in Sacred Scripture and/or Sacred Tradition will read 1 Thessalonians 4:17 and point the passage as clear evidence of the “Rapture” as they know it. And as they know it divided. This division of teaching shows evidence against Sola Scriptura and shows Protestantism for what it is: Christianity without the Fullness of Truth.
In the eternal wisdom granted her by Christ, the Church has always taught us that:
The Last Judgment will come when Christ returns in glory. Only the Father knows the day and the hour; only he determines the moment of its coming. Then through his Son Jesus Christ he will pronounce the final word on all history. We shall know the ultimate meaning of the whole work of creation and of the entire economy of salvation and understand the marvellous ways by which his Providence led everything towards its final end. The Last Judgment will reveal that God’s justice triumphs over all the injustices committed by his creatures and that God’s love is stronger than death.(Song of Songs 8:6[4]) (1997 Catechism of the Catholic Church 1040)
What does this mean for us? Well, basically it means that properly catechised Catholics (Christians since AD33) understand that there will only be ONE Second Coming of Jesus and that we are effectively living in the Amillennial period, which is in the Glorious reign of Our Lord – for we are living in a time of Grace. All of this Grace, of course, begins and ends with the mystery of the Holy Eucharist – the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Blessed Lord Jesus Christ under that appearances of bread and wine.

Anyway, Camping is wrong and preaches a gospel that is not of Our Lord. Saint Peter speaks of persons such as this in 2 Peter 2:1:
But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their licentiousness, and because of them the way of truth will be reviled.
And in their greed they will exploit you with false words… (2 Peter (RSV) 2:1-3a)

[1]Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit which confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit which does not confess Jesus is not of God. This is the spirit of antichrist, of which you heard that it was coming, and now it is in the world already. (1John (RSV) 4:1-3)
[2]I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and turning to a different gospel — not that there is another gospel, but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, If any one is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed. (Galatians (RSV) 1:6-9)
[3]So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built into it for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. (Ephesians (RSV) 2:19-22)
[4]Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, jealousy is cruel as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, a most vehement flame. (Song of Songs (RSV) 8:6)
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Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, apostle

Media_httpuploadwikim_xtpgn

Christ Handing the Keys to St. Peter by Pietro Perugino (1481-82) Fresco. Image via Wikipedia.

This feast brings to mind the mission of teacher and pastor conferred by Christ on Peter, and continued in an unbroken line down to the present Pope. We celebrate the unity of the Church, founded upon the Apostle, and renew our assent to the Magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, extended both to truths which are solemnly defined ex cathedra, and to all the acts of the ordinary Magisterium.

The feast of the Chair of Saint Peter at Rome has been celebrated from the early days of the Christian era on 18 January, in commemoration of the day when Saint Peter held his first service in Rome. The feast of the Chair of Saint Peter at Antioch, commemorating his foundation of the See of Antioch, has also been long celebrated at Rome, on 22 February. At each place a chair (cathedra) was venerated which the Apostle had used while presiding at Mass. One of the chairs is referred to about 600 by an Abbot Johannes who had been commissioned by Pope Gregory the Great to collect in oil from the lamps which burned at the graves of the Roman martyrs. — New Catholic Dictionary


Daily Scripture Readings

First Reading 1 Pt 5:1-4
Beloved:

I exhort the presbyters among you, as a fellow presbyter and witness to the sufferings of Christ and one who has a share in the glory to be revealed. Tend the flock of God in your midst, overseeing not by constraint but willingly, as God would have it, not for shameful profit but eagerly. Do not lord it over those assigned to you, but be examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd is revealed, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 23:1-3a, 4, 5, 6
R. (1) The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
Beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.

R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side
With your rod and your staff
that give me courage.

R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

Only goodness and kindness follow me
all the days of my life;
And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
for years to come.

R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

Gospel Mt 16:13-19
When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Readings courtesy of the USCCB.


Chair of St. Peter
Since early times, the Roman Church has had a special commemoration of the primatial authority of St. Peter. As witness one of the most renowned of the Apostolic Fathers, the Roman See has always held a peculiar place in the affection and obedience of orthodox believers because of its “presiding in love” and service over all the Churches of God.

“We shall find in the Gospel that Jesus Christ, willing to begin the mystery of unity in His Church, among all His disciples chose twelve; but that, willing to consummate the mystery of unity in the same Church, among the twelve He chose one. He called His disciples, said the Gospel; here are all; and among them He chose twelve. Here is the first separation, and the Apostles chosen. And these are the names of the twelve Apostles: the first, Simon, who is called Peter. [Mt. 10, 1-2] Here, in a second separation, St. Peter is set at the head, and called for that reason by the name of Peter, ‘which Jesus Christ,’ says St. Mark, ‘had given him,’ in order to prepare, as you will see, the work which He was proposing to raise all His building on that stone.

“All this is yet but a beginning of the mystery of unity. Jesus Christ, in beginning it, still spoke to many: Go, preach; I send you [see Mt. 28, 19]. Now, when He would put the last hand to the mystery of unity, He speaks no longer to many: He marks out Peter personally, and by the new name which He has given him. It is One who speaks to one: Jesus Christ the Son of God to Simon son of Jonas; Jesus Christ, who is the true Stone, strong of Himself, to Simon, who is only the stone by the strength which Jesus Christ imparts to him. It is to him that Christ speaks, and in speaking acts on him, and stamps upon him His own immovableness. And I, He says, say to you, you are Peter; and, He adds, upon this rock I will build my Church, and, He concludes, the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. [Mt. 16, 18] To prepare him for that honor Jesus Christ, who knows that faith in Himself is the foundation of His Church, inspires Peter with a faith worthy to be the foundation of that admirable building. You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. [Mt. 16, 16] By that bold preaching of the faith he draws to himself the inviolable promise which makes him the foundation of the Church.

“It was, then, clearly the design of Jesus Christ to put first in one alone, what afterwards He meant to put in several; but the sequence does not reverse the beginning, nor the first lose his place. That first word, Whatsoever you shall bind, said to one alone, has already ranged under his power each one of those to whom shall be said, Whatsoever you shall remit; for the promises of Jesus Christ, as well as His gift, are without repentance; and what is once given indefinitely and universally is irrevocable. Besides, that power given to several carries its restriction in its division, while power given to one alone, and over all, and without exception, carries with it plenitude, and, not having to be divided with any other, it has no bounds save those which its terms convey.”

Excerpted from The See of St. Peter, Jacques Bossuet.

Narrative courtesy of Catholic Culture.

Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, apostle

Christ Handing the Keys to St. Peter by Pietro...

This feast brings to mind the mission of teacher and pastor conferred by Christ on Peter, and continued in an unbroken line down to the present Pope. We celebrate the unity of the Church, founded upon the Apostle, and renew our assent to the Magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, extended both to truths which are solemnly defined ex cathedra, and to all the acts of the ordinary Magisterium.

The feast of the Chair of Saint Peter at Rome has been celebrated from the early days of the Christian era on 18 January, in commemoration of the day when Saint Peter held his first service in Rome. The feast of the Chair of Saint Peter at Antioch, commemorating his foundation of the See of Antioch, has also been long celebrated at Rome, on 22 February. At each place a chair (cathedra) was venerated which the Apostle had used while presiding at Mass. One of the chairs is referred to about 600 by an Abbot Johannes who had been commissioned by Pope Gregory the Great to collect in oil from the lamps which burned at the graves of the Roman martyrs. — New Catholic Dictionary


Daily Scripture Readings

First Reading 1 Pt 5:1-4
Beloved:

I exhort the presbyters among you, as a fellow presbyter and witness to the sufferings of Christ and one who has a share in the glory to be revealed. Tend the flock of God in your midst, overseeing not by constraint but willingly, as God would have it, not for shameful profit but eagerly. Do not lord it over those assigned to you, but be examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd is revealed, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 23:1-3a, 4, 5, 6
R. (1) The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
Beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.

R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side
With your rod and your staff
that give me courage.

R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

Only goodness and kindness follow me
all the days of my life;
And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
for years to come.

R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

Gospel Mt 16:13-19
When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Readings courtesy of the USCCB.


Chair of St. Peter
Since early times, the Roman Church has had a special commemoration of the primatial authority of St. Peter. As witness one of the most renowned of the Apostolic Fathers, the Roman See has always held a peculiar place in the affection and obedience of orthodox believers because of its “presiding in love” and service over all the Churches of God.

“We shall find in the Gospel that Jesus Christ, willing to begin the mystery of unity in His Church, among all His disciples chose twelve; but that, willing to consummate the mystery of unity in the same Church, among the twelve He chose one. He called His disciples, said the Gospel; here are all; and among them He chose twelve. Here is the first separation, and the Apostles chosen. And these are the names of the twelve Apostles: the first, Simon, who is called Peter. [Mt. 10, 1-2] Here, in a second separation, St. Peter is set at the head, and called for that reason by the name of Peter, ‘which Jesus Christ,’ says St. Mark, ‘had given him,’ in order to prepare, as you will see, the work which He was proposing to raise all His building on that stone.

“All this is yet but a beginning of the mystery of unity. Jesus Christ, in beginning it, still spoke to many: Go, preach; I send you [see Mt. 28, 19]. Now, when He would put the last hand to the mystery of unity, He speaks no longer to many: He marks out Peter personally, and by the new name which He has given him. It is One who speaks to one: Jesus Christ the Son of God to Simon son of Jonas; Jesus Christ, who is the true Stone, strong of Himself, to Simon, who is only the stone by the strength which Jesus Christ imparts to him. It is to him that Christ speaks, and in speaking acts on him, and stamps upon him His own immovableness. And I, He says, say to you, you are Peter; and, He adds, upon this rock I will build my Church, and, He concludes, the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. [Mt. 16, 18] To prepare him for that honor Jesus Christ, who knows that faith in Himself is the foundation of His Church, inspires Peter with a faith worthy to be the foundation of that admirable bui
lding. You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. [Mt. 16, 16] By that bold preaching of the faith he draws to himself the inviolable promise which makes him the foundation of the Church.

“It was, then, clearly the design of Jesus Christ to put first in one alone, what afterwards He meant to put in several; but the sequence does not reverse the beginning, nor the first lose his place. That first word, Whatsoever you shall bind, said to one alone, has already ranged under his power each one of those to whom shall be said, Whatsoever you shall remit; for the promises of Jesus Christ, as well as His gift, are without repentance; and what is once given indefinitely and universally is irrevocable. Besides, that power given to several carries its restriction in its division, while power given to one alone, and over all, and without exception, carries with it plenitude, and, not having to be divided with any other, it has no bounds save those which its terms convey.”

Excerpted from The See of St. Peter, Jacques Bossuet.

Narrative courtesy of Catholic Culture.

Feast of Saint John, Apostle and Evangelist

Today is the third day in the octave of Christmas. The Church celebrates the Feast of St. John, apostle and evangelist. Born in Bethsaida, he was called while mending his nets to follow Jesus. He became the beloved disciple of Jesus. He wrote the fourth Gospel, three Epistles and the Apocalypse. His passages on the pre-existence of the Word, who by His Incarnation became the light of the world and the life of our souls, are among the finest of the New Testament. He is the evangelist of the divinity of Christ and His fraternal love. With James, his brother, and Simon Peter, he was one of the witnesses of the Transfiguration. At the Last Supper, he leans on the Masters breast. At the foot of the cross, Jesus entrusts His Mother to his care. Johns pure life kept him very close to Jesus and Mary in years to come. John was exiled to the island of Patmos under Emperor Domitian.

Today is the third day in the octave of Christmas. The Church celebrates the Feast of St. John, apostle and evangelist. Born in Bethsaida, he was called while mending his nets to follow Jesus. He became the beloved disciple of Jesus. He wrote the fourth Gospel, three Epistles and the Apocalypse. His passages on the pre-existence of the Word, who by His Incarnation became the light of the world and the life of our souls, are among the finest of the New Testament. He is the evangelist of the divinity of Christ and His fraternal love. With James, his brother, and Simon Peter, he was one of the witnesses of the Transfiguration. At the Last Supper, he leans on the Master’s breast. At the foot of the cross, Jesus entrusts His Mother to his care. John’s pure life kept him very close to Jesus and Mary in years to come. John was exiled to the island of Patmos under Emperor Domitian.

via Catholic Culture: The Third Day of Christmas


Bible Readings for Today’s Mass

First Reading: 1 John 1:1-4 (DRB w/ Haydock Commentary)

Beloved:

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life — the life was made manifest, and we saw it, and testify to it, and proclaim to you the eternal life which was with the Father and was made manifest to us — that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you may have fellowship with us; and our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing this that our joy may be complete. (RSV)

Responsorial PsalmPsalm 97[96]:1-2, 5-6, 11-12 (DRB w/ Haydock Commentary)

R. (12) Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous!

The LORD reigns; let the earth rejoice;
let the many coastlands be glad!
Clouds and thick darkness are round about him;
righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.

R. Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous!

The mountains melt like wax before the LORD,
before the LORD of all the earth.
The heavens proclaim his righteousness;
and all the peoples behold his glory.

R. Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous!

Light dawns for the righteous,
and joy for the upright in heart.
Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous,
and give thanks to his holy name!

R. Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous! (RSV)

Gospel: John 20:1-8 (DRB w/ Haydock Commentary)

Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So she ran, and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” Peter then came out with the other disciple, and they went toward the tomb. 4 They both ran, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first; and stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; he saw the linen cloths lying, and the napkin, which had been on his head, not lying with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed…(RSV)


St. John

Media_httpuploadwikim_abcfs

Image of the Apostle John on the Holy Doors of the church of the Protection of Holy Virgin Protection Church, Marfo-Mariinsky Convent, by Mikhail Nesterov, 1909, via Wikipedia.

St. John, the Evangelist, who is styled in the Gospel, “the beloved disciple”, was a Galilean, son of Zebedee and Salome, and brother to St. James the Greater, both of whom were fishermen. The two were called by Jesus to be disciples as they were mending their nets by the Sea of Galilee.

Jesus showed St. John particular instances of kindness and affection above all the rest. He had the happiness to be present with Peter and James at the Transfiguration of Christ, and was permitted to witness His agony in the Garden. He was allowed to rest on Our Savior’s bosom at the Last Supper, and to him Jesus confided the care of His holy Mother as He hung dying on the Cross.

St. John was the only one of the Apostles who did not forsake the Savior in the hour of His Passion and Death.

It seems that St. John remained for a long time in Jerusalem, but that his later years were spent at Ephesus, whence he founded many churches in Asia Minor. St. John wrote his Gospel after the other Evangelists, about sixty-three years after the Ascension of Christ; also three Epistles, and the wonderful and mysterious Book of the Apocalypse or Revelation. He was brought to Rome and, according to tradition, was cast into a caldron of boiling oil by order of Emperor Domitian. Like the Three Children in the fiery furnace of Babylon, he was miraculously preserved unhurt.

He was later exiled to the Island of Patmos, where he wrote the Apocalypse, but afterwards returned to Ephesus.

In his extreme old age he continued to visit the churches of Asia. St. Jerome relates that when age and weakness grew upon him so that he was no longer able to preach to the people, he would be carried to the assembly of the faithful by his disciples, with great difficulty; and every time said to his flock only these words: “My dear children, love one another.”

St. John died in peace at Ephesus in the third year of Trajan (as seems to be gathered from Eusebius’ history of the Saint); that is, the hundredth of the Christian era, or the sixty-sixth from the crucifixion of Christ, St. John then being about ninety-four years old, according to St. Epiphanus.

Excerpted from Heavenly Friends, St. Paul Editions

Patron: Against poison; art dealers; authors; bookbinders; booksellers; burns; compositors; editors; engravers; friendships; lithographers; painters; papermakers; poisoning; printers; publishers; tanners; theologians; typesetters; writers; Asia Minor; Taos, New Mexico; Umbria, Italy; diocese of Cleveland, Ohio; diocese of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Symbols: Cup or chalice and serpent (cup or sorrow foretold by Jesus); eagle rising out of a cauldron (refers to being a martyr of spirit, but not in deed); serpent entwined on a sword; grave; Prester John seated on tomb, with book, orb, and sword; eagle on a closed book; scroll of his Gospel; scroll of the Apocalypse; nimbed eagle; book.

via Catholic Culture : Liturgical Year.

Feast of Saint John, Apostle and Evangelist

Today is the third day in the octave of Christmas. The Church celebrates the Feast of St. John, apostle and evangelist. Born in Bethsaida, he was called while mending his nets to follow Jesus. He became the beloved disciple of Jesus. He wrote the fourth Gospel, three Epistles and the Apocalypse. His passages on the pre-existence of the Word, who by His Incarnation became the light of the world and the life of our souls, are among the finest of the New Testament. He is the evangelist of the divinity of Christ and His fraternal love. With James, his brother, and Simon Peter, he was one of the witnesses of the Transfiguration. At the Last Supper, he leans on the Masters breast. At the foot of the cross, Jesus entrusts His Mother to his care. Johns pure life kept him very close to Jesus and Mary in years to come. John was exiled to the island of Patmos under Emperor Domitian.

Today is the third day in the octave of Christmas. The Church celebrates the Feast of St. John, apostle and evangelist. Born in Bethsaida, he was called while mending his nets to follow Jesus. He became the beloved disciple of Jesus. He wrote the fourth Gospel, three Epistles and the Apocalypse. His passages on the pre-existence of the Word, who by His Incarnation became the light of the world and the life of our souls, are among the finest of the New Testament. He is the evangelist of the divinity of Christ and His fraternal love. With James, his brother, and Simon Peter, he was one of the witnesses of the Transfiguration. At the Last Supper, he leans on the Master’s breast. At the foot of the cross, Jesus entrusts His Mother to his care. John’s pure life kept him very close to Jesus and Mary in years to come. John was exiled to the island of Patmos under Emperor Domitian.

via Catholic Culture: The Third Day of Christmas


Bible Readings for Today’s Mass

First Reading: 1 John 1:1-4 (DRB w/ Haydock Commentary)

Beloved:

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life — the life was made manifest, and we saw it, and testify to it, and proclaim to you the eternal life which was with the Father and was made manifest to us — that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you may have fellowship with us; and our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing this that our joy may be complete. (RSV)

Responsorial PsalmPsalm 97[96]:1-2, 5-6, 11-12 (DRB w/ Haydock Commentary)

R. (12) Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous!

The LORD reigns; let the earth rejoice;
let the many coastlands be glad!
Clouds and thick darkness are round about him;
righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.

R. Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous!

The mountains melt like wax before the LORD,
before the LORD of all the earth.
The heavens proclaim his righteousness;
and all the peoples behold his glory.

R. Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous!

Light dawns for the righteous,
and joy for the upright in heart.
Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous,
and give thanks to his holy name!

R. Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous! (RSV)

Gospel: John 20:1-8 (DRB w/ Haydock Commentary)

Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So she ran, and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” Peter then came out with the other disciple, and they went toward the tomb. 4 They both ran, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first; and stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; he saw the linen cloths lying, and the napkin, which had been on his head, not lying with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed…(RSV)


St. John

Mikhail_Nesterov_060.jpg

St. John, the Evangelist, who is styled in the Gospel, “the beloved disciple”, was a Galilean, son of Zebedee and Salome, and brother to St. James the Greater, both of whom were fishermen. The two were called by Jesus to be disciples as they were mending their nets by the Sea of Galilee.

Jesus showed St. John particular instances of kindness and affection above all the rest. He had the happiness to be present with Peter and James at the Transfiguration of Christ, and was permitted to witness His agony in the Garden. He was allowed to rest on Our Savior’s bosom at the Last Supper, and to him Jesus confided the care of His holy Mother as He hung dying on the Cross.

St. John was the only one of the Apostles who did not forsake the Savior in the hour of His Passion and Death.

It seems that St. John remained for a long time in Jerusalem, but that hi
s later years were spent at Ephesus, whence he founded many churches in Asia Minor. St. John wrote his Gospel after the other Evangelists, about sixty-three years after the Ascension of Christ; also three Epistles, and the wonderful and mysterious Book of the Apocalypse or Revelation. He was brought to Rome and, according to tradition, was cast into a caldron of boiling oil by order of Emperor Domitian. Like the Three Children in the fiery furnace of Babylon, he was miraculously preserved unhurt.

He was later exiled to the Island of Patmos, where he wrote the Apocalypse, but afterwards returned to Ephesus.

In his extreme old age he continued to visit the churches of Asia. St. Jerome relates that when age and weakness grew upon him so that he was no longer able to preach to the people, he would be carried to the assembly of the faithful by his disciples, with great difficulty; and every time said to his flock only these words: “My dear children, love one another.”

St. John died in peace at Ephesus in the third year of Trajan (as seems to be gathered from Eusebius’ history of the Saint); that is, the hundredth of the Christian era, or the sixty-sixth from the crucifixion of Christ, St. John then being about ninety-four years old, according to St. Epiphanus.

Excerpted from Heavenly Friends, St. Paul Editions

Patron: Against poison; art dealers; authors; bookbinders; booksellers; burns; compositors; editors; engravers; friendships; lithographers; painters; papermakers; poisoning; printers; publishers; tanners; theologians; typesetters; writers; Asia Minor; Taos, New Mexico; Umbria, Italy; diocese of Cleveland, Ohio; diocese of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Symbols: Cup or chalice and serpent (cup or sorrow foretold by Jesus); eagle rising out of a cauldron (refers to being a martyr of spirit, but not in deed); serpent entwined on a sword; grave; Prester John seated on tomb, with book, orb, and sword; eagle on a closed book; scroll of his Gospel; scroll of the Apocalypse; nimbed eagle; book.

via Catholic Culture : Liturgical Year.

Apologetics in Action: To Londy, On the Authority of the Reformation

Original Post and Comment

My new comments will be in red and italicized in an effort to maintian the llondy’s formatting so as to show full context.

Good luck reading and following. As usual, those wishing to offer feedback and/or suggestions are always welcome. Enjoy:


My Catholic friend’s comments will be in italics. I do have many Catholic friends that I can discuss these issues with in a cordial manner and I hope this continues to be the case. [Most certainly.]

Anyway, a couple of comments were presented one from a self-proclaimed atheist and a person who appears to be a Protestant seeking to bring me to the Fullness of Truth. In doing so, this individual exposed the own truth behind the heretical basis of Protestantism, that is to say the sin of pride. Protestant reformers sought to conform the Church to what they conceived in their minds as truth. Yet each person is subject to the truth in relation to their lived experience and thus there is a potential to either negate the validity of the experiences of others or embrace the so-called validity of all (usually at the expense of one that unites the rest) – this is what I call relativism.
In any event, I will strive to give more of an explanation to address the first comment post from this person and, in light of my com-box reply, seek to address the issues pointed out in the second comment post.

I am a Protestant, however there is nothing heretical about the Reformed position at all. It seeks to be as Biblical as possible where it is Catholicism that steps outside the Bible and claims external authority. Protestant reformers attempted to reform the Roman Catholic Church according to the Bible and not their own minds. There is nothing relativist about what they did either, I assumed being a devout Catholic that your understanding of the Protestant Reformation would be a little sharper. I would expect for you to disagree with it, but not to completely misunderstand it.

Media_httpuploadwikim_naxmi

Christ Handing the Keys to St. Peter by Pietro Perugino (1481-82) Fresco, 335 x 550 cm Cappella Sistina, Vatican. Image via Wikipedia.

[Again, this line of thought is already begins with an erroneous view of history and Church roles. First, let us define heresy (from Dictionary.com):

  1. opinion or doctrine at variance with the orthodox or accepted doctrine, esp. of a church or religious system.
  2. the maintaining of such an opinion or doctrine.
  3. Roman Catholic Church: the willful and persistent rejection of any article of faith by a baptized member of the church.
  4. any belief or theory that is strongly at variance with established beliefs, customs, etc.

In each of these four definitions or types, the understanding of the word is clear. A heretical view is one that is opposition to orthodox, established views. In the context of Christian theology, Protestant reformers, much like earlier heretics, refused to accept various dogmatic teachings of the Christian faith including the authority of the Church, the Canonicity of Scripture and the interpretations therein. It is important to point out, however, that Protestants today, while technically maintaining heretical views, are not truly considered heretics as their understanding of the Christian faith was formed completely in the bubble of said heresy. For many, today’s Protestants are not necessarily personally culpable for their flawed views as this is the only view they know (my wife is an excellent example of this).

Now let us examine more fully, the statements made by llondy. Concerning, the claim that the Reformers sought to “reform” the Church in accordance with Scripture fails to take into account Scripture itself: nature, substance and origin. For example, let us consider what the Bible, quoting Jesus, says about addressing disagreements:

“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.

Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew (RSV) 18:15-20)

This passage is rich in opposition to the manner in with Protestant reformers chose to handle their grievances with the Church. In the first verse, Jesus tells us that at the first stage, we must go directly to the person who offended us. As can be the case, should this not prove efficient, then we escalate out complaint higher, ultimately lodging the complaint with an authoritative body: in this case the Church. Here again, should the offender, or any party for that matter, fail to listen to the Church Jesus says in no uncertain terms, “let them be anathema.”

This is where Martin Luther, a former Catholic priest, went wrong. Instead of trying to address many of the abuses he witnessed within the Church via the means prescribed above and in faith in the words of Christ, he chose instead to do it himself. This is the same manner in which of ther reformers handled the situation as well: Zwingli, Calvin and even Henry VIII.

I chose to include verses 18-20 because it reiterates two important points: Church authority and Christ’s headship over the Church. Let us first consider the many denominations that are present as a result of Protestant heresies. Under what authority to these person go out and established new ecclesial communities? Certainly, no Protestant community can claim Apostolic succession and thus claim to be founded by Jesus Himself. The Catholic Church makes this claim and maintains the historicity in both practice and record to prove it. Next, we must ask ourselves, “What church is Jesus referring to?” Keep in mind that this particular church must be one established by Him (Matthew 16:18) and must have His very authority. Now, Matthew 18:18 establishes this authority within the Church as a group, however, in Matthew 16:18-19 Jesus gives that very authority to Peter himself – to exercise by himself as the steward of the Kingdom (cf. Isaiah 22:22), which is the Church.

Aside from the manner in which the Protestant reformers attempted to reform the Church, they also sought to implement their own fallible and errant theology. Protestant theology, much of which remains founded in dogmas taught and promulgated by the Church such as the Most Holy Trinity and the Divinity of Jesus, was formed by personal and not divinely protected thoughts of the Reformers in contrast to Saint Peter‘s warning in 2 Peter 1:20-21, “First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by the impulse of man, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” Consider this warning with the what Peter writes in 2 Peter 3:15-16 concerning the wisdom contained in the writings of Paul,”And count the forbearance of our Lord as salvation. So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures.” The sum total of these warnings inform the faithful to seek guidance from the Church, which is the authoritative body founded by Jesus and protected by the Holy Spirit.

In light of Scripture, the question must be asked, “If the Reformers, did not answer to the authority of the Church and sought to supplant said authority with Sola Scriptura, then why accept Catholic New Testament Canon, why throw out books of the already-defined Old Testament Canon, why trust in the fallible Martin Luther for direction on the Canon and why later, count Luther’s own teaching as wrong and formulate new ones?” These questions continue and persist because there is no proper answer. The Protestant Reformation was born of men. Men who decided to go against God and “do it their way.” For this reason I consider Protestantism to be a religious tradition(s) that is relativistic. There is no central authority to teach and aid the believer to the Fullness of the Truth.

Without such an authority they cannot adequately defend the Canon of Scripture without acquiescing to the Magisterium for the New Testament and then seeking to contradict that same authority in defense of the heretical action of removing books from the Old Testament Canon. Interestingly enough, the reason for removing the books from the Old Testament rests on acceptance of majority Jewish canon, which remains undefined to this day: Ethiopian Jews use the same Old Testament Canon that Catholics use, Reformed Jews only recognize the Pentateuch as the Sadducees did – it was the Pharisees that accepted a Canon in use by Protestants. Yet, the Jews were never given the authority to define the canonicity of Scripture (if they did, they did not exercise it) and as it relates to the Christians, their authority was no longer valid so to appeal to their Canon makes no sense. The refusal to accept the “Apocryphal” (Deuterocanonical) books of the Bible was as response the increasing conversion of Jews to Christianity, which is the fulfilment of that religion.

In speaking with one Protestant (Baptist) scholar, of whom I asked, “How can you discount Catholic theology and not do the same with other Protestant sects?” His response was disturbing to me considering Jesus prayer in the Garden:

“They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
Sanctify them in the truth; thy word is truth.
As thou didst send me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.
And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be consecrated in truth.
I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word,
that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
The glory which thou hast given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one,
I in them and thou in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that thou hast sent me and hast loved them even as thou hast loved me.
Father, I desire that they also, whom thou hast given me, may be with me where I am, to behold my glory which thou hast given me in thy love for me before the foundation of the world.
O righteous Father, the world has not known thee, but I have known thee; and these know that thou hast sent me.
I made known to them thy name, and I will make it known, that the love with which thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.” (John (RSV) 17:16-26)

The response I received from the scholar was, “Each Christian tradition contains their own truth and interpretation. We are all right because we believe in the essentials of Christianity.” What are the essentials of Christianity and who determines one doctrine over another? It is through this doubt and the inability of any Protestant ecclesial community to address this that we are able to identify them as congregations that abide in some Truth but not the Fullness of Truth that is the inheritance of all the baptised.