Month: April 2014

Who is Jesus Christ?????

Priest, Prophet, King

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Jesus Christ High Priest

Who is Jesus?

    Jesus actually means saviour. This name was given to Him by God. The Angel Gabriel announced this to Mary His Mother, ” Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son ; and thou shalt call His name Jesus” (Luke 1:31). Joshua, or Josue are also translations of the same name Jesus. The Aramaic name for Jesus is Yeshua. His Mother would have probably called Him Yeshua throughout His thirty three years on Earth. Christ is not Jesus‘ last name, it actually means “anointed.” Annointed translated into Greek is actually Christos (Khristos), or in English, Christ. In Hebrew, we have Christ translating into Messiah (Hebrew: מָשִׁיחַ, Modern Mashiaẖ Tiberian Māšîăḥ; in modern Jewish texts in English spelled Mashiach. I know, it can be a little confusing to get all these names down, but once you do, it will stay with you for life and it helps to explain Who is Jesus. To try and keep it simple, Jesus means saviour, Christ means anointed. So, Jesus actually is His name, it is Who He is. Jesus is our Saviour and Gods anointed or Christ.Talk about a tongue twister, I promise I’m trying to keep it simple.

Priest

  Jesus Christ is our High Priest forever, this is prophesied all throughout the Old Testament. Jesus transformed and perfected the Levitical Priesthood into the Priesthood we have today in The Catholic Church. Jesus all throughout John chapter 17, exercise His Priestly function especially in what exegetes refer to as Jesus’ “High Priestly Prayer.” Especially in John 17:[16] They are not of the world, as I also am not of the world. [17] Sanctify them in truth. Thy word is truth. [18] As thou hast sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. [19] And for them do I sanctify myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. [20] And not for them only do I pray, but for them also who through their word shall believe in me.”  The word sanctify is used in the Old Testament and properly translated into Hebrew as “hagiazo,” which actually means to “consecrate” or to “make holy.”  .Only an ordained prophet of God or a High priest has the authority to consecrate a priest. Jesus is both, and is actually ordaining the 12 Apostles as priests in this chapter 17 of John. The priesthood that Jesus is re-establishing, transforming and perfecting actually has roots that lead all the way back to Abraham. In Hebrews chapter 7 we read of Jesus’ New Priesthood, “[1] For this Melchisedech was king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him.” also, ”  [17] For he testifieth: Thou art a priest for ever, according to the order of Melchisedech.” And more from Hebrews 7, But this, for that he continueth for ever, hath an everlasting priesthood, [25] Whereby he is able also to save for ever them that come to God by him; always living to make intercession for us.

[23] Many priests: The apostle notes this difference between the high priests of the law, and our high priest Jesus Christ; that they being removed by death, made way for their successors; whereas our Lord Jesus is a priest for ever, and hath no successor; but liveth and concurreth for ever with his ministers, the priests of the new testament, in all their functions. Also, that no one priest of the law, nor all of them together, could offer that absolute sacrifice of everlasting redemption, which our one high priest Jesus Christ has offered once, and for ever.

[25] Make intercession: Christ, as man, continually maketh intercession for us, by representing his passion to his Father.

[26] For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners, and made higher than the heavens. So, we have lots of information in The New Testament of Jesus as our High Priest and His ordained Priesthood, but what of The Old Testament. Do we have the same kind of prophecies of a continuing Priesthood? Lets try and take a quick look. The Prophet Malachi speaks very openly of the New Priesthood of Jesus Christ, Chapter 1 , “[11] For from the rising of the sun even to the going down, my name is great among the Gentiles, and in every place there is sacrifice, and there is offered to my name a clean oblation: for my name is great among the Gentiles, saith the Lord of hosts.” Well, where do we have this sacrifice that Malachi is prophesizing about other than in Catholic Churches all throughout the world, on every continent and in every time zone? And who are these Gentiles, but, of course they are us, at The Holy Sacrifice of The Mass. I have a little more from the great prophet Isaiah that talks about Jesus’  priesthood to come. In Isaiah 66, ”  [20] And they shall bring all your brethren out of all nations for a gift to the Lord, upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and on mules, and in coaches, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the Lord, as if the children of Israel should bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the Lord. 21] And I will take of them to be priests, and Levites, saith the Lord.” So, how can a gentile become a Levitical priest? That’s what is being said in this verse. This is prophesizing the New Priesthood of Jesus Christ which will, and does include ordained men from all nations and ethnicities, not just from the Levitical bloodline from the tribe of Levi or from Aarons bloodline. Jesus transforms and perfects the Holy Priesthood, making Himself Priest and Victim. Because after all, in order for a priest to be a priest, a victim to be sacrificed is needed. Jesus is Perfect Priest, and Perfect Sacrifice, as St John said in Chapter 1, “[29] The next day, John saw Jesus coming to him, and he saith: Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who taketh away the sin of the world.”

Who was Saint John talking about in Chapter 14 of The Apocalypse, who were these celibate men?  ” [4] These are they who were not defiled with women: for they are virgins. These follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were purchased from among men, the firstfruits to God and to the Lamb: [5] And in their mouth there was found no lie; for they are without spot before the throne of God. ” HMMMMM, who could these virgin men be??? I wonder… Of course, they are celibate priests from The Catholic Church, we now call them Saints!!!

PS   Please use your Bibles and look up these chapters and verses, highlight and mark them for future reference so you know about Jesus and His Priesthood!!!

I could go on and on and quote more from other Books from the Holy Scriptures, but I will stop here for now. Next post we will look at Jesus as Prophet.  May God Bless us, and keep us safe from the world, the devil, and ourselves. In, JMJ,Lee

 

 

 

And in Jesus Christ, His Only Son, Our Lord

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   It is vitally important to state exactly who Jesus Christ actually is. Jesus Christ is God made man. Jesus Christ is Our Lord, The Second Person of The Blessed Trinity, true God  and true man. Jesus Christ is one Person, with two natures, human and divine.

    Taken from The Athanasian Creed , this is a simple, but thorough teaching of who Jesus is. ” The true faith is : we believe and profess that Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is both God and man. As God, He was begotten of the substance of  the Father before time. As man, He was born in time of the substance of His Mother. He is perfect God ; and He is perfect man, with a rational soul and human flesh. He is equal to the Father in His Divinity bo ut He is inferior to His Father in His humanity. Although He is God and man, He is not two but one Christ. And He is one. He is one not because His Divinity was changed into flesh, but because His humanity was assumed by God. He is one not at all because of a mingling of substances, but because He is one Person. As a rational soul and flesh are one man, so God and man are one Christ.” This again taken from The Athanasian Creed from the fifth Century, and  also can be found in the book, The Sources of Catholic Dogma  by Henry Denzinger, also referred to as just Denzinger under article 39. This Creed is definitely my personal favourite. It is thought that St Ambrose probably authored this Creed and not  St Athanasius, the great defender of Jesus’ Divinity against the heretic arians. We will cover heresies in the future. The term we use to describe the joining together of Jesus’ Divine and human nature is called the hypostatic union. This union will never cease to be.

   Because of Adams sin in the garden, if we were to be restored to friendship with God, this eternal breach had to be crossed. As I briefly explained in the earlier post on original sin,when Adam disobeyed God, the damage done, was eternal in scope. Problem is, Adam being a creature, is a finite being. A finite being cannot fix an eternal problem. But, it was a man who broke off friendship with God, so, somehow man needs to be redeemed. Somehow, man has to be involved in satisfying Gods justice due to mans sin against Almighty God. Thank God, for God. Only God could come up with such a perfect solution for us to have friendship restored with Him. He is so merciful and loving that right after The Fall, He said in Gen 3:15 also referred to as the Proto-Evangelium ” I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed : she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.” So we have the incarnation, or the enfleshment of God, in the One Person of  Jesus Christ, true God, and true man. He alone could restore friendship with God, and reach across that eternal divide caused by Adam and be Our Perfect Redeemer. Not only did God promise a Redeemer in Gen 3:15, Jesus is prophesied all throughout the Old Testament. We will look at more about The Second Article of The Apostles Creed in my next couple of posts on here. May God protect us from the world, the devil , and ourselves…   In JMJ, Lee

THE SECOND ARTICLE OF THE APOSTLES CREED

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And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, Our Lord

         to be continued shortly…….

 

 

 

 

Original Sin

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Original Sin

   This will be the last post on The First Article of The Apostles Creed. Like I stated before, here we are only touching on the basic teachings of our beautiful Catholic Faith ; in the future we will look at more intermediate and advanced questions and teachings that will  help enrich our study of The Catholic Faith. Our understanding, and especially our childrens and grandchildrens understanding of The Catholic Faith must grow in keeping with their secular education. If their education in The Faith does not grow alongside their secular education, their is a great danger that they will end up abandoning their faith. We have seen the result of this in all the pew studies. In all truth, even as is stated in General Catechetical Directory by Pope Paul VI, teaching the faith should start at physical birth. Daily prayer, going to Mass regularly, sacramentals in the home like Holy Water and Blessed statues and Crucifixes should be common place in a faithful Catholics home.  This helps in creating the domestic Church for Husband, Wife and Children and in instruction, and also in witnessing to others about our beautiful Catholic Faith. Now, getting to Original Sin…

  Ultimately Original Sin is the absence of supernatural life that our first parents lost when they sinned. The results of original sin are that we do not have a share in the divine life of the soul which is necessary to enter heaven. Also, we lost the immortality of the body. We must all die. We also lost our immunity from disease and sickness. Last but not least, we have that inner struggle with concupiscience. In other words, we are much more inclined to sin, even when we do not want to. We have a weakened will and our intellect has been darkened. Strange thing with sin is, the more we sin, the weaker our will becomes and the darker our intellect becomes. It is a very hard circle to exit once it becomes a lifestyle choice. It takes a great grace, and lots of prayers from loved ones to help break that cycle, but with God, anything is possible. The power of prayer is not to be under estimated, as St Alphonsus said, ” its the short prayers that penetrate the heavens.”

 The sin of our first parents was a sin of disobedience. Rom 5:19 “By the disobedience of one man, many were made sinners.” The root of the disobedience was pride. Sound familiar? “non serviam” the words of Lucifer himself. Do I say this throughout the day? Unfortunately I do, not always consciously, but I do catch myself in the selfish, I will not serve mode. This is one of the results of Original Sin in many cases, no doubt. Thank God for those short prayers, the Sacraments, and Holy mass which all help to make it much easier to say, ” Thy will , not mine be done, ” instead of ” I will not serve.”  The Council of Trent teaches that Adam lost sanctity and justice by transgressing the Divine Commandment (D 788). Since the punishment is proportionate to the guilt, the sin of Adam was clearly a serious sin. So, maybe you ask why do I inherit Adams sin? And why was his disobedience dealt with so harshly? To answer the first question, Adam was the human race in a sense. Adam was the representative of the whole human race. On his decision, which was made freely, depended the preservation or the loss of the supernatural endowment, which was a gift, not to him personally, but to the human nature. Remember what God said in Gen 2:16,17   ” [16] And he commanded him, saying: Of every tree of paradise thou shalt eat: [17] But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat. For in what day soever thou shalt eat of it, thou shalt die the death.” So, indeed Original Sin is transmitted by natural generation, from Adam all the way down to our parents, and handed on to us. We are all born with it, except of course in  the case of Jesus and Mary. Jesus and Mary were both conceived without the stain of original sin. The Council of Trent says  In the Baptism of children that is expurgated which they have incurred through generation (D 790, 791). Baptism renews friendship with God and any guilt of original or actual sin of the one being baptized and restores us to supernatural life. The other Sacraments help us to stay friends with God and keep us pleasing to Him through the ups and downs of this journey we call life. And if by chance we fall from grace and do sin, He has been kind enough to give us the awesome gift of Confession. A most amazing Sacrament, and I try and go at least twice a month. So many graces have been transmitted to me through this most awesome Sacrament.

    Now to deal with the severity of Adams sin. I will try and state this plainly. When you assault a regular citizen you may get probation for a first offence depending on how bad the assault was. When you assault a police officer, it is most certain you will go to jail and be judged more harshly. Could you imagine the person who would assault a Supreme Court Justice or the Prime Minister, that person would definitely be punished much more harshly considering the offense and whom the offense was directed at. It would have long lasting effects on that persons life and possibly even affect others. Now, imagine the offense against Almighty God, Creator of All things seen and unseen, who is Eternal. When you offend our Eternal God, it will have eternal consequences. Especially considering the simple command that was given to Adam and Eve. Hence the reason for the results of their sin.

So, the Good News, God immediately promised a Saviour in Gen 3:15       [15] I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.

[15] She shall crush: Ipsa, the woman; so divers of the fathers read this place, conformably to the Latin: others read it ipsum, viz., the seed. The sense is the same: for it is by her seed, Jesus Christ, that the woman crushes the serpent’s head.

God always has a plan, and uses the fall to send His own Son Jesus Christ to redeem us and give us the chance to have a share in Gods own Divine Life. What an Awesome God we have!  Next time we will begin to look at The Second Article of The Apostles’ Creed…And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, Our Lord

In JMJ,  Lee

PS   Oh yes, in case you are wondering about Adam and Eves final destiny, they are Saints in Heaven with God and even have a feast day, Dec 24 every year.

 

The Nature and Origin of Man

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Nature and Origin of Man

      So one question that definitely seems to escape the thoughts of most it seems today, finds its answer here in The Catholic Church. My hope is that we all ask this question and come to the only true answer. The question is, why are we here, or better yet, why did God create us? The answer is simple and should be memorized and taught especially to our youngsters, they NEED to know this. God created man to know, love, and serve his Creator and Lord in this life and in this way attain heaven and eternal happiness in the life to come. Once again, please teach and re-teach your children and grandchildren this important truth, it is a simple but effective moral compass in this turbulent place we call  earth.Now, more than at any other time in history, we need direction and True purpose. This is our purpose for being, we have mission.

 Once again , we are Gods creatures, composed of spirit and body, and by spirit we refer to our immaterial soul. By our bodies we refer to our material nature. Man is a rational animal, therefore, man has the use of reason, unlike mere animals. Our soul is immortal and will never die. The soul is a very special gift from God. It is created “ex nihlo,”  out of nothing and infused into our body at the exact moment of our conception. Our parents help in the creation of our body, but God alone creates the soul and unites it with our body. We also refer to this moment as immediate animation. At that very moment, we are a human person and need to be protected as such!

We will touch also on some of the specific gifts that Adam and Eve possessed before the fall. Adam and Eve possessed supernatural gifts and also what we call preternatural gifts. So, to start with, Adam and Eve had sanctifying grace. This can be described as friendship with God, coupled with faith, hope and charity and the right to enter heaven. No creature has a right to these gifts, hence the name supernatural, since they only belong to God alone.

Now we get to the preternatural gifts, I remember them by referring to the three I’s , bodily immortality, integrity, and infused knowledge. It helps in remembering, and teaching little memorization tricks to keep the Truths of the Faith always ready and accessible. So these preternatural gifts are not natural to man, they were gifts given to our first parents which they lost through their fall. Sanctifying grace, the most important gift that was lost is restored with Baptism, but the preternatural gifts are not restored. Immortality simply means our First Parents were never intended to die, and this gift was intended to be passed on through generations. Integrity means that our First Parents were free of concupiscence. In other words, they were not inclined to sin. They didn’t have that tension between the flesh and spirit, their body and soul were in harmony with one another. They were well aware of Gods will. Infused knowledgerefers to the fact that they didn’t have to struggle to learn or overcome ignorance. Adam and Eve certainly would have known that serpents do not speak, and that something was out of order when the “nahash” entered the Garden.

  Adam and Eve are truly historical figures, our First Parents. All human beings on this earth descend from Adam and Eve, a single set of parents, this is called monogenism. Polygenism was rejected by Pope Pius XII, who warned, ” the faithful cannot embrace that opinion that maintains that either after Adam there existed on this earth true men who did not take their origin through natural generation through him as the first parent of all or that Adam represents a certain number of first parents.” ( Humani Generis 37).

In the next post we will look at Original Sin and its effects. May GOD bless us all, and keep us safe from ourselves, the devil and the world.  In JMJ,  Lee

PS   :   as always, comments, questions and discussion is encouraged   🙂