(Loading your car with groceries at the supermarket, you hear a friendly and familiar voice.)
Hi Jack. I didn’t see you there. How’ve you been?
I’m fine. But is it true?
What? Oh, that? Yeah, we’re swimming the Tiber. (Read about that, here.)
Joe?! How could you?
Well, Jack, I think its a matter of grace.
What do you mean?
Well….let me see (hesitating). There were a lot of things, in the Bible, which I had never seen before….
(Jack interrupting). Like what!
How much time do you have?
Ok, well, remember when we used to lament that there were so many denominations?
That’s because of private interpretation and Sola Scriptura, see, the Bible was never meant to be the sole authority. In fact, a book can’t be authoritative. That’s why, in the Old Testament, God put Moses in charge.
Exodus 19:9 And the Lord said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the Lord.
That’s why Moses would sit before the people and tell them what God wanted them to do.
Exodus 18:14 And when Moses' father in law saw all that he did to the people, he said, What is this thing that thou doest to the people? why sittest thou thyself alone, and all the people stand by thee from morning unto even? 15 And Moses said unto his father in law, Because the people come unto me to enquire of God:
Jesus did the same thing with Peter. That is why, Peter said to Ananias:
Acts 5:3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.
When Ananias lied to Peter, it was as though Ananias had lied to God. Because Peter is God’s representative.
Whoa, whoa, wait! What are you talking about?
The reason there are so many denominations is because everyone is interpreting Scripture according to their own inclinations. Scripture says:
2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
That is a prophecy of the Reformed brethren. I can see it so clearly now, but I couldn’t before. It is truly like scales fell away from my eyes.
Look, have you ever seen this before (whipping out a smartphone with a link to the Bible).
John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. 36 But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. 37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. 38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. 41 The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. 42 And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven? 43 Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. 44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. 46 Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father. 47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. 48 I am that bread of life. 49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. 50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. 52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? 53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. 54 Who so eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. 58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.
That’s about the Real Presence!
Yeah, but that’s not literal.
Then why does St. Paul say?
1 Cor 11:23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: 24 And when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. 26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come. 27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. 29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.
That sounds pretty literal to me!
Ok, ok. You don’t have to get angry. People are starting to stare. What else have you got?
2000 years of history. I’m in RCIA…
The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults.
You mean Catholic initiation, right?
No, actually. In RCIA, they’re teaching us about the 2000 year history of the Christian Church. And all that history, is Catholic.
I don’t think I have time to talk about all of that.
Well, why don’t you and Roberta come over tonight and we can have dinner like we used to. We can talk more about it, then.
I don’t think Roberta will want to come over.
(Hmmm, looking around), Ok, its a date!
I like it when you call me that. But, we don’t have time for romance.
You?! Don’t have time for romance?! Are you sick?
Jack is coming and Roberta might….
Oh, that (Interrupting). Roberta called. She said, “they’re not coming over!” and, let’s see, how’d she put it…hm, “YOU’RE NOT ALLOWED TO TALK TO JACK!” Yeah. Like that. Right in my ear. Then she hung up. Nice going, Daddy. The only couple that still talked to us and you….
Well, (interrupting), I guess we have time for romance, Honeeeee. (cue the music).