Friday, July 23, 2010
Mary and the Saints
Heavenly Father allow thy Spirit come upon us today to help us understand your Word.
First of all Brothers and sisters in Christ, God expects us to pray for one another. We see this in both the Old and New Testaments.
In a dream, God commanded King Abimelech to ask Abraham to intercede for him: "For [Abraham] is a prophet and he will pray for you, so you shall live" (Gen. 20:7). When the Lord is angry with Job's friends because they did not speak rightly about God, he tells them, "Let my servant Job pray for you because I will accept his [prayer], lest I make a terror on you" (Job 42:8). Very to the point don't you think?
Paul wrote to the Romans: "I exhort you, brothers, through our Lord Jesus Christ and through the love of the Spirit, to strive with me in prayers to God on my behalf, that I may be delivered from the disobedient in Judaea and that my ministry may be acceptable to the saints in Jerusalem, so that in the joy coming to you through the will of God I may rest with you" (Rom. 15:30-32).
And also in 1 Tim 2:1-7 Paul say we all must be there for one another.
James says: "Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects" (James 5:16-17). Thus, according to Scripture, God wants us to pray for one another. This must mean that prayer for one another cannot detract from the role of Jesus Christ as our one mediator with God.
Second, the reason that Christians have the power to pray for one another is that each person who is baptized is made a member of the Body of Christ by virtue of the Holy Spirit's action in baptism (1 Cor. 12:11-13). It is because the Christian belongs to Jesus Christ and is a member of his Body, the Church, that we can make effective prayer.
Yes, brothers and sisters A MEMBER of His Church.
The reason we pray to the saints is that they are still members of the Body of Christ. Remember, the life which Christ gives is eternal life; therefore, every Christian who has died in Christ is forever a member of the Body of Christ. This is the doctrine which we call the Communion of the Saints. Everyone in Christ, whether living or dead, belongs to the Body of Christ. From this it follows that a saint in heaven may intercede for other people because he still is a member of the Body of Christ. Because of this membership in Christ, under his headship, the intercession of the saints cannot be a rival to Christ's mediation; it is one with the mediation of Christ, to whom and in whom the saints form one body. So then Yes, there is just One mediator between God and men but when baptize we are in Christ just like we share his Love. We share this gifts when in heaven and here on earth. This is why we can ask His people in heaven for help. God is divine, Jesus is divine and the Holy spirit is divine.
Read 2 Peter 1:4. We all share in his divine nature. Because, We are All Christians when we all are In Christ. Yes we all share the bond with our Lord God.
The Catholic Church has always believed that Jesus Christ is the one mediator between God and man. It is the death and resurrection of Jesus alone by which people are saved.
Catholic doctrine absolutely rejects the worship of anyone but God and rejects all worship of statues, whether of Christ or the saints. What the Church does allow is praying to the saints in order to ask for their intercession with the one true God. The Church also allows one to make statues to remind a person of Christ or the saint:
When the Catholic Church encourages devotion and prayer to the saints, in no way does it intend for its members to practice some form of superstition. Never does the Church instruct the faithful to conjure the spirits of the saints to carry on some two-way communication. There are no seances that try to make them appear, speak messages, tap tables, or anything of the sort.
Because they are alive, we believe that we can go to them to intercede for us with God. We do not need to see apparitions or hear their voices in order to believe they will pray for us in heaven. We trust that the saints will accept our requests for help and will present them to Christ for us.
Some Christians--most Protestants, in fact--deny that the Bible gives support for devotion to the saints, but they are incorrect. The Bible encourages Christians to approach the saints in heaven, just as they approach God the Father and Jesus Christ the Lord: "But you have approached Mount Zion, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and myriads of angels, and the assembly and church of the firstborn who have been enrolled in heaven, and God the judge of all, and spirits of righteous ones who have been made perfect, and Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and the sprinkled blood which speaks better than that of Abel" (Heb. 12:22-24).
So then does the Bible say we should approach the saints with our prayers? Yes, in two places. In Revelation 5:8 John saw the Lamb, Christ Jesus, on a throne in the midst of four beasts and 24 elders. When the Lamb took the book with the seven seals, the 24 elders fell down before the Lamb in worship, "each one having a harp and golden bowls of incenses, which are the prayers of the saints."
Similarly, in Revelation 8:3-4 we are told that something similar happened when the Lamb opened the seventh seal of the book: "Another angel came and stood on the altar, having a golden censer, and many incenses were given to him, in order that he will give it with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar before the throne. And the smoke of the incenses went up with the prayers of the saints from the hand of the angel before God."
Brother Christian, these prayers the angles and the elders have are our prays that are given to God on our behalf. This is the beauty of the Catholic Church my dear brother.
Now in saying all this we go to our Blessed Mother. Yes, we do Venerate her. We look upon her with feelings of deep respect because of all that she did for us. When we read all the verses of Mary the Mother of the Lord we see that none of them speak of our Blesses Mother as the mother of James or anyone else but Jesus alone. Ex. When our Lord Jesus at the age of twelve was lost and found in the temple. There is no mention there of their being any other child but Jesus (Luke 2:41-51). Let me let you know this verse is the last mention of St. Joseph and Mary being together. Wouldn't you think they would have mentioned other children here? As Jesus grew up in Nazareth, the people there referred to Jesus as “the son of Mary” (Mark 6:3). they did not say “this is a son of Mary.” I'll go further and say that others in the Gospels and throughout the New Testament are never referred to as Mary's sons, not even when they are called Jesus's “brethren”. In the New Testament Blessed Mary appears only as the mother of Jesus and of Jesus alone.
Mother Mary is Immaculate, because God made her perfectly clean without a flaw or error pure of heart and innocent and yes brother sinless. She is the Only human other then Jesus Christ without sin. We will get more into this next time. She is Blessed because she is Holy, sacred clean fortunate because she is baring God in her womb. Her Holiness is because she was dedicated to her religious life and in bring up her Son to the man we know as Jesus Christ. Which makes her sacred spiritually, pure, sinless deserving of our most deepest respect. And last but not least she was a Righteous women, because she was acting in a just, upright manner, virtuous. Hope in God you understand this because everything the Catholic Church teaches is Biblical.
With love in Christ