Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Why we listen

Gospel for Sunday, April 27

Jn 14:15-21

Jesus said to his disciples:
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
And I will ask the Father,
and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always,
the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept,
because it neither sees nor knows him.
But you know him, because he remains with you,
and will be in you.
I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
In a little while the world will no longer see me,
but you will see me, because I live and you will live.
On that day you will realize that I am in my Father
and you are in me and I in you.
Whoever has my commandments and observes them
is the one who loves me.
And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father,
and I will love him and reveal myself to him.”

How will we keep His commandments, if we do not know what they are that we must keep? Where will we turn? To Jesus, of course, because he teaches what the Father has told Him:

So Jesus said (to them), "When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I AM, and that I do nothing on my own, but I say only what the Father taught me. Jn 8:28

from the cloud came a voice that said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him. Mt 17:5

That worked then, when Jesus walked among men, but what of now? There are those who say that the only infallible source is the bible. Yet, to whom did the first Christians turn, when there was no bible? They turned to the ones whom Jesus gave the authority to speak in His name. How? He first sent them as He was sent.

(Jesus) said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you." Jn 20:21

And most importantly, gave them the authority he possessed to speak in His name.

Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me." Lk 10:16

This authority was not given to all, only a restricted group. The Holy Spirit is sent to confirm it:

But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. Jn 16:13

And Jesus guarantees it till the end of time.

Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age." Mt 28:19-20

So the mission is documented as given to a select group, to be carried on to the end of time. This mission and authority is documented as being passed on to the successors of the original group of Apostles, but t is not documented as being transferred from the group it was given to, to anyone else, or simply to a book of collected writings. For the authority to so there reside, that clear transference would have to be documented.

Who be the "you" in the quotes above? The apostles, definitely, as they are clearly the subject. Their successors as well, as documented even in Scripture to the 4th generation, and thus to this day. The rest of us, not

When the Holy Father preaches to the world, he speaks not for himself, but for Him who Is, in the Father’s name, with the authority of God. Too big a pill to swallow? The Pharisees thought so too, and crucified Him for the blasphemy they perceived. Their children still reject the Church which is His body, for the same reason. The stumbling block of faith.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Mark. I am always amazed at funerals when people chose the 'Do not let your hearts be troubled' reading .. 'there are many rooms in my Father's house' .. I am going to prepare a place for you' - and they conveniently forget Jesus is speaking here 'to his disciples' - not to everyone. Universal salvation is the thing today. We are all saved - no worries! Well, it's the same with his authority. Now it belongs to ALL of us .. we can ALL speak in his name, teach in his name. I don't think so.