Biyernes, Hunyo 28, 2013

Marian dogmas part 1: Mary as the Mother of God

                                                       Mary as the Holy Mother of God

This has been the most attacked by some mainstream Protestants, that Mary has been called, "The Mother of God". For them, God is eternal, with no beginning and no end (cf. Psalm 90:2) and that He is the Alpha and Omega (Isaiah 44:6, cf. Revelation 1:17). But the Church has an explanation to this dogma:

Correction # 1: When we say Mary is the Mother of God, we do not mean that she is the Mother of the Father Almighty. Remember, the Father is eternal, with no beginning or end. He is eternally God forever (Psalm 90:2, Jeremiah 10:10).

Correction # 2: When we say Mary is the Mother of God, we do not mean she is the Mother of the Son in His divinity. Remember, before the world or even Mary existed, the Son was eternally God who was with the Father. St. John calls Him, "The Word" who is Jesus Christ (John 1:1). And Hebrews testify that He, in the beginning created the heavens and the earth (Hebrews 1:10).

Correction # 3: When we say Mary is the Mother of God, we do not mean that she is the Mother of the Holy Spirit. Remember, the Holy Spirit came from the Father and the Son (Luke 24:49, John 14:16) and not from Mary.

Correction # 4: When we say, Mary as the Mother of God, we DO NOT MEAN she is the Mother of the Blessed Trinity. Remember, the Blessed Trinity was there from the very beginning before Mary was. Scripture itself attests this fact:

Genesis 1:1-2, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God hovered upon the face of the waters"

John 1:1, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God"

Mary is definitely not the Mother of the Trinity

Rather, when we say that Mary is the Mother of God, we say that she is the Mother of God in the Incarnation of the Son of God. Remember, Jesus is One Divine Person taking up two natures, human and divine. What is the Biblical foundation of the Theotokos (God-bearer) who is Mary? Let us read Luke 1:41-43 and here's what it says:

Luke 1:41-43, "And when Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the infant in her womb, leaped for joy. And she was filled with the Holy Spirit and she cried out in a loud voice, Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! Who am I that the mother of my Lord should come to me?"

If we are going to do hermeneutics or studying the text in the culture of the time, we will see here that Elizabeth and Zechariah are both devout Jews (Luke 1:5-6). For them, mentioning the Name of God (Adonai/Yahweh/Elohim/HaShem) without reverence is blasphemy and is punishable by death through stoning (Exodus 20:7, cf. Leviticus 24:15-16). But here is Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit and she even called her cousin, "the mother of my Lord". So literally speaking, Elizabeth is calling Mary, "The mother of my God". Remember, Lord and God can be interchangeable because the Lord (Adonai) can also mean God (Elohim). Here's proof from Mary's Magnificat and the book of Psalms, here's what it says:

Psalm 100:3, "Know therefore that the LORD is God, and that we are His. We are His people, the sheep of His flock"

Luke 1:46-47, "And Mary said, My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God, my Savior"

And the Torah itself says that the Lord God is one as Deuteronomy 6:4 says

Deuteronomy 6:4, "Hear O Israel, the LORD is our God, the LORD is one!"
Deuteronomy 6:4 (Hebrew phonetics), "Shema Yisrael, Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai echad!"

So, both the Lord of Elizabeth and Mary is God their Savior based on the passage. The doctrine of the Theotokos is the application of the Hypostatic Union. When Jesus was incarnated, His divinity was not lost. In fact, St. Paul testifies to this fact:

Colossians 2:9, "For in Him dwells the fullness of the Godhead bodily"

The visitation of Mary to Elizabeth

The fullness of the Godhead dwells in Jesus Christ

Where did this teaching of Mary as not the Mother of God originated? It originated from a priest called Nestorius. For him, he believed that Jesus Christ is two Persons and that Mary cannot be called the Mother of God, but of the human side of Jesus. This called for the Council of Ephesus wherein the Church formally declared Mary as the Mother of God since she gave birth to Jesus, one Divine Person who took on two natures, human and divine. Prior to the Council of Ephesus in 431 A.D., Christians already had a devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary as the Mother of God. In the Sub Tuum Praesidium which was written in 250 A.D., here's what it says:

Sub tuum praesidium confugimus,Sancta Dei Genetrix.Nostras deprecationes ne despicias in necessitatibus nostris,sed a periculis cunctis libera nos semper,Virgo gloriosa et benedicta 

We fly to your patronage, O Holy Mother of God, despise not our petitions in our necessities, but ever deliver us from all dangers, O Glorious and Blessed Virgin

Usually, this prayer is said by some Catholics after the contemplation of the mysteries before they say the Salve Regina (Hail, Holy Queen).

Mothers give birth to persons, and not to natures, that we should know. For example, Mary in Acts 12 is NOT the mother of the body of John Mark, but she is the mother of John Mark. While the Church also accepts that Mary is the Mother of Jesus, Mother of Christ, we should also understand who Jesus really is.  The early reformers like Martin Luther and John Calvin had reverence for Mary's divine maternity. Here are some of their quotes about Mary's Divine Motherhood:

 "She is rightly called not only the mother of the man, but also the Mother of God ... It is certain that Mary is the Mother of the real and true God."- Martin Luther

"Elizabeth called Mary Mother of the Lord, because the unity of the person in the two natures of Christ was such that she could have said that the mortal man engendered in the womb of Mary was at the same time the eternal God."- John Calvin

We come to God through Mary. Martin Luther said so himself

Now, what can we learn from Mary's Divine Motherhood?

* We can become God bearers ourselves. We may not be relatives of our Lord by blood, but by being salt and light to others, they will see that we bear God in us. That is one of His commands in Matthew 5:16, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and praise your Father who is in heaven"

To conclude this, I want to quote Luke 11:28, "And He said, Yes, but more than that, blessed is the one who hears the word of God and obey it"

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

"Queens and concubines sing your praises" (Song of Solomon 6:9)

Sabado, Hunyo 22, 2013

Sunday Gospel: The importance of discipleship

Today's Gospel deals with the significance of discipleship. I'll post the entire text of the Gospel passage from the Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition:

Luke 9:18-24 (RSV-CE), "Now it happened that as he was praying alone the disciples were with him; and he asked them, “Who do the people say that I am?” 19 And they answered, “John the Baptist; but others say, Eli′jah; and others, that one of the old prophets has risen.” 20 And he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered, “The Christ of God.” 21 But he charged and commanded them to tell this to no one, 22 saying, “The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.” 23 And he said to all, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake, he will save it."

Here, Jesus talks about the essence of discipleship. There are requirements for us to follow Him based on the text itself, and that is:

1. Deny ourselves
2. Take up our cross
3. Follow the Lord

1. Deny yourself- There are times when we often think of ourselves instead of others. St. Vincent Ferrer said, "Whatever you do, think not of yourself, but of God". We seem to worry much about what others say about us, instead of what God thinks of us. But the truth is that, God alone knows us from head to foot. He said in Jeremiah 1:5, here's what it  says:

Jeremiah 1:5 (RSV-CE),“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,and before you were born I consecrated you;I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

Even I myself seem to worry about that once, but then, as I mature and engage in prayer life, I am starting  to think about not what others, but what God thinks of me. Even if I should get the medals myself, I started also to think about what our Lord said, "What profit is there for a man, if he gains the whole world, but lose his own soul?" (Matthew 16:24).

2. Take up our cross- There are instances wherein we seem to carry our crosses. As Fr. Larry Faraon, O.P. said in his sermon, one of the crosses we carry is our sins, but one way of lighting this burden is to confess this to the Lord Jesus. He Himself said in 1 John 1:9

1 John 1:9 (RSV-CE), "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

We can be assured of forgiveness by confessing this to the Lord and also through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Through this, we restore not only the grace we lost due to sin, but that we are reunited with the Church.

But sometimes, we carry other's burdens. The question is: Who carries our own? The answer is Jesus Christ Himself! Carrying other's burdens and submitting ours to the Lord is one way of giving sympathy to them. Even the Apostle St. Paul did this in 1 Corinthians 10:33

1 Corinthians 10:33 (RSV-CE),  "Just as I try to please all men in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved."

St. Paul also exhort us to, "bear one another's burdens, and by doing so, we fulfill the law of Christ" (Galatians 6:2), and that is love as Jesus said, "Love one another as I have loved you" (John 13:34). When we learn to bear one another's burdens, even problems, then and only then, can people see Jesus in us.

3. Follow the Lord- Sometimes, following the Lord is not an easy task. In the song, "Maling akala" by Brownman, they said there are rumors saying that salvation can be easily attained. But Jesus said the opposite. He said that it is not easy to inherit salvation. It will involve trials, persecutions, and sufferings. Following Him does not involve, "IFS". We tend to resort to this when Jesus challenged us to follow Him. "I'll follow Him IF...." Rather, we should say, "Even if trials come, I will still follow the Lord", just like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who chose to follow Him even if the cost would be death (Daniel 3) and like Daniel himself who chose to follow the Lord even if the cost would be death to the lion's den (Daniel 6). But we have this promise from Jesus Himself, "I will never leave you nor forsake you.....I will be with you always, even to the end of the world" (Matthew 28:19, Hebrews 13:5).

By following Him, we go with Him to the way of the Cross for our eyes are fixed on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our Faith (Hebrews 12:2). By uniting our sufferings with that of our Lord, our sufferings become sweet as St. Bridget of Sweden says. Contemplating also on the Passion is proof that we are not alone as we go through sufferings because Jesus our God is with us always. The saints say about the Passion:

"He who desires", says St. Bonaventure, "to go on advancing from virtue to virtue, from grace to grace, should meditate continually on the Passion of Jesus." And he adds that "there is no practice more profitable for the entire sanctification of the soul than the frequent meditation of the sufferings of Jesus Christ."- St. Alphonsus Liguori

I would like to read a verse from 2 Timothy 2:11-13 as a conclusion

2 Timothy 2:11-13 (RSV-CE),  "The saying is sure: If we have died with him, we shall also live with him; if we endure, we shall also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself."

Martes, Hunyo 11, 2013

Are Catholics born again?

Jesus and Nicodemus

Many of our Fundamentalist friends and even our Protestant friends are saying that Catholics, “are not born again”. They say that for a person to be born again, they must make an altar call, say the sinner’s prayer and then they are saved. This is based from their track that I received when I was about to become a Baptist once:


1. Admit you are a sinner (Romans 3:23)
2. Believe in Jesus Christ to save you (Romans 5:8)
3. Accept Him as your Personal Savior (Romans 10:9)

But the question is, while our Protestant friends have a point here, they believe in Sola Scriptura. The question is, is there a “PERSONAL” Lord and Savior in the Bible? Where in the 73 books of the Bible does it say that Jesus is a “PERSONAL” Lord and Savior if ever? In the Bible, God is never a PERSONAL Savior, but the SAVIOR of men. Take a look at 1 Timothy 4:10, and here’s what it says in the King James Version:

1 Timothy 4:10 (KJV), “For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.”

See? Jesus can never be a PERSONAL Savior, because it will imply that you are the only one that can be saved, but all who believe in Him. Now, speaking of a personal relationship with the Savior, we both do so in the Eucharist where we receive Jesus’ body, blood, soul and divinity. Here’s what it says in John 6:56

John 6:56 (KJV), “He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.”

See? Now that sounds like a personal relationship with the Savior, He will make His home with us if we eat His flesh and drink His blood. How come Protestants and Fundamentalists have an, “ALTAR CALL”, when they have no altar? Just a pulpit and a stage?

We have a Personal Relationship with the Savior by eating His flesh and drinking His blood as He commanded us


Now, Fundametalists and Born Again movements like that of Billy Graham, Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen,  and of course, Rick Warren will quote John 3:3, and here’s what it says:

John 3:3 (KJV), “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Now, after they quote it, then they will say, “You must be born again by accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior”. But is that really what our Lord meant? We will examine the Greek text of John 3:3 and see if it is really, “born again” that is written there. I’ll be using the New Testament Greek Textus Receptus 1550:

John 3:3, ἀπεκρίθη ὁ Ἰησοῦς καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ Ἀμὴν ἀμὴν λέγω σοι ἐὰν μή τις γεννηθῇ ἄνωθεν οὐ δύναται ἰδεῖν τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ

Evangelist Pat Robertson of the 700 Club

In the Greek language, the KJV alone is not faithful to it. It doesn’t use the word,”γεννηθῇ ἀναγεννάω”, or, “gennethe annagenao” which means, “born again”, but rather, “γεννηθῇ ἄνωθεν” or, “gennethe anothen” which means, “born from above”. Protestants and Fundametalists alone didn’t consider the Greek text of John 3:3. What does our Lord meant when He said, “born from above”? Let’s continue the read to v.4-5

John 3:4-5 (KJV), “Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”

When our Lord says, “born from above”, He didn’t mean an altar call or saying the sinner’s prayer, but rather, “born of water and the Spirit”. If we want to know what our Lord is trying to imply, let’s read how our Lord was baptized in Matthew 3:16-17 and here’s what it says:

Matthew 3:16-17 (KJV), “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

Jesus was baptized of water and the Spirit. Remember? Our Lord is talking about baptism. The water and the Spirit bear the same testimony as it is written in 1 John 5:8of the King James Version:

1 John 5:8 (KJV), “And there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.”

The baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River

See? When a person is baptized, he receives three things: The Holy Spirit, the waters of baptism and the blood of Jesus. That’s one interpretation of 1 John 5:8. Another interpretation is that it can also mean, baptism of blood, baptism of desire and baptism of water. Both interpretations are correct. That is why, for a person to be born again or born from above in the Greek text, he must be baptized as our Lord says in Mark 16:16

Mark 16:16 (KJV), “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; and he that believeth not shall be damned.”


So the next time you are asked if you are born again, say, “Yes, I am born again the Bible way by baptism as our Lord Jesus commanded (cf. John 3:5, Mark 16:16). Thank you for that question”

Bible verses that allegedly deny Jesus' divinity

We believe Jesus Christ is TRUE GOD and TRUE MAN

1. Hosea 11:9 and Numbers 23:19- God is not a man

Let us take a look at Hosea 11:9 carefully, or should I say, let us post the entire text of Hosea 11:9

Hosea 11:9, “I will not execute the fierceness of mine anger, I will not return to destroy Ephraim: for I am God, and not man; the Holy One in the midst of thee: and I will not enter into the city.”

What is being referred to there is God is not like any human being who is easily angered. It doesn’t say there that God cannot become a man. The same applies in Numbers 23:19. Let us read it:

Numbers 23:19, “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?”

In this verse, Balaam doesn’t say God cannot become man, but rather, He is not man that He should lie, and nor the son of man that He should repent or change His mind. Sometimes, we always think that God is as strict as man, but that's not how we should view Him. Even though our views of Him is quite different, it doesn't change the fact that God IS God, all merciful. That is the proper way of exegeting Hosea 11:9 and Numbers 23:19.

The parable of the prodigal son is one way of understanding Hosea 11:9 and Numbers 23:19

2. Ezekiel 28:2- You are not God, but only a man

To understand this passage better, let us read the context of Ezekiel 28:2, starting from v.1, here’s what it says:

Ezekiel 28:1-2, “The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying, Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God:”

The question: Is it Jesus being referred to there? In the light of the context itself, it refers to the Prince of Tyrus who is known to be Satan himself, basing it from vv.13-15, here’s what it says:

Ezekiel 28:13-15, “Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.” Therefore, in the light of that context, it is the Prince of Tyre who is being rebuked by God here, not Jesus Christ Himself.

Ezekiel 28:13, "You were perfect in all your ways until iniquity was found in you"

3. John 8:40- A man telling the truth from God

Of course, we don’t deny Jesus is indeed a man. However, the verse needs to be finished. Let us read the whole text of John 8:40

John 8:40, “But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.”

In the light of that text, it totally debunks those who say Jesus is only human like the INC of Manalo. Here, Jesus mentions the sentence, “This did not Abraham” which proves His preexistence. What did Abraham do which the Jews didn’t do to Christ? Let us read John 8:56

John 8:56, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.” 

The Jews reacted to this statement in v.57

John 8:57, ”Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?”

How come a mere man claimed to have seen Abraham who lived approximately 4000 years before him? Jesus here affirms His divinity:

John 8:58, “Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.”

Jesus attributes the Tetragammaton to Himself, making Him equal with God in Exodus 3:14. That is why the Jews wanted Him dead:

John 8:59, ”Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.”

"Before Abraham was born, I AM" (Jn. 8:58). Jesus claims to be Yahweh (The LORD God) who existed before Abraham

4. John 17:3- That they may know You (The Father) as the only true God

Of course we know the Father is the only true God. But try to finish the verse in John 17:3, here’s what it says:

John 17:3, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”

It doesn’t say, “The Father is the only true God AND NOT Jesus Christ whom He sent”. In fact, that is a conjunctive statement, with the coordinating conjunction, “and”. But if we start the reading from John 17:1,5, and 24, it will affirm Jesus’ divinity. Here goes:

John 17:1,5, 24, “These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:…And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was……Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.”

See? The prayer of Jesus alone in John 17 proves His divinity and His preexistence with the Father. Later, in St. John’s first epistle, Jesus is called the true God. Let us read 1 John 5:20

1 John 5:20, “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.”
Jesus praying to the Father for His disciples

St. John says that Jesus Christ who revealed the Father, "is the true God and eternal life" (1 John 5:20)

5. John 20:17, "I am going to Him who is My Father and your Father. My God and your God"

To understand this passage better, we need to look at the text itself, in John 20:17 from the King James Version of the Holy Scriptures:

John 20:17, "Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God."

In this passage alone, Jesus is affirming His Sonship as distinct from ours to Mary Magdalene. In John 3:16, Jesus calls Himself to Nicodemus as, "The only begotten Son" and also in John's Prologue in John 1, Christ is called, "The begotten of the Father". So here, His divinity is still affirmed because He, as the "monogenes theos" or only begotten God in Greek possess the very nature of the Father (John 10:30). But He also calls the Father, "My God" as proof that He really is a man and that He does not seek to glorify Himself but the Father who sent Him. That is found in John 8:54 and here's what it says:

John 8:54, "Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God:"

But later in Hebrews 1:8 when the Son is fully glorified, thus we hear the Father speak about His Son:

Hebrews 1:8, "But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom."

The Resurrection of Jesus is proof of His divinity

The Father says to the Son: "Your throne O God is forever and ever!" (Hebrews 1:8)

6. Acts 2:36- God made Jesus Lord and Christ

Jesus was made Lord and Christ, not because He was not Lord and Christ to begin with. In fact, when He was born, He was already Lord and Christ. Let us read Luke 2:11, here’s what it says:

Luke 2:11, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”

But the real meaning is this: Jesus was already manifested to Israel as the Lord and Christ, but the Jews didn’t realize it, resulting in crucifying Him. Let us read 1 Corinthians 2:8

1 Corinthians 2:8, “Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.”

St. Peter proclaimed that in his first sermon. Let us read Acts 2:34-35, here’s what it says:

Acts 2:34-35, “For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Until I make thy foes thy footstool.”

In the Old Testament, Jesus is David’s Lord sitting at the right hand of the Lord God (The Father). This is not a promotion from humanity to deity, but rather, an affirmation of Jesus’ deity.

The angels announced that Jesus IS Christ the Lord, yet the Jews didn't see it

If the Jews saw that Jesus IS Christ the Lord, they would not have killed Him on the cross

7. Acts 5:31- God made Jesus Prince and Savior

Jesus was made Prince and Savior not because He was not Prince and Savior to start with. Remember, the prophet Isaiah spoke about Jesus once about being the Prince:

Isaiah 9:6, “For unto us, a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and a government will be upon His shoulders. His Name will be called, “Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace”

About Jesus being the Savior, the angel said about Him:

Luke 2:11, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord”

Rather, Jesus was made to be Prince and Savior in a sense that He was revealed as such. Again, this is not a promotion from humanity do deity, but rather, a fulfillment of the prophecy in the Old Testament which Jews failed to see.
Jesus of Nazareth is the Prince of Peace

Jesus (to us): "Peace is what I leave you, it is My own peace I give you. I do not give it as the world does"
(John 14:27)

8. 1 Corinthians 15:28- The Son will submit to the Father
What is the purpose of this? "So that God will be all in all" (1 Corinthians 15:28). It doesn't mean that the Son is inferior to the Father. It only means that everything in this world ends with the Father and the Son since He Himself said, "All I have is Yours, and all You have is Mine" (John 17:10). In the beginning, everything begins with the Father and the Son as it is written in John 1:1

John 1:1, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God"

At the end of all things, everything will end with the Father and the Son since they are both the Alpha and the Omega.

The Father: Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. (Isaiah 44:6)

The Son (Jesus): And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: (Revelation 1:17)

The kingdoms of this world has become the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ and He shall reign forever and  ever! (Revelation 11:15)

Is Sola Scriptura true?

St. Jerome translating the Bible into Latin

Before I do make a statement on Sola Scriptura, let me just say my experience. When I was an anti Catholic, I am always trying to lead people astray and even my siblings by saying, “The Bible alone is the authority we have! We don’t need Popes, Councils or Bishops to interpret this for us! God guides us in the Bible”. I always quote Psalm 119:105 which is always my favorite verse which says, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path”. I use this to prove Sola Scriptura and also scenes when Jesus Himself quoted Scripture in Matthew 4:1-11, the Temptation story.

Jesus tempted by Satan

But as I study the Bible, I have this question, If the Bible alone is the sole authority, then why there are billions of interpretations? As I was criticizing the Church, I am becoming a pope myself, deciding dogmas and doctrines for myself. With all the sects around me, I then began to question and ask the Lord, “Which one of these sects is the right one?”, until I have read the Bible myself, and read that not everything that Jesus said is written in the Bible, based on John 21:25. So now, I will expose the myth of Sola Scriptura using both Bible and history.

Just because Deuteronomy 12:32 says, “not to add or subtract anything”, doesn’t mean it refers to the Bible. We ought to look at the timeline of this verse. Moses was actually referring to the Torah (The Five Books of Moses). If we are to accept that it refers to the Bible, it would conclude that books after Moses were adding to what he said like Joshua up to Revelation.

Moses, the Lawgiver in the Old Testament

Second, in Jeremiah 36:2, just because it was said to write on a scroll, it doesn’t mean that it refers to the whole Bible. First, we must understand that it refers to the book of Jeremiah only and the Canon of Scriptures wasn’t compiled yet.

The Prophet Jeremiah and Baruch the scribe, writing God's commands to Israel. The Canon of Scriptures wasn't compiled during their time.

Thirdly, Jesus quoted Scriptures to Satan, not to prove Sola Scriptura, but rather to counter Satan and prove His authority in the Scriptures. It proves here the material sufficiency of the Scriptures as in 2 Timothy 3:16 wherein it says, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for correction, reproof, doctrine and instruction in righteousness”. The same applies when He was also quoting Scripture to the Pharisees, to correct their interpretation.
Another is in John 5:39. Jesus wasn’t asking the Jews there to “search the Scriptures”. He was rebuking them since they opposed Jesus who is the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies. 
In Acts 17:11, the Bereans “searched the Scriptures” for the purpose of verifying Paul’s statement concerning Jesus to be the Promised Messiah.
John 21:25, "Now there are many other things that Jesus did. If I will write them down one by one, I suppose that the whole world could not hold the books that would be written"
In 1 Corinthians 4:6, that verse has nothing to do with Sola Scriptura. If we are to examine the verse in the light of the context, St. Paul was using himself and Apollos as examples of humility so that none of the Christians in Corinth would think high of each other, but think of the abilities they have as God's gift in the light of 1 Corinthians 4:7 since he said that they are Christ's servants in charge of God's secret truths (1 Corinthians 4:1) and that as servants, they are expected to be loyal to their Master (1 Corinthians 4:2). When Paul said, "not to go beyond what is written", he was quoting a Jewish idiom. Protestant scholars themselves argue as to whether or not Paul was referring to the Scriptures or quoting a proverb from ancient Jews. But if for the sake of argument it refers to the Scriptures, what was Paul referring? The Old Testament Scriptures of course! The New Testament wasn't written yet and scholars may agree that the Pauline Epistles were written before the Gospels and before Revelation.
The same applies in 2 Timothy 3:16-17. Scripture itself is profitable but never sufficient. In fact, if the verse is read from v.14, Paul is making an appeal to Timothy to Sacred Tradition.
St. Peter was also warning us that no prophecy in Scripture is of private interpretation in 2 Peter 1:20-21. It debunks Sola Scriptura and he added that Paul’s letters and the rest of the Scriptures can be quoted by unschooled men to their own destruction (2 Peter 3:16).
Also, in Revelation 22:18-19, St. John says something about adding or subtracting "from this book". But this does not refer to the Bible per se, it refers to the book of Revelation since during this time that St. John wrote this book, the Canon of the Bible wasn't written yet. The same applies in Revelation 1:3.
St. John writing the book of Revelation in Patmos

Mark 7:6-7 doesn’t condemn all traditions. If we are only to look at the context, it is referring to the Jewish Corban, which the Pharisees concocted as an excuse to disobey the fourth commandment in Exodus 20:12, “Honor thy father and thy mother”. There are Traditions that are also Biblical like in 2 Thessalonians 2:15 wherein Paul says, “Stand firm and hold fast to the Traditions taught to you, both in mouth and in letter”.

Jesus attacking the Korban tradition of the Pharisees

St. Paul (to the Christians in Corinth): "Now I praise you brothers because you have remembered me in all things and have obeyed the Traditions I give to you" (1 Corinthians 11:2)

Historically speaking to refute Sola Scriptura, it would have to be like this: After the death of the last Apostle, were the New Testament and the Old Testament compiled? Early Christians at this time had the Gospel of Judas, Gospel of Thomas, Shepherd of Hermas. So how did we know which books really belong to the Bible? If we are to study Early Church History, Christians didn’t have Bibles with them, all they have is the teachings they received from the Apostles. It was only in 493 A.D. when the Bible was compiled into 73 books (46 from OT, 27 from NT). And even if the Bible were compiled, it was not accessible to the public since first of all, not all of them are literate. Most are illiterate and having a copy of the Bible would cost a lot of money and you would have to kill sheep, goats for you to produce a paper. This was the time of the Middle Ages.
Sample of the stained glass images in the Middle Ages

Johannes Gutenburg, a Catholic who invented the Printing Press and translated the Bible into English

That is why the Catholic Church figured out a solution. Using images to remind Christians of the truths of the Faith. And some of them are still preserved to this day. There was no printing press yet until Gutenberg. And even when the Bible was produced to to the public, there was no guarantee that the Bible would be interpreted by the common people without error. That is why during the Reformation, Martin Luther said before his death, “There are as many interpretations as there are heads”. Luther removed the 7 books of the Deuterocanonicals and it was only at the Council of Trent that the decision of Carthage was affirmed.
"There are as many interpretations (of the Bible) as there are heads"- Martin Luther

Speaking of burning Bibles, the Catholic Church burned Bibles that are not faithful to the original Hebrew and Greek texts but she didn't burn vernacular Bible versions that are faithful to the original tongue in which it was written. But Protestants also do the same too, they burned also Bibles that are not in compatibility with their teachings. One example is John Calvin. He burned the Servetus Bible versions in 1522 since these does not suit Calvin's teachings. He even burned Michael Servetus to death for bring a Unitarian (the belief that either the Father alone is God or Jesus Christ is God in Three modes of existence). The Catholic Church only did the burning of corrupt Bible versions to preserve the sanctity of the Holy Scriptures.

John Calvin also burned Bible versions that are not in common with his teachings

Let’s use logic to debunk Sola Scriptura. I’ll take it from a student teacher example:
A student was given a math book by his teacher. The question, does the student really know how to understand the concepts in his book? Of course not! He needs the teacher for them to be of one understanding of concepts in the math book. The same applies with the Bible and the Church. They are not enemies, they are best friends.
When a person reads his Bible, there are some passages there he cannot understand. That is why he needs the Church who is the Magisterium, from the Latin word, “magistra” which means, “to teach”.

Philip teaching the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:30-31)

To conclude, the Bible itself debunks Sola Scriptura, whose issue is authority of the Bible alone. Remember, Jesus Himself only promised two things, the Holy Spirit and the Church as Scripture says:

Matthew 16:18, “You are Peter, and upon this rock, I will build My Church, and the fires of hell will not prevail against it”

John 16:13, “But when He, the Spirit of Truth is coming, He will guide you to all truth. He will not speak of His own, but He will speak of what He hears and tell you of things to come”

About the Church, the Lord Jesus says that the Church is authoritarian as He says in Matthew 18:18

Matthew 18:18, “And I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loosed on earth will be loosed in heaven”

That is why the Church is called by the Bible as, “The Pillar and Ground of the Truth” (1 Timothy 3:15) which teaches Apostolic Tradition in 1 Corinthians 11:2, “Now I praise you brothers because you have always remembered me, and have obeyed the Traditions that I have given you”.

St. John says, “But we are of God. Whoever is of God listens to us. That is how we can tell the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error” (1 John 4:6).

"You are Peter, and upon this rock, I will build My Church and the fires of hell shall not prevail against it" 
(Matthew 16:18)

"But when He, the Spirit of truth has come, He will guide you to all truth" (John 16:13)

"Where the bishop is, let the people gather and where Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church"- St. Ignatius of Antioch (Epistle to the Smyrnaens)

Linggo, Mayo 26, 2013

The Rosary and its Biblical roots

                                    Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, pray for us!

The Rosary came from the Latin word, "rosarium" which means, "crown of roses". This has been one of the popular devotions dedicated to our Blessed Mother. It also has its roots from Sacred Scripture itself. This is one of the methods that Catholics use to meditate and contemplate on the life of Christ as seen in the Mother's eyes.

The prayers used in the Rosary:

The Apostles' Creed

The prayer was attributed to the Apostles since it declares what they themselves believed in for over 2000 years. The prayer goes like this in the Rosary:

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead, on the third day He rose again. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.

Protestants also recite this creed, only that, they make, "the holy catholic church" small cased letters because they have a different understanding of these terminologies. When they say these, they mean an invisible unity/body of believers while we believe in a visible body of believers.

The Our Father

Catholics and most Protestants alike pray this prayer because first of all, the Lord Jesus taught this to His Apostles. In the Gospels, there are 2 versions of the Our Father, one is found in St. Luke and the other in St. Matthew. We use the Matthean version of the Our Father. For those who do not know the prayer, here goes:

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

(Matthew 6:9-13, Luke 11:1-4)

                                            "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you" (Luke 1:28)

               "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!" (Luke 1:42)

The Hail Mary

This has become a center of the Rosary. Some Protestants object to this since it has no roots in Scripture. But let us take a closer look at the prayer itself shall we?

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you- This is the greeting of the archangel Gabriel to the Blessed Virgin Mary in Luke 1:28.

Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus- This is taken from Elizabeth's greeting to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Remember, she was filled with the Holy Spirit at that time in Luke 1:41-42.

Holy Mary- There's nothing harm in calling Mary as holy. If Protestants argue that only God is holy, they must know that God is holy by nature (Isaiah 6:3), while Mary is holy by the grace of God. It is also God's command for us to be holy in Leviticus 11:44, "Be holy therefore, for I am holy". If the Apostles and prophets can be called, "holy" in Ephesians 3:5, shouldn't Mary be called such for being the first Christian to obey God's will and accepting the responsibility of being the Mother of the Messiah? In fact, the angel called her, "full of grace".

Mother of God- Protestants often object to this because of thinking that Mary was before God, but such is not the case. It just so happen that Jesus is God, one Divine Person (John 1:1) who took flesh in the womb of Mary through her obedience (cf. Luke 1:38, John 1:14). That is why Mary is "The Mother of the Lord" (Luke 1:43) and only the Lord is God (Psalm 100:3). So it must have been Elizabeth who acknowledged the Divine Maternity of the Blessed Mother first (by saying Divine Maternity, I mean her being Mother of God).

                              "Who am I that the Mother of my Lord should come to me?" (Luke 1:43)

Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death- The prayers of Mary to Jesus are very effective. She was a very righteous person whose prayers, "are of powerful effect" (James 5:16). So many lives have changed through the power of the Rosary since the Blessed Mother brings back a sinner from the error of his ways to the light of Jesus Christ (John 8:12) and, "covered a multitude of sins" (James 5:19-20).


Protestants are having a problem here. They often use 1 Timothy 2:5 (KJV), "For there is one God and only one Mediator between God and man, the Man Christ Jesus" to debunk Marian intercession. It is true that Jesus alone is the sole Mediator between God the Father and humanity. However, in the preceding verses, St. Paul exhorts Christians that, "prayers, supplications and intercessions be offered for all people" (v.1). Why is that? St. Paul gives the answer, ".......this is good, and it pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and come to know the truth" (v.3-4). (refer also to the "pray for us sinners" above). Also, in the wedding at Cana, Mary interceded to Christ on behalf of the guests. Jesus doesn't rebuke her, but said, "My time has not yet come" (John 2:4), and Mary said to the servants, "Do whatever He tells you" (John 2:5).

                                                      "Do whatever He tells you" (John 2:5)

This is one of the doxology to the Blessed Trinity. The Latin version of this is, "Gloria Patri". It was used in the 4th century and it is still used today. The prayer goes like this:

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.


During the appearance of Mary at Fatima, Portugal in 1917,  she has asked the three children, Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta to include this prayer before the announcement of the next mystery and after the previous mystery:

"O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, and lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy"

Thou art all beautiful and fair O Mary!


All the prayers have been tackled except this one. The Salve Regina or Hail, Holy Queen in English is a most commonly recited prayer to Mary according to Catholic Answers and the Rosary Answers. It was composed at the end of the 11th century and here goes:

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, Hail, our life, our sweetness and our hope. To you do we cry poor banished children of Eve. To you do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then O most gracious advocate, your eyes of mercy towards us, and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary

The meat of the Rosary are the decades. The decades are 50 in number comprising of one mystery in the life of Christ and that of Mary, His Mother and ours as well.


Protestants often say that the Rosary is of vain repetition and therefore, it has to be rejected. They always appeal to Matthew 6:7 (KJV) to refute it, "But when ye pray, use not vain repetition as the heathen do, for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking". What Protestants fail to see in the text is the word, "vain". Not all repetitions are condemned in Scripture, for instance, our Lord prayed three times in the Garden of Gethsemane in Matthew 26:42-44. Even St. Paul tells us to, "pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 4:17).

                         The Lord Jesus is a man of prayer. He often prays to His Father in heaven

The Apostle St. Paul exhorts us, "Pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 4:17)

What matters when we pray is not whether it is repetitious, but how we mean what we say. Otherwise, we would receive this rebuke from our Lord for only paying Him lip service, "These people honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me. Howbeit in vain do they worship Me, teaching for themselves the commandments of men" (Isaiah 29:13, cf. Mark 7:6-7). In David's Psalter, the sentence, "His mercy endures forever" is often repeated in Psalm 136 and also in Deuteronomy 27, the people of Israel say, "Amen" to the consequences awaiting them should they disobey God. But these prayers according to Catholic Answers are under the inspiration of God. Meditation is what makes Rosary a meaningful prayer.  Now, let us go to the Biblical roots of the Mysteries of the Rosary:

Catholic Answers and Rosary Answers gives us the Biblical foundations of the 15 mysteries while I will give the Biblical foundation of the Luminous Mysteries which was added by Blessed John Paul II:

The Joyful Mysteries are these: the Annunciation (Luke 1:26-38), the Visitation (Luke 1:40-56), the Nativity (Luke 2:6-20), the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple (Luke 2:21-39), and the Finding of the child Jesus in the Temple (Luke 2:41-51).

Then come the Sorrowful Mysteries: the Agony in the Garden (Matt. 26:36-46), the Scourging (Matt. 27:26), the Crowing with Thorns (Matt. 27:29), the Carrying of the Cross (Luke 23:26-32), and the Crucifixion (Luke 23:33-46).

The final Mysteries are the Glorious: the Resurrection (Luke 24:1-12), the Ascension (Luke 24:50-51), the Descent of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-4), the Assumption of Mary into heaven (cf. Psalm 132:8, Rev. 11:19, 12), and her Coronation (cf. Psalm 45:6-9, Rev. 12:1).

Then comes the Luminous Mysteries: The Baptism of our Lord in the Jordan (Matthew 3:16-17), the Wedding at Cana (John 2:1-11), the Proclamation of the Kingdom of God (Mark 1:14-15, cf. Matthew 5:1-12), the Transfiguration of our Lord (Luke 9:28-36), and the Institution of the Holy Eucharist (Matthew 26:26-28, cf. 1 Corinthians 11:23-26).

           Blessed John Paul II: "Totus Tuus Maria" (I am all yours, Mary) added the Luminous Mysteries

The assumption and coronation of Mary are explicitly not in Scripture but there's no reason to reject them out of hand since they are nor contrary to Scripture. If Protestants would just see the Biblical roots of the Rosary, they would enjoy praying it as a devotion and meditation on the life of Christ and Mary. Meditation is written in Scripture, "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my Strength and my Redeemer" (Psalm 19:14, NKJV)

Now we have looked at its Biblical roots, let's trace its historical roots:

                                             St. Dominic who founded the Order of Preachers


Before the Rosary, there was, "The Davidic Psalter". The monks often recite these 150 Psalms from the Old Testament of the Bible on a regular basis. But there are some lay brothers called the conversi who could not follow the monks in recitation of the 150 Psalms since during that time, most people are illiterate. So they need a prayer that they can easily remember. So, the 150 Psalms became the 150 Pater Nosters or Our Father. When St. Dominic propagated the Holy Rosary, the Our Fathers became, "The Psalter of Mary", but the Rosary wasn't fully developed. For example, when people pray the Rosary at that time, they say, "Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb". But no, "Jesus" yet as we have today. It was the followers of St. Dominic who continued developing this devotion like Blessed Alan de Rupe who added the 15 Mysteries and the Jesuits who added the Apostles' Creed, the Our Father and three Hail Mary's and the Glory Be. In 1917, when the Blessed Mother appeared in Fatima, she herself said that the Fatima prayer be added (refer above for the prayer).

Now that we all know the Biblical roots of the Rosary, remember, reading the Bible and the Rosary is the best thing to do! The Rosary, when recited properly with meditation, leads us to our Lord Jesus Christ and His Holy Mother.

 "Whoever does not receive Mary as his Mother will not have Christ for his Brother"- St. Maximilian Kolbe