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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Bible and Catechism in a year: Days 10 and 11

Genesis 14-17

Here we see what happens when you mess with Abram's family.  Lot is taken prisoner (along with all of his goods and all of the goods of Sodom) by Chedorlaomer, king of Elam and his cohorts, but someone escapes the battle and tells Abram what happened.  Abram takes 318 men (wonder if there is significance to that number?) and sets out in hot pursuit.  Abram and his men catch up to the enemy, rout them by night, and rescue Lot along with all of the goods of Sodom, and return them.

Of course, the king of Sodom is grateful, but what is interesting is the appearance of Melchizedek, King of Salem, who "brought out bread and wine" in a prefiguring of the Eucharist.

Then we get the vision of the Lord to Abram where God promises that his descendants will number as the stars.  Certainly Abram is not entirely sure what to make of this since Sarai is barren.  To make matters worse, God reveals to Abram that his descendants will suffer oppression (foretelling the Egyptian captivity), but promises that they will return.

Turns out Sarai is also concerned about being barren, and tells Abram to take her servant, Hagar, as a wife (Polygamy was considered AOK at that point, so this was not considered a moral problem).  However, when Hagar conceives and gives Sarai the stink-eye, Sarai gets pretty upset.  Further, it seems that Hagar's marriage to Abram hasn't improved her social standing...she's still Sarai's Sarai deals harshly with her and Hagar runs away.  But God sends his angel to talk to her and Hagar returns, bearing Abram's first son, Ishmael.

After this, God establishes the famous covenant with Abram, changing his name to Abraham, and Sarai's name to Sarah.  Further, he promises that Sarah will bear a son.

Psalms 10 and 11:

These are lovely...Though the subject matter is nothing new at this point, but the poetry is beautiful.  "For the Lord is righteous, he loves righteous deeds;  the upright shall behold his face..."

Matthew 7

We start with the famous "Judge not, that you be not judged."  Jesus continues on to explain himself.  This is not about turning a blind eye to everything anyone does, but about addressing our own faults before we look at the faults of others. 

We then move on to ask, seek, knock...God in heaven gives us good things always...

Enter by the narrow gate...

Beware wolves in sheep's clothing...

And then "Not everyone who says 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven"  This follows on the heels of knowing false prophets by their fruits, and is followed by the requirement that we do the will of the Father.  This is an important passage for Catholics to know, as it is important in arguing against Sola Fidei.

Building houses on rock versus sand...

And then Jesus' sermon ends, and everyone is astonished at his teaching "for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes." 

Authority.  What a concept!

Catechism 65-79

As God prepares the world gradually for the fullness of revelation, eventually the fullness of revelation must come.  God's word comes in the form of Jesus, who is the fullness of revelation.  This is not to say that He explained everything there is to explain, but everything we need to know.

With Christ (and the death of the last apostle), the deposit of faith is complete.  We may continue to delve deeper into this deposit, for it is deep and full of layers, and we continue to learn from it, but nothing can be added to it.

So we have a deposit of faith which is communicated by the apostles both orally and verbally, and continues to be passed down through apostolic succession, protected from error by the Holy Spirit.  This quote from Dei Verbum sums it up nicely:

"God, who spoke in the past, continues to converse with the Spouse of his beloved Son (the church).  And the Holy Spirit, through whom the living voice of the Gospel rings out in the Church - and through her in the world - leads believers to the full truth, and makes the Word of Christ dwell in them in all its richness." - Dei Verbum 8s3.

Tomorrow's reading:

Genesis 18
Psalm 12
Matthew 8:1-17
Catechism 80-90

Good night and God Bless!

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