Day 356: God Is Love

1 John 4:1-6 The presence of evil in the world and its strong capacity for deception requires Christians to be cautious and vigilant. Not every prophet or prophecy is of the Holy Spirit, so any such claim must be tested. Christian faith must always be based on faith in the Incarnation of Christ, who has come in the flesh, and anyone who denies that Christ is God is not guided by the Holy Spirit but by the evil one.


This is the spirit of antichrist: This suggests that the antichrist is not a particular individual but perhaps a way of thinking or encroachment of error that attempts to deceive the faithful and draw them away from the truth.


We know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error: Through the promise of Christ, the guidance of the Holy Spirit guarantees that the teaching authority of the Church will never teach in error. The Magisterium, Scripture, and Tradition function together in preserving the true Gospel. (CCC 423, 463, 465)


Ch 4:7-8 Christ’s Sacrifice is the ultimate evidence of God’s love for us, a love so great that we can rightly state that God is love itself. (CCC 214, 221, 733, 1604)


Ch 4:9-10 As John wrote in his Gospel: “God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (Jn 3:16). (CCC 457-463, 516, 604, 620, 1428)


Ch 4:11-21 Faith involves an intimate relationship with Christ expressed in fidelity to the teaching of the Gospel, a deep life of prayer, and an ardent love for others. One who claims to be a Christian but does not love his neighbor does not love God since love of God is expressed by love for neighbor. Only through deeds of charity can we grow in both knowledge and friendship with God. (CCC 2780, 2790)


Ch 5:1-5 The first three Commandments are immediately directed toward love of God, and the remaining seven Commandments are focused on love of neighbor. While we are called to love all people, our love for fellow Christians ought to rank first in our hierarchy of loves, because we are brothers and sisters in Christ. If we truly love God and neighbor, obedience to the Commandments should flow naturally and not be viewed as a burden to us. (CCC 2780, 2790)


Ch 5:4 As faithful Christians, God provides us with all the grace we need to resist temptation and worldly attachments. (CCC 2848, 2863)


Ch 5:6-12 Jesus Christ is the Son of God, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He truly suffered and died on the Cross for our redemption. This teaching is reflected in the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds. Water and blood refers to Christ’s baptism in the Jordan and his Death on the Cross. John, who had been a disciple of John the Baptist and stood at the foot of the Cross with Mary, was a witness to both events. The water and Blood that flowed from the side of Christ represent the Sacraments of Baptism and the Eucharist. (CCC 463, 1225)


Ch 5:8 Three witnesses: Under Jewish Law, at least two witnesses were necessary to corroborate testimony in court. Christ’s humanity is not only a matter of history but is also affirmed in the liturgy; the waters of Baptism and the presence of the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist hearken back to the flow of Blood and water from his sacred Body. History and liturgy, then, are two witnesses of the humanity of Christ. (CCC 694, 1108)


Ch 5:13-17 The Church distinguishes between mortal sin, which severs one’s relationship with God, and venial sin, a lesser offense that damages but does not destroy that relationship. While both can be forgiven with proper contrition, mortal sin is far more serious and requires recourse to the Sacrament of Penance. Intercessory prayer for the forgiveness and conversion of sinners is a pious practice, and we can be sure that our prayers and sacrifices in that regard are always fruitful. (CCC 1749-1761, 1854-1864, 2827)


Ch 5:13 Eternal life: In this Epistle, John used this term to mean the indwelling presence of Christ. The faithful have this divine life within them, but it can be lost through deliberate mortal sin.


Ch 5:18-21 To be a child of God is a great gift of Christ’s Redemption. A consequence of being a child of God is the realization that we are loved and that everything works for the good. Since God is our Father, we can always be sure of being victorious over sin as long as we are faithful to our Christian calling. (CCC 407-409, 2852)

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)


The First Letter of Paul to Timothy

Author:

  • St. Paul the Apostle has long been held to be the author of the first Epistle to Timothy, one of four canonical Epistles addressed to individuals (along with the Second Epistle to Timothy and the epistle to Titus and Philemon).

  • Church Fathers as early as St. Clement of Rome (AD 95) vouched for their authenticity.

  • In more recent centuries, some Scholars have doubted the Pauline authorship of the two Epistles to Timothy as well as the Epistle to Titus, sometimes called the "Pastoral Epistles” because they seem to differ in style from the known authentic Epistles and because they reflect a more advanced sense of Church hierarchy than some believed to have existed during St. Paul's lifetime.


Date:

  • St. Paul wrote this Epistle sometime in his final years of life, between AD 60 and 67.

  • Those scholars who doubt St. Paul's authorship suggest that a disciple of his wrote the epistle between AD 80 and 110.



Audience:

  • St. Timothy, who accompanied St. Paul on some of his missionary travels, was in Ephesus at the time of this Epistle.

  • The church in Ephesus had been suffering the effects of false teachers who had led many astray, and St. Paul had assigned St. Timothy to remain there to strengthen the Church with sound teachings and leadership (cf. 1:3-7).


Main Themes:

  • The primary themes in Timothy are the association of salvation with the knowledge of truth (cf. 2:4) and the role of the Church and its ministers in transmitting the truth (cf. 4:16).

  • Christ is the one Mediator for our redemption, and our acceptance of salvation begins with acceptance of this truth.

  • False teachings that arise from speculation and deviate from sound doctrine represent a danger to the faith and salvation of all.

  • It is therefore important that the faithful devote themselves to humble prayer and not be led into false ascetical practices.
    Those who minister in the Church in whatever capacity must present themselves as good examples to others and use the gifts they have been given to teach the truth (cf. 4:11-16).

  • St. Paul also passes along pastoral advice on how to deal with the false teachers, and he articulates the proper qualifications for the bishops (priests) and deacons that St. Timothy was to appoint in the Church at Ephesus.

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)


1 Timothy 1:1-2 Paul identified himself as an Apostle because of his direct and personal call from Christ. He considered Timothy his “true child in the faith,” which suggests that Paul had catechized or baptized Timothy before asking him to join in his missionary efforts. At the time of this writing, Timothy was with the Church in Ephesus. Tradition holds that he was its first bishop. (CCC 2636)


Ch 1:3-7 A major issue facing many of the Christian communities in the early Church was the efforts of both Jews and pagans of Ephesus to incorporate their own traditions and beliefs into the practice of Christianity. Because many false prophets and teachers had arisen, Paul and other Church leaders spent much time in refuting their false theories. Paul urged Timothy to take a firm stand against those who would confuse the faithful with false teachings. A true spiritual life is built on the bedrock of sound catechesis in the tenets of the Catholic Faith. Moreover, instruction in the Faith must always be based on the Deposit of Faith as transmitted by the Church. (CCC 426-427)


Ch 1:4-5 The Gospel message differs from that of the false teachers because the Gospel is the truth exercised in love. The perfection of love requires knowledge of the truth, purity of heart, a sound conscience, and a sincere faith. Seeking the truth with a humble disposition assures us of a true and certain conscience in discerning God’s will concerning the right actions in a given situation. (CCC 1794, 1822-1829, 2518)


Ch 1:8-11 Paul often argued against the teaching of the Judaizers that salvation is gained by keeping the Law. The problem with the Law is that it gave moral teachings without the grace to put them into practice. The true and faithful Christian, through correspondence to grace, lives a life that reflects a perfection of the Law expressed in charity. (CCC 1852, 1961-1962)


Ch 1:10 Immoral persons: The Greek pornois means literally “fornicators,” or those who engage in sexual relations outside of marriage.


Sodomites: The Greek arsenokoitais refers to men who commit sexual acts with other men. Homosexual inclination is not sinful in itself since no act of the will is involved. However, homosexual acts are contrary to the natural law governing human sexuality and are, therefore, intrinsically disordered. (CCC 2353, 2357, 2396)


Ch 1:12-17 Paul recounted his own conversion from a persecutor of Christians to an Apostle for Christ. God often uses individuals with serious weaknesses so his power and presence might shine through all the more. Paul’s own story of receiving mercy and forgiveness for his own terrible sins should lend hope to those who seek forgiveness for their own serious sins. (CCC 142, 545)


Ch 1:18-20 Faith is a gift from God. However, faith can be lost if the conscience becomes corrupted. Here, Paul referred to two men who had fallen into error and “made shipwreck of their faith.”


I have delivered to Satan: This phrase refers to excommunication. When all efforts have failed to persuade a member of the community to give up public sin or heresy, it is best to be separated from the Church so he or she does not corrupt other members of the faithful.


That they may learn not to blaspheme: The aim of excommunication is not punishment but the reform of the sinner so he or she may be reconciled to God and join the Church community once again. (CCC 37, 162, 1446)


Ch 1:19 Conscience: A judgment of reason that recognizes the moral quality of a particular act. A good conscience finds satisfaction in doing good and causes us regret and sorrow when we choose evil. Seeking holiness, virtue, and truth makes our conscience clearer and more reliable. Going against the conscience before long renders the same conscience insensitive to what actions may be good or evil. Lifestyles dominated by sin can numb the conscience and even lead to the loss of faith. (CCC 1776-1789, 1801)


Ch 2:1-7 The redemptive Sacrifice of Christ, which is the source of salvation, is for everyone. Because it is God’s will that everyone be saved, no one should fall outside the purview of our prayers. As with the other Apostles, Paul’s mission was to take the Gospel to the entire world. The Church will continue this apostolic mission until the end of time. (CCC 836-838, 1719)


Ch 2:1-2 The types of prayers requested here, such as prayers for governmental leaders, are expressed during Mass in the Universal Prayer, also called the Prayer of the Faithful or Bidding Prayers. Christians should pray for their leaders and those in positions of authority so their leadership and legislation might reflect the moral law. (CCC 1349, 1900, 2240, 2636-2637, 2647)


Ch 2:5 Mediator: One who negotiates and reconciles those who are separated from one another. Christ, who is perfect God and perfect man, is the one Mediator between God and man who reconciles us with the Father through his Sacrifice on the Cross. Christians are called to participate in Christ’s mediation through prayer and works of charity. Through our deeds of faith imbued with love, we serve as conduits of grace. Even the angels and saints intercede for us before God (cf. Rev 8:3-4). Because of her special relationship with each Person of the Trinity, Mary is referred to as Mediatrix of Grace. (CCC 480, 618, 667, 771, 846, 956, 1544, 2574, 2634)


Ch 2:8-16 Christians are called to pray and worship in a spirit of humility, without making a show, and without creating distractions on account of their conduct. While the proclamation of the Gospel and the homily at Mass are reserved for the ordained ministers of the Church, both lay men and women participate in the Church’s evangelization by both witnessing their faith and teaching others about Christ in family life and in the workplace. There is some evidence that Paul may have had in mind certain women who had begun to follow some of the false teachers and began spreading errors themselves, including the idea that it is sinful to marry (cf. 1 Thes 4:3-4). (CCC 2521-2524, 2559, 2631, 2753, 2779)


Ch 2:15 Bearing children: This statement may have been a way of combating the ideas of those who considered marriage to be sinful. While motherhood is one path to holiness and virtue, it is not the only one. God also calls some women to serve him through apostolic celibacy, which is a greater gift than the calling to marriage. (CCC 1652-1653)


Ch 3:1-7 In his Epistles, Paul speaks of the bishop in the singular, while deacons and presbyters, or hierarchical elders, are normally referred to in the plural, thus giving evidence to the early development of the division of Holy Orders. The office of bishop (from the Greek episkopos, meaning “overseer”) referred to the head of a community of the faithful, whose role included being the chief presider, catechist, and administrator of the Christian community as well as being an example of holiness. Today, we describe the bishop as a successor of the Apostles who shepherds his local Church in his threefold responsibility of sanctifying, teaching, and governance. The office of bishop is the highest of the three degrees of the Sacrament of Holy Orders, the others being the priesthood (“presbyterate,” or “elders”) and the diaconate. (CCC 939, 1554-1571, 1577, 1590)


Ch 3:2 Celibacy, as a priestly discipline, was practiced by many bishops and priests in the early centuries of the Church. This would become a requirement in the Latin Rite by the twelfth century, and celibacy is required for every bishop in all Rites of the Catholic Church. Paul related that bishops could not be married more than once; thus, a bishop could not remarry if his wife were to die. This is still the case today for those deacons and priests who married before their ordinations. Regarding the ordination of women, the Church is bound by the will of Christ, who chose only men as his priests. Thus, the Church preserves the immutable and universal Tradition that she does not have the authority to confer the Sacrament of Holy Orders on women. (CCC 1577-1580, 1838)


Ch 3:8-13 Deacons of the first century were an outgrowth of the seven men chosen to assist the Apostles (cf. Acts 6:1-6). Of these, Stephen, who was martyred in the presence of Paul (Saul) when he was still a persecutor of Christians, was perhaps the most striking example. Like bishops, a deacon could be married only once and could not remarry if his wife were to die. They were ordained to serve in a variety of tasks under priests and bishops-primarily in care of the poor, the sick, and the widowed-although, as with Stephen, they were soon preaching alongside the Apostles. The women mentioned here may be deacons’ wives. The Council of Nicaea (AD 325) recognized that deaconesses are lay women appointed to particular tasks but specified their essential difference from those men ordained to the diaconate. The work of deaconesses likely involved teaching and service, specifically regarding female catechumens. (CCC 1569-1570, 1794, 2558)


Ch 3:14-16 Household of God: An expression that points to the unity of the Church and to the status of the faithful as children of God and, thereby, members of God’s family. In the household of the local Church, the bishop represents the figure of the Father.


Pillar and bulwark: The key structural supports of a building. The Church, with Christ as her cornerstone, upholds the truth and means of salvation from generation to generation. She accomplishes this through teaching the truths of the Catholic Faith revealed by Jesus Christ. Guided by the Holy Spirit, she is preserved from error in her teachings on matters of faith and morals.


Mystery of our religion: The saving act of Christ, the Son of God made man. (CCC 171, 385, 461-465, 2032, 2641)

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)


  • Fr. Mike told you that St. John is all about LOVE

  • THIS IS THE KEY!!

  • How many times has John (I heard Fr. Mike say James…did you? 🤔 ) said these three words in today's reading: GOD IS LOVE

  • We already noted that the Catechism highlights that Jesus reveals the INNERMOST SECRET OF GOD

  • The innermost secret of God is that God is an ETERNAL EXCHANGE OF LOVE: FATHER, SON, AND HOLY SPIRIT

  • We know that God himself is NOT a monolith

  • Right?

  • God is a UNITY

  • God is a TRINITY OF PERSONS

  • Love is NOT what God simply does

  • Loves is WHO GOD IS

  • So here we are made in God’s image and likeness which means that we are MADE FOR LOVE

  • And what does John say?

  • 1 John 4:19, “We love, because he first loved us.”

  • THIS IS SO INCREDIBLE!!

  • 1 John 4:18-19, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and he who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because he first loved us.”

  • THIS IS SO IMPORTANT FOR US!!

  • You are loved FIRST

  • He loved you FIRST

  • BEFORE you were anything else

  • Sometimes people can resent this fact

  • Fr. Mike has talked with a lot of people who say, “You know, I never asked God to make me. I never asked God to have a life. I never asked God to exist.”

  • And they resent God because pain has done something to them, has done a number on their hearts

  • AND YET…

  • At the same time, why did God make them?

  • NOT FOR PAIN!!

  • HE MADE THEM FOR LOVE!!

  • We have to RESPOND to that love

  • We don’t just RECEIVE IT

  • And that’s true, we DO receive God’s love

  • BUT…

  • We don’t JUST receive that love as John points out

  • The way to love God is to OBEY HIS COMMANDMENTS

  • We have to love our NEIGHBOR by taking care of our neighbor

  • We love God by OBEYING HIS COMMANDMENTS

  • 1 John 5:3, “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.”

  • THAT IS SO CRITICAL FOR US!!

  • Remember that we heard yesterday Fr. Mike anticipated today’s reading (wonder how he did that? Do you think he has some inside info? Some scuttlebutt perhaps? 😉)

  • 1 John 4:20, “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.”

  • So we have to love our neighbor and that is one way we love God

  • The other way we love God is through worship

  • The other way we love God is through obedience to his commands

  • THAT IS THE TEST

  • That is why we say, “God, please help me. Please help me.”

  • At the end of 1 John, he talks about different kinds of sins

  • Some people wonder, “You Catholics talk about things like mortal sins and venial sins. Where do you get that idea?”

  • WE GET IT FROM 1 JOHN CH 5!!

  • 1 John 5:16-17, “There is sin which is deadly…All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin which is not deadly.”

  • So Fr. Mike’s version of this is, “We know that all wrongdoing is sin, but there is such a thing as DEADLY SIN and there is such a thing as sin that is NOT DEADLY.”

  • DEADLY aka MORTAL SIN

  • NOT DEADLY aka VENIAL SIN

  • So this is where we get the DOCTRINE of the difference between MORTAL and VENIAL sin

  • Let’s move on to 1 Timothy

  • What’s going on?

  • Timothy had a grandmother and mother who were faithful

  • His father was a Greek

  • When Timothy was Baptized and converted, Paul also circumcised him

  • He considered Paul to be his spiritual father

  • Paul considered Timothy to be his spiritual son

  • Paul heard that there were some issues going on in the Church at Ephesus

  • Paul sent Timothy to go correct them

  • Timothy was a fellow journeyman

  • A fellow Apostle, essentially

  • Kind of an understudy

  • Maybe a mentee or a disciple of Paul

  • Paul was the disciple

  • Paul was the mentor

  • So Paul sent Timothy to Ephesus to CORRECT some things that were going on

  • There were some WRONG TEACHINGS

  • That’s what he addresses RIGHT AWAY in the First Letter of Paul to Timothy

  • Right away Paul says, “I want to warn you against those false teachers and certain good persons, even. You know people have a good conscience, a pure heart; but sometimes what can happen is there are people who are turned aside. Turned aside from following the Lord Jesus by these false teachers.”

  • In Ch 1 we also have Gratitude for Mercy

  • Paul has definitely been the recipient of God’s LOVE AND MERCY

  • 1 Timothy 1:15-16, “...I am the foremost of sinners; but I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience for an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.”

  • That’s one of the things, you know…

  • Sometimes our models are flawless

  • That’s a fake model

  • That’s a fake prototype

  • Because NO ONE IS FLAWLESS

  • EXCEPT THE LORD ALONE

  • Right?

  • NO ONE IS PERFECT

  • EXCEPT THE LORD ALONE

  • Paul was able to say, “Actually God used me as the foremost of sinners to be an Apostle.”

  • Why?

  • So that those other people…[he actually listed before this: ungodly and sinners, murderers, immoral persons, sodomites, kidnappers, liars, perjurers, this whole thing]...all those people can have hope

  • Because Paul is saying, “I was the WORST!! Here, you have hope now because look what God has done in ME as the WORST, what he can do for you. Because, what he’s done for me he can do for you and even greater.”

  • Now Paul does mention two people, Hymenaeus and Alexander

  • 1 Timothy 1:19, “...By rejecting conscience, certain persons have made shipwreck of their faith…”

  • Which is TRUE

  • We can LOSE our Salvation

  • It’s one of the reasons St. Paul says, “Work out your salvation in fear and trembling…”

  • WE KNOW THIS!!

  • Jesus even says, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but only those who do the will of my Father.”

  • Even Paul says, “These people have made a shipwreck of their faith by rejecting conscience.”

  • So we CAN lose that

  • Paul also instructs them to pray for ALL PEOPLE

  • Especially for those who are over them in positions of authority

  • A couple things…

  • (what? No…well three things?? Sneaky, Fr. Mike!! 😉)

  • Paul also notes in 1 Timothy 2:3-4, “This is good, and it is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

  • That is ABSOLUTELY CLEAR

  • God DOES NOT predestine ANYONE to Hell

  • God has made every human being to belong to Him

  • God did NOT make death

  • We already heard that

  • He does NOT rejoice in the destruction of the living

  • So go read that verse again

  • He NEVER predestines

  • He NEVER creates someone for Hell

  • He actually creates EVERYONE for Heaven

  • We get to CHOOSE whether we choose Heaven or not

  • Heaven or Hell

  • 1 Timothy 2:5, “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all..”

  • THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT!!

  • There is only ONE way to the Father

  • The ONE way to the Father is Jesus Christ

  • He is the ONE MEDIATOR between God and Man

  • There is NO OTHER WAY

  • There is NO WAY TO RECONCILIATION WITH GOD other than Jesus Christ

  • THIS IS SO IMPORTANT!!

  • Especially as we are coming to the end of 365 DAYS

  • We have journeyed from the VERY BEGINNING of the story to this point

  • What was the whole point of this story?

  • God was trying to call people to himself

  • He was trying to call them to TRUST HIM

  • He’s saying, “Let me be the mediator between me and you.”

  • ESSENTIALLY

  • That is in Jesus Christ

  • Sometimes people say, “Because there is only ONE Mediator between God and man, you don’t need to go through anyone else in any other situation. For example, why do you have to confess your sins to a priest or anything like that? Because there is only ONE Mediator. Why do you pray to saints? Because there is only ONE Mediator.”

  • And we Catholics say, “OF COURSE!! The one who actually MEDIATED our SALVATION is the one human being and God himself, Jesus Christ.”

  • So God and Man in Jesus is the one Mediator who established us, as he says, “...who gave Himself as a ransom for all.”

  • Without that…

  • There is NO SUCH THING as reconciliation

  • There is NO SUCH THING as salvation

  • BUT…

  • Paul is NOT saying that NO ONE ELSE MEDIATES

  • Because WE do that ALL THE TIME

  • Paul even says in his Letters, “Hey, pray for me!!”

  • What is PRAYING for someone other than MEDIATING on their behalf?

  • ALSO THINK ABOUT THIS…

  • BAPTISM!!

  • Some people have a burr in their saddle when it comes to Confession

  • “You guys have to go through a priest to have God forgive your sins?”

  • Well NO

  • BUT…

  • That is how Jesus set it up when he said to his Apostles, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Those whose sins you forgive are forgiven, those whose sins you hold bound are held bound.”

  • JESUS SET IT UP THIS WAY!!

  • But also think about BAPTISM

  • NO ONE in the ENTIRE HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY has EVER Baptized themselves

  • There is always Salvation coming through Baptism, as Peter wrote, salvation mediated through the ministry of ANOTHER HUMAN BEING

  • Yes, there is ONE Mediator between God and Man who is the ONLY ONE who brought humanity and divinity back into reconciliation

  • That DOES NOT MEAN that WE don’t have a role in helping people come to know Jesus

  • Otherwise why would Fr. Mike be reading the Bible to us in this podcast?

  • Right now, Fr. Mike is MEDIATING God’s Word to us by reading it out loud into a microphone

  • It is being MEDIATED to us by the entire team at Ascension Presents who are putting together this podcast

  • So keep this in mind…

  • There is ONE Mediator between God and Man

  • The Man Jesus Christ

  • Because without Him, without GOD HIMSELF INCARNATE, FULLY GOD AND FULLY MAN, there is NO SALVATION

  • BUT…

  • God SHARES this role of MEDIATION

  • God SHARES this role of BRINGING OTHERS TO HIM with his children, because he loves us SO MUCH

  • Does that make sense? (Here’s my thought…remember how when we are Baptized we are made Kingdom Priests, Prophets, and Kings? No? Ok first go back and read Day 45: Pray for Priests in The Bible in a Year Study Guide…I’ll wait here for you…ok done? So I lost my train of thought…it’s really late and I just finished watching The Matrix Resurrections and well…anyway back to the show….🤪)

  • Hopefully it does

  • Last little note…Qualifications of Bishops and Qualifications of Deacons

  • Sometimes…ok sorry LAST TWO NOTES (THERE IT IS FR. MIKE!! I KNEW WE COULD COUNT ON YOU!! 😁)

  • Sometimes people say, “Wait a second, you just said that bishops and deacons are married!”

  • Yup!!

  • In the early Church, there were married bishops and deacons

  • A lot of the Apostles were married

  • Paul was not married

  • So there was no RULE about that

  • As Catholics, we are accustomed to our priests and bishops not being married

  • Which is completely normal too

  • That is a development that happened in the history of the Church

  • The last piece here…it’s a little bit long (we don’t care, Fr. Mike! 😉)

  • What would you say is the PILLAR and FOUNDATION of truth?

  • Fr. Mike always asks people this

  • Some people will say, “The Bible!”

  • Ok great

  • What does the Bible say is the PILLAR and BULWARK/FOUNDATION of truth?

  • 1 Timothy 3:15, “...Church of the living God, the PILLAR and BULWARK of truth…”

  • St. Paul said this

  • The Church has given us the SCRIPTURES

  • The Church has given us the BIBLE

  • The Church has INTERPRETED the Bible

  • The Church has given us DOCTRINE, as we read in Thessalonians

  • St. Paul said, “Remember and follow what I handed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.”

  • So we have BOTH THINGS

  • We have WRITTEN TRADITION which is called The Bible

  • And we have the ORAL TRADITION which is called The Magisterium, or the Teaching Office of the Church

  • So what is the PILLAR AND FOUNDATION OF TRUTH?

  • What does the Bible say?

  • The Bible says that the PILLAR AND BULWARK/FOUNDATION OF TRUTH is the CHURCH

  • WE ARE THANKFUL FOR THE LORD!!

  • Because as St. Augustine said, “I would not believe in the Gospels had not the Catholic Church told me that I could believe in them.”

  • So we know that we are grateful for this whole year

  • We are grateful for every one of these Scriptures

  • And of course, we are grateful for the Church that Jesus Christ founded that has given us these Scriptures

  • Again, not to make an argument, but just to explain where Fr. Mike is coming from as a Catholic priest 😁

  • Fr. Mike is so grateful for YOU

  • He is laughing into the microphone thinking, “Are they thinking I’m crazy right now?”

  • (Maybe slightly over-caffeinated? But definitely not crazy!! 🤣)

  • Maybe you think Fr. Mike is crazy right now

  • BUT…

  • Fr. Mike is CRAZY for HIM

  • Fr. Mike is CRAZY FOR THE CHURCH

  • And Fr. Mike is CRAZY FOR US TOO!!

  • FR. MIKE IS PRAYING FOR YOU

  • PRAY FOR FR. MIKE

  • PRAY FOR EACH OTHER


Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven we give you praise. We thank you so much for this day. Thank you, gosh Lord, for continuing to walk with us, continuing to guide us and feed us with your Word, and shape us by your truth. We ask you to please help us to love, help us to love, help us to love. You are love. You have loved us first. And we give you praise as you put that love into our hearts, help us to love in return and love in response, as you do. As you’ve loved us, help us to love the people around us. As you’ve loved us, help us to love you yourself. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”

Day 357 >