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Walk in Him
Gospel Reflection for Tuesday, September 12, 2023
Brothers and sisters:
As you received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in him,
rooted in him and built upon him
and established in the faith as you were taught,
abounding in thanksgiving.
See to it that no one captivate you with an empty, seductive philosophy
according to the tradition of men,
according to the elemental powers of the world
and not according to Christ.
For in him dwells the whole fullness of the deity bodily,
and you share in this fullness in him,
who is the head of every principality and power.
In him you were also circumcised
with a circumcision not administered by hand,
by stripping off the carnal body, with the circumcision of Christ.
You were buried with him in baptism,
in which you were also raised with him
through faith in the power of God,
who raised him from the dead.
And even when you were dead in transgressions
and the uncircumcision of your flesh,
he brought you to life along with him,
having forgiven us all our transgressions;
obliterating the bond against us, with its legal claims,
which was opposed to us,
he also removed it from our midst, nailing it to the cross;
despoiling the principalities and the powers,
he made a public spectacle of them,
leading them away in triumph by it.
Today, I decided to focus on the first reading, although it is inextricably linked to today’s Gospel. The Gospel tells us how our Lord chose the Twelve Apostles, eleven of whom would be His first bishops and would teach and record all we know of Jesus and His teachings. Without Saint Peter, the other Holy Apostle and Saint Paul who would join them along with Saint Barnabas, we would have no Church, no Bible, no Sacred Tradition and soon after the Crucifixion, all would have forgotten about the Christ.
In today’s first reading, Saint Paul warns us to hold fast to the teachings of those very men. Even in the first years of Christianity, false teachers and heretical doctrines were already arising. The first major issues were addressed by the Apostles and recorded in the Bible. They had to deal with the “Judaisers” who insisted that Christians must still follow the Torah Law of the Jews. They said that Christians must be circumcised, follow the dietary regulations that we now know as Kosher, etc. Although this heresy was explicitly condemned in the words of the Bible, many Protestants today still fall into this same error. Some even insist that we must observe the Jewish Sabbath and not the Christian Sabbath of Sunday, the day our Lord rose from the dead.
Recently, I tried to explain to such a heretic that Christians had observed Sunday worship from the very beginning as evidenced by several Bible passages in which it says they met, “on the Lord’s Day”, the Didache or “Teaching of The Twelve” which was the first manual of Christian belief and practice, written even before the New Testament was completed, and the writings of the Early Church Fathers in the first centuries who explained that Christians observed Sunday worship specifically in contrast to the Jewish Sabbath because Christianity was a new religion with its own doctrines and practices that were entirely distinct from Judaism - the new man of the new religion went to church on the new Sabbath, the first day of the week, the day Jesus rose and created a new world. She replied that she did not care what the Apostles and early Church fathers wrote and practiced. She said, “They had no right to change the Law.”
I explained to her that Jesus said, “They who hear you hear me and they who reject you reject Him who sent me.” That Jesus said He was the Lord of the Sabbath. And, that He gave them the “power to bind and loose.” If they Apostles set Sunday as the Christian Sabbath, they did so with the authority and power of God. Perhaps even more importantly, I pointed out that if one does not believe in the Apostles and their teaching, one has no basis on which to believe the Bible. Without the Bible, Protestants have no religion at all as they believe in “sola scriptura” or the Bible alone as the sole authority. Moreover, if one does not believe the Apostles one cannot believe in the Jesus who invested them with His authority. If the Apostles were wrong, Jesus lied… and if Jesus lied, He cannot be God.
We are very blessed as Catholics, to have the fullness of the truth in the teachings of our Church. We have the Bible, Sacred Tradition as passed down through the Apostles to their successors and the only institution on earth with the God-given authority to teach infallibly on doctrine and morals. No other Christian denomination or religion has this power, guaranteed by God. It is very sad that so many earnest Christians who truly love God wander like lost sheep, led astray by error, desperately desiring the pure truth…. yet, unable to overcome their biases and erroneous beliefs about Catholicism enough to understand and accept the plan words of Jesus as recorded in the Bible.
We must pray as Jesus did, “As thou hast sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for them do I sanctify myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. And not for them only do I pray, but for them also who through their word shall believe in me; That they all may be one, as thou, Father, in me, and I in thee; that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou hast given me, I have given to them; that they may be one, as we also are one: I in them, and thou in me; that they may be made perfect in one: and the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast also loved me.”
Judson Carroll is the author of several books, including his newest, Confirmation, an Autobiography of Faith. It is Available in paperback on Amazon:
His new podcast is The Uncensored Catholic https://www.spreaker.com/show/the-uncensored-catholic