Saturday, July 6, 2013
The Catholic Defender: Mission First
Our Mission Statement is to know our Faith, love our faith, and spread our Faith. Sometimes it means to defend our Faith as people want to cause apostasy amongst the faithful. We see this all the time and so sometimes our focus is to respond to their arguments. I encourage you to check out our "best of" radio shows and articles for any topic you would like to hear and see.
After Mass, I once had an Iraqi citizen come up to me one morning to challenge me about what the Catholic Church believes.
Just to give a background on the Nestorians, in 431, the Catholic Church at the Council of Ephesus defined that Jesus was 100% God and 100% man in one person.
Nestorius, the Patriarch of Constantinople at the time had questioned the apostolic tradition which emphasized the disunity between Christ's human and divine natures.
To give added weight to the Catholic position, Mary was given the title "Theotokos", Mother of God.
That Mary was not just the Mother of the humanity of Jesus but the whole person. Jesus was conceived and born fully one person with two natures. He was not someone simply with multiple personalities.
My friend came up to me asking me what an "Apostle" was.
Not only does Jesus give the Apostles the "Deposit of Faith" but also the authority to proclaim it to all the nations.
That for nearly 2,000 years the Catholic Church has been empowered by the Holy Spirit to preach good news setting the captives free.
My Iraqi friend listened intently to me as I explained this to him when he asked me a second question.
He asked me why we were making a God out of Mary. To him, this was what kept the Nestorians from coming back to the Catholic Faith.
Jesus asked his Apostles who people say the Son of Man is and during the early centuries of the Church, that question was hammered out in the face of all the various heresies.
Nestorianism was just another heresy the Catholic Church had to contend with. I quickly posed this question to my friend:
"What is the difference from the Catholic definition "Theotokos" Mother of God, and Elizabeth's recognition of Jesus as "Adoni" or "my Lord"?
And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry. 'Blessed are you among women. and blessed is the fruit of your womb!
And why is this granted me, that the mother of My LORD (Adoni) should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy. And there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord".
As I finished what I was saying, my Iraqi friend became highly interested in our Bible Study I had been conducting there at the Division Chapel. Oh, wouldn't it be great to bring back those who have wondered from the fold so long ago? Sometimes we can only do so one person at a time!
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