Thursday, February 24, 2011
In our study of the Bible we are using free online resources written by the Biblical scholar Dr. Scott Hahn at http://www.salvationhistory.com/ - We cannot read the Bible verse by verse. In Catholic thought, there are different literary forms used by the Biblical authors who are inspired by God (e.g. legal, historical, apocalyptic, poetic ...etc). Historical events themselves are written in the non-scientific language of their times. You may wish to refer to Ratzinger's lecture on Genesis 1-3 here: http://www.philvaz.com/apologetics/p81.htm The entire Bible is the testimony of the revelation given by God of His unconditional love towards creatures, for He created out of love. The Covenant is an expression of that love that in different stages shows increasingly the love of God fulfilled in Christ our redeemer and God. For example Moses is the mediator of the Old Covenant between God and His people. However in time this Covenant is revealed more fully by the New Covenant - Christ himself who saves us by His blood and body. This Covenant mediated by Christ is to the entire human race. All are called to God's eternal kingdom through Christ. Of course, the other side is the curses of the Covenant which express the result of refusing to accept God`s call. When we continue to refuse God`s grace then we become accountable for rejecting God`s call, an attitude which if not reversed, may result in our own damnation. We can see today, as at the time of Christ, that some people show by their love of the other, a Good Samaritan heart, yet some others show contempt of the needy and as a result of God Himself since God lives in the other. A great example of the Covenant curses (which is still unfolding in the Middle East and other areas) is the utter disregard by dictators of the needs of their people. Long-serving dictators drew criticism from many nations for their ruthless violence against their own people (demonstrators) who only want a better condition of life. Yet those leaders condemning ruthless dictators are themselves not an example of men living by the Covenant of God. The U.S. Government is notorious for its treatment of prisoners of war in Guantamo Bay. But because the U.S. enjoys a supreme position in the U.N. it is hardly condemned by the world organization. The hypocricy that underlies much of the world political treaties shows how nations, nominally Christian, bow to others based on common interest but fall short of achieving the call to justice, respect and love that the Covenant calls for. It is not an issue for individuals only but for entire nations! "When the Son of Man comes, will he find justice?" In the end, it is love that counts. The Covenant is a relationship between God and Man which involves giving of oneself to the other. This is why I think many will end up in Purgatory and more may be already in Hell. Keep in mind that God does not will anyone to be damned. We damn ourselves. Christians particularly are accountable for the loss of many souls, because Christians were and are still given the grace to lead the world to the kingdom of God yet they fail!