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Today's first reading (Acts 15:1-6) while not about context, reminded me how Holy Scripture can be taken out of context. Folks do it all the time, often believing the "nugget" they discovered proves what they want to believe.

Properly, the Bible must be taken in its entirety and in understanding the intent of its divinely inspired authors. Of course given that, people will disagree without the true teaching of Christ's Church.

Anyhow, Acts 15:1b: "Unless you are circumcised according to the Mosaic practice, you cannot be saved." Literally not true, but not at all the point being made in context.

(Jn 15:1-6)
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower.

He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and every one that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit. You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you.

Remain in me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me.

I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me will be thrown out like a branch and wither; people will gather them and throw them into a fire and they will be burned."

"Defense of Sanity" has made 4 wonderful infographics giving the biblical basis for some Christian truths with which non-Catholics sometimes take issue:

+ Why Mary is the new Ark of the Covenant
+ Where is Purgatory in the Bible?
+ Where is the Pope in the Bible?
+ The Eucharist, not just a symbol!

I will post each one here over the next few days. While I appreciate these biblical references and know Holy Scripture is the inspired Word of God, it is NOT the *sole* Christian rule of faith. None-the-less, in general and especially for those who have been taught otherwise, these references may illuminate these beliefs.

See also Defense of Sanity's YouTube channel on these and other topics:

youtube.com/user/SeptemberCath

(Jn 14:21,23b-26)
"Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.

Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.

Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; yet the word you hear is not mine but that of the Father who sent me.

I have told you this while I am with you. The Advocate, the holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name--he will teach you everything and remind you of all that [I] told you."

(Jn 14:1-7)
"Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me.

In my Father's house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be.

Where [I] am going you know the way."

Thomas said to him, "Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?"

Jesus said to him, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, then you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him."

(Jn 14:10-14)
"Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own. The Father who dwells in me is doing his works.

Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else, believe because of the works themselves.

Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father. And whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it."

(Jn 14:1-6)
"Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father's house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be. Where [I] am going you know the way."

Thomas said to him, "Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?"

Jesus said to him, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

(Jn 13:16-20)
"Amen, amen, I say to you, no slave is greater than his master nor any messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you understand this, blessed are you if you do it.

I am not speaking of all of you. I know those whom I have chosen. But so that the scripture might be fulfilled, 'The one who ate my food has raised his heel against me.'

From now on I am telling you before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe that I AM.

Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me."

One does not go to Mass to receive the Eucharist, hear an inspiring homily, or come together as a community. One goes to Mass to worship God; nothing else. All of the other things are incidental to Mass attendance. While receiving the Eucharist is of the utmost importance, given that it is literally the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the form of bread and wine, one has to be in a state of grace (no mortal sin on the soul) in order to receive. Otherwise, your reception is sacrilegious. A self-centered reason for attending Mass (what I can get out of it) may be a consequence of the post-Vatican II culture where the focus has shifted to the laity.

(Jn 12:44-50)
Jesus cried out and said, "Whoever believes in me believes not only in me but also in the one who sent me, and whoever sees me sees the one who sent me. I came into the world as light, so that everyone who believes in me might not remain in darkness.

And if anyone hears my words and does not observe them, I do not condemn him, for I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world. Whoever rejects me and does not accept my words has something to judge him: the word that I spoke, it will condemn him on the last day, because I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. So what I say, I say as the Father told me."

The radical modernist, secularist side of the "political debate" espouse their "faith" when beneficial to them. It is a tool like claiming identity with the working class or the value of life (*limitations apply).

Every now and then they let their guard down and let slip what they really believe. Such is Andrew Cuomo's recent comment on a slight improvement in the mess he made in New York:

"The number is down because we brought the number down. God did not do that. Faith did not do that."

No siree, God had nothing to do with it and we should not give Him credit. Nope. Just solidarity rejecting big, heavy-handed government. That's our salvation. Come dance with me on this wide road to perdition...

lifesitenews.com/blogs/new-yor

"Learning how to die." is an interesting piece over at First Things this morning on (the failure of) modern "education".

"Montaigne wrote, 'He who has learned how to die has unlearned how to be a slave. Knowing how to die frees us from all subjection and constraint.' No education matters more."

firstthings.com/web-exclusives

(Jn 10:24-30)
So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, "How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly."

Jesus answered them, "I told you and you do not believe. The works I do in my Father's name testify to me.

But you do not believe, because you are not among my sheep. My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand.

My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father's hand. The Father and I are one."

(Jn 10:11-14)
"I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I will lay down my life for the sheep.

I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice, and there will be one flock, one shepherd.

This is why the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own. I have power to lay it down, and power to take it up again. This command I have received from my Father."

(Jn 10:6-10)
Although Jesus used this figure of speech, they did not realize what he was trying to tell them.

So Jesus said again, "Amen, amen, I say to you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came [before me] are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy; I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly."

(Jn 6:64b-69)
Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe and the one who would betray him. And he said, "For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father."

As a result of this, many [of] his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him.

Jesus then said to the Twelve, "Do you also want to leave?"

Simon Peter answered him, "Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God."

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