Friday, February 10, 2012

*BEST OF DTB #137* The Catholic Defender tackles Once Saved Always Saved

"After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them. Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses, and they were conversing with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, Rabbi, it is good that we are here! Let us make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah. He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified. Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them; then from the cloud came a voice, 'This is my beloved Son. Listen to him'. Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone but Jesus alone with them. As they were coming down from the mountain, he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone, except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead. So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what rising from the dead meant (Mark 9:2-10)".
This scripture places the transfiguration of Jesus six days after the first prediction of his passion and death and his instruction to the disciples on the doctrine of the cross. Jesus reveals insight into the divine glory that he possessed.

His glory will overcome his death. The cloud and heavenly voice prepares the disciples to understand the divine plan that Jesus must die before his messianic glory is made manifest. Moses and Elijah represent the law and prophecy in the Old Testament and are linked to Mt. Sinai.
They now appear with Jesus as witnesses to the fulfillment of the law and the prophets taking place in the person of Jesus. The shadow covering them reminds us of the Old Testament indicating the Lord's presence in the midst of his people (Exodus 40:34-35).
The Apostles were not to reveal what they witnessed until after the Resurrection. The Catholic Church recalls this revelation of the Lord so we can spiritually follow this glory of the Lord. Jesus shows us the true path!
The road leads to Jerusalem. It leads to Calvary, a place called Colgotha, the place of the skull. The human race is intently watching the events unfolding. Everyone plays an important part in what occurred on this hill outside Jerusalem.

It was for us all that Jesus made this journey. The true Lamb of God! "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches, wisdom and strength, honor and glory and might, forever and ever. Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne and from the Lamb. For the Lamb who is the center of the throne will Shepherd them and lead them to springs of life giving water (Rev 5:12-13, 7:10-17)".
How does Jesus today "Shepherd" his people? Through his Church (John 21:15-19)! What is the "springs of life giving water"? This is a reference to Baptism (1 Corinthians 12:13).
Jesus states, "For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice (John 18:3)". We should hunger for his voice (Luke 10:16), we should want to rid ourselves the vice that separate us from that close personnel relationship with him, to live within his Covenant (Matthew 26:28).

Jesus warns, "Not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord, will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord did we not prophecy in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in your name? Then I will declare to them solemnly, I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers (Matthew 7:21-23)".
Let the truth lead us to do good works and take advantage of the free grace Jesus offers in the Sacraments (Hebrews 13:16-20).
Recalling the Transfiguration of Jesus, it calls to min a Eucharistic Miracle that took place in the life of St. Clare. On one occasion when the Army of Frederick II was devastating the Valley of Spoleto, some of the Soldiers threatened to sack Assisi.
The people surrounding the convent where St. Clare lived were fleeing the country side fearing for their lives. As the Army placed ladders against the walls, St. Clare prostrated herself before Jesus in the Eucharist.
Her prayer was heard as she took the monstrance with the Blessed Sacrament and went before the enemy. As the Soldiers were climbing the ladders with crowbars and axes and weapons of war, the town appeared lost.

Then Jesus in the Host illuminated brightly before the oncoming Soldiers. The Host became dazzling white blinding the attackers. Due to a sudden panic, the Soldiers subsequently fled in terror.
Today, there is another attack upon the Church from another army with different weaponry. This attack storming the walls of faith is a false doctrine called "Once Saved Always Saved" (OSAS).
This doctrine teaches that once you are "saved" you cannot lose your salvation. Ezekial 3:20 states, "If a virtuous man turns away from virtue and does wrong when I place a stumbing block before him, he shall die. He shall die for his sin, and his virtuous deeds shall not be remembered";
Jesus warns "But the one who perseveres to the end will be saved (Matthew 24:13). The story of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32) speaks of the importance of repentance. This is reflected again in James 5:18-20) teaching that when a sinner returns to the truth, they are raised from the dead and a multitude of sins are forgiven.
Salvation is not lost because of God, he shows his mercy and forgiveness towards us for the love he has for us. The sin of presumption is to place yourself inside his judgement without his grace.

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