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This Sunday’s Gospel: “Catholic” in the Bible
Catholic Exchange ^ | July 20, 2013 | Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.

Posted on 07/21/2013 3:58:29 PM PDT by NYer

Bible

I once got a harsh letter from a Baptist lady protesting that she could not find the word “Catholic” anywhere in the Bible.

True, the earliest occurrence of the term is in a letter of St. Ignatius of Antioch, written 20 years after the last book of the New Testament. But the idea that the Church is “catholic” pops up everywhere in the gospels and epistles. The Greek word “catholic” comes from the word for “wholeness” or “fullness.” The “catholic” church is not just a regional sect for an exclusive little group. Rather it must include the whole family of God over the whole world, welcoming all, from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation (Rev 7: 9). In addition, the “catholic” church cannot pick and choose which doctrines are trendy and convenient, but must be faithful to the whole truth. Paul points out that the essence of his apostolic call was to be a “catholic” teacher: “I became a minister of this church through the commission God gave me to preach among you his word in its fullness” . . . we admonish all men and teach them in the full measure of wisdom, hoping to make every man complete in Christ (Col 1:25, 28, NAB).

One day, the fullness of life and truth came walking into the living room of a pair of sisters named Martha and Mary. They immediately recognized the privilege of having Jesus in their home and set to work fulfilling the sacred duty of hospitality.

The problem was, they had conflicting ideas of what that duty entailed. Martha’s response is very recognizable, especially by those familiar with Mediterranean culture. “Bring out the coffee, the wine (what kind do you prefer?), make sure the china and silverware are laid out in proper order, get out a full assortment of hot and cold hors d’oeurves (make sure the hot are really served hot!).”

Mary thought that the supreme compliment that she could pay to her divine guest, even more than world-class refreshments, was to give him her full attention. The fullness of truth had come to her home to nourish, enlighten, and transform her. Not to receive and unwrap this wonderful gift would be an insult to the giver.

Martha’s mistake was not that she attended to the guest’s bodily needs. The story of Martha and Mary is not an endorsement of laziness and passivity. In Gen 18:1-10 God visits Abraham in the form of three travelers, and Abraham and Sara pull out all the stops when it comes to food and drink, and this was good.

Martha’s problem was that she allowed the activity of hospitality to become a distraction. She couldn’t see the forest for the trees. She lost her focus and actually got mad that her sister would not join her in her frenetic fussing.

Mary kept her focus. She was not passive – attentiveness to the fullness of truth is supremely active. That’s why the contemplative, monastic life has always been held in the highest esteem in the Catholic Church.

I was once told by a monk that the greatest sin of the modern world is not its lewdness but its busyness. We live in the most distracted, frenetic society of all time. It is tempting in such a society to think we are good Christians and deserve applause because we look God from time to time out of the corner of our eye.

But the fullness of truth, the fullness of life, the fullness of grace deserves our full attention. Jesus really cannot be merely a part of one’s life, but must be the center of one’s life. It does not mean that our life can’t be full of activities. But unless we preserve some quiet time each day to sit at his feet as did Mary, our action will become distraction and we’ll be as snappy and unhappy as Martha.

 


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Theology
KEYWORDS: baptist; bible; scripture

1 posted on 07/21/2013 3:58:29 PM PDT by NYer
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; SumProVita; ...

Ping!


2 posted on 07/21/2013 3:59:06 PM PDT by NYer ( "Run from places of sin as from the plague."--St John Climacus)
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To: NYer

Actually “catholic” just means universal or ubiquitous, which when the name came into vogue, it was. It’s not something with doctrinal meaning as far as I know (as a non-Catholic).


3 posted on 07/21/2013 4:01:09 PM PDT by Still Thinking (Freedom is NOT a loophole!)
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To: NYer

My main criticism is NOT that catholic is not in the Bible, but the nomenclature itself. The RCC should be re-named as the New and Improved Pharisees!!! For clarity’s sake.


4 posted on 07/21/2013 4:03:57 PM PDT by BipolarBob (Sharknados bit my sister.)
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To: BipolarBob

Lest anyone be led astray and just for clarity’s sake, you’ve omitted the caveat “in my unlearned opinion”, yet again.


5 posted on 07/21/2013 4:13:13 PM PDT by A.A. Cunningham (Electorate data confirms Resolute Conservative voted for Soetoro)
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To: Still Thinking

**not something with doctrinal meaning as far as I know **

Oh, but his has a tremendous doctrinal meaning straight from the mouth of the Bible.

“Many (All) are called, but few are chosen.”

Christ came and died for us all. You, me, the people who hate Catholics.

Christ died for the Jews, the Mexicans, the Muslims, the Lutherans, the Presbyterians, the perverts — absolutely everyone.. Christ died for EVERYONE!

But not everyone accepts him. And so few will be chosen to enter heaven.


6 posted on 07/21/2013 4:20:23 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: BipolarBob

What church do you belong to bipolar bear?


7 posted on 07/21/2013 4:40:07 PM PDT by JCBreckenridge ("we are pilgrims in an unholy land")
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To: JCBreckenridge
What church do you belong to bipolar bear?

Gods Church.

8 posted on 07/21/2013 4:41:25 PM PDT by BipolarBob (Sharknados bit my sister.)
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To: BipolarBob

Does it have a phone number and an address?


9 posted on 07/21/2013 4:46:17 PM PDT by JCBreckenridge ("we are pilgrims in an unholy land")
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To: JCBreckenridge
Does it have a phone number and an address?

Did you know you can talk to God anywhere you are in the world? You don't need a phone number either. The early Church was Christian Jews. Look for Messianic Jewish Synagogues in your neighborhood.

10 posted on 07/21/2013 4:57:13 PM PDT by BipolarBob (Sharknados bit my sister.)
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To: BipolarBob

So you’re a messianic Jew yourself?


11 posted on 07/21/2013 6:02:43 PM PDT by JCBreckenridge ("we are pilgrims in an unholy land")
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To: NYer; zot; Interesting Times; SeekAndFind; vladimir998; Biggirl; piusv

NYer,

Thank you for posting this reflection by Dr. D’Ambrosio. The story of Martha & Mary and their reactions to Jesus’ visit has become a favorite of mine; it reminds me of where and when to focus.

“Mary thought that the supreme compliment that she could pay to her divine guest, even more than world-class refreshments, was to give him her full attention. The fullness of truth had come to her home to nourish, enlighten, and transform her.”

As Christians, we all must remember that we follow Jesus; we must not be distracted by doctrinal disputes and trivialities over things such as “is the KGV Bible” better than the “Douray” or perhaps only reading it in the original Greek. Jesus is our center and h
His sacrifice is the gift of salvation He have us.

Marantha.


12 posted on 07/21/2013 6:10:46 PM PDT by GreyFriar (Spearhead - 3rd Armored Division 75-78 & 83-87)
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To: JCBreckenridge; BipolarBob
>>Does it have a phone number and an address?<<

Bwahahahahaha! Still at at ey?

13 posted on 07/21/2013 6:37:05 PM PDT by CynicalBear (For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ)
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To: CynicalBear; JCBreckenridge

It starts out with “I once got a harsh letter from a Baptist lady” and then to we all know “catholic” isn’t in the Bible, it went downhill from there. I merely suggested a name improvement . . .


14 posted on 07/21/2013 6:44:54 PM PDT by BipolarBob (Democrats will give you the shirt off somebody elses back for a vote.)
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To: Salvation

Jesus will be here soon.


15 posted on 07/21/2013 6:47:40 PM PDT by floydhowardjr
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To: GreyFriar

Marantha.


16 posted on 07/21/2013 7:26:13 PM PDT by zot
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To: BipolarBob

Odd, that the thread discussing baptists would immediately get hijacked, eh?


17 posted on 07/22/2013 3:00:12 AM PDT by JCBreckenridge ("we are pilgrims in an unholy land")
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To: JCBreckenridge

Good morning. Odd that people have a dislike for Messianic Jews when that is exactly what Jesus and the Disciples were. Odd that a church would name itself something with no association with the Bible. At least New and Improved Pharisees!! has a Biblical connection.


18 posted on 07/22/2013 3:32:09 AM PDT by BipolarBob (Democrats will give you the shirt off somebody elses back for a vote.)
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To: BipolarBob

Are you, or are you not a messianic Jew?


19 posted on 07/22/2013 3:45:46 AM PDT by JCBreckenridge ("we are pilgrims in an unholy land")
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To: JCBreckenridge

Why do I think you are always trying to trap me? What’s with all of the personal questions instead of theological ones? What do you care what where I go or what I call myself? Do you have a problem with Messianic Jews?


20 posted on 07/22/2013 3:50:23 AM PDT by BipolarBob (Democrats will give you the shirt off somebody elses back for a vote.)
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To: Still Thinking
Actually “catholic” just means universal or ubiquitous, which when the name came into vogue, it was. It’s not something with doctrinal meaning as far as I know (as a non-Catholic).

You are correct - it merely means that it is open to all in the context in the Bible. Being human, folks try to find other doctrinal connotations to back up their brand of Christianity being superior to all others. More carrying the Word, and less religious competition and we would all be better off.

21 posted on 07/22/2013 4:07:18 AM PDT by trebb (Where in the the hell has my country gone?)
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To: BipolarBob

How is it a trap?

I asked you, “what church do you belong?”

You answer, “Messianic Jews are awesome.”

I ask again, “are you a Messianic Jew.”

You answer, “Stop oppressing me.”

I ask again, “are you a Messianic Jew?”

You answer, “Stop trying to trap me.”

So why is it so hard to simply tell me what church you actually belong?


22 posted on 07/22/2013 4:10:33 AM PDT by JCBreckenridge ("we are pilgrims in an unholy land")
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To: NYer

...unless we preserve some quiet time each day to sit at his feet as did Mary, our action will become distraction and we’ll be as snappy and unhappy as Martha.

___________________________

How true! Thanks for a good perspective on the story of Martha and Mary. I wonder if Lazarus was home that day?


23 posted on 07/22/2013 5:00:37 AM PDT by SumProVita (Cogito, ergo....Sum Pro Vita - Modified Descartes)
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To: trebb
More carrying the Word, and less religious competition and we would all be better off.

Hear, hear!

24 posted on 07/22/2013 8:41:00 AM PDT by Still Thinking (Freedom is NOT a loophole!)
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To: GreyFriar
As Christians, we all must remember that we follow Jesus; we must not be distracted by doctrinal disputes

So what happens when you learn God disagrees with you??? Do you just ignore it and keep on repeating the same things???

2Ti_3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

1Ti_1:3 As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine,

1Ti_1:10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;

Rom_16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

2Jn_1:10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:

25 posted on 07/22/2013 7:19:51 PM PDT by Iscool
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To: JCBreckenridge
The man said none of the things put in quotation marks. Quotation marks are to denote word-for-word, not for some change in words, re-phrased to suit whomever's fancy.

I've seen complaints about that very thing, more than once.

26 posted on 07/22/2013 9:28:24 PM PDT by BlueDragon (...and if my thought dreams, could be seen, They'd probably put my head, in a guillotine...)
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To: BlueDragon

He still hasn’t answered a simple question.


27 posted on 07/22/2013 9:30:29 PM PDT by JCBreckenridge ("we are pilgrims in an unholy land")
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To: JCBreckenridge
Does that give license then, to distort?

I don't know that he is, but a person could learn a lot from a Messianic Jew. They can be awesome.

Ok, now beat me up on me since I said that. Would you like my address so that you can come and beat me up in person?

28 posted on 07/23/2013 5:25:42 AM PDT by BlueDragon (...and if my thought dreams, could be seen, They'd probably put my head, in a guillotine...)
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To: NYer
I notice that Catholic writers seem to preach the most, the Roman Catholic Church. The gospel, if it is to be found, seems secondary at best.

Why is that?

29 posted on 07/23/2013 5:28:50 AM PDT by BlueDragon (...and if my thought dreams, could be seen, They'd probably put my head, in a guillotine...)
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To: BlueDragon

Most Christians are proud of their Church.


30 posted on 07/24/2013 12:14:40 AM PDT by JCBreckenridge ("we are pilgrims in an unholy land")
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To: BlueDragon

How do we know you aren’t Catholic?


31 posted on 07/24/2013 12:15:04 AM PDT by JCBreckenridge ("we are pilgrims in an unholy land")
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