Today, this morning, Father Corapi gave the EWTN homily, and oh, what a catechisis it was. It reminded me of something we Cathoics always fight with non-Catholics about-Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, Magisterium.
All Christians know that the Bible is what was written down about God, inspired by the Holy Spirit. We might quibble about a few books, but in general we agree of the canon of scripture. John 1:1 tells us “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God…” Everything in the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, speaks of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. That’s what John 1:1 tells us.
Now, Protestants tend to try to get us on those traditions of men, but that’s not what we’re talking about when we refer to Sacred Tradition. Returning to John, chapter 21:25 tells us that “There are also many other things that Jesus did, but if these were to be described individually, I do not think the whole world would contain the books that would be written. ” Catholics believe Jesus when he says things like “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.” (When Jesus says “Amen, amen…” it means he’s speaking directly here. He doesn’t say that when he sets up a parable.), and we believe John when he tells us that there was so much more that Jesus did that could not be contained in all the books in the world. And thus, people have been writing about his works for 2000 years. But what the apostles, and their descendents, the bishops wrote about Jesus, is what we call Sacred Tradition. It does not refer to discipline, such as abstinence from meat during Fridays of Lent. Sacred Tradition answers the question from an intimate perspective “What would Jesus do?” Then answers are intimate because they came from those who knew Him.
Then there’s the Magisterium. Jesus promised, in Acts and the Gospel of John, to send the Holy Spirit to watch over His Church. We know that every successor of the apostles (the bishops, in communion with the Bishop of Rome, starting with Peter) is protected from teaching error by the Holy Spirit, and the proof is in the Popes. No pope has ever taught a heresy or incorrect teaching. It has never been done, and can never be done. Bishops are capable of fallibility, but as a group, they are also protected by the Holy Spirit.
So there’s Father Corapi’s homily this morning in a nutshell. You can listen to him at length at http://www.ewtn.com/podcast/index.asp and click on Homilies for Thursday. It’ll only be there a week, get it while it’s hot. Also, he was on EWTN Live last night-on the same link you can download the audio.