Tag Archives: new covenant

Sunday Devotional: He came for sinners

Luke 15:1-10

Tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus,
but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying,
“This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
So to them he addressed this parable.
“What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them
would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert
and go after the lost one until he finds it?
And when he does find it,
he sets it on his shoulders with great joy
and, upon his arrival home,
he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them,
‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’
I tell you, in just the same way
there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents
than over ninety-nine righteous people
who have no need of repentance.

“Or what woman having ten coins and losing one
would not light a lamp and sweep the house,
searching carefully until she finds it?
And when she does find it,
she calls together her friends and neighbors
and says to them,
‘Rejoice with me because I have found the coin that I lost.’
In just the same way, I tell you,
there will be rejoicing among the angels of God
over one sinner who repents.”

Good Shepherd saves lost lamb

It is said that the unforgivable sin against the Holy Spirit is to imagine that one’s sin(s) is so great that it is unforgivable. Imagine the gall of delimiting the omnipotence of the Creator! In other words, the sin against the Holy Spirit is not that God won’t or can’t forgive you; it is that the human refuses to ask for and receive forgiveness. Since God respects the free will He’s given us — even the freedom to not believe in Him and reject His mercy — He does not thrust Himself on us. And so the sinner remains unrepentant to the end, spurning the Creator’s clemency and love.

The proof against such an arrogant conviction that one’s sins are so great as to be unforgivable is in the lives and repentance of countless individuals who had done truly terrible deeds.

One of them is Saul, the highly-educated Roman Jew who hunted down and persecuted fellow Jews who were the earliest followers of Christ, most notably the killing by stoning of St. Stephen. Until the day when Christ really got Saul’s attention by striking him with blindness and spoke to him:

“Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”

Saul remained sightless and neither ate nor drank for 3 days, after which he became an entirely different man, which is always a mark of true conversion. He renamed himself Paul, which means “little”. Not only did he stop persecuting Christians, he became a devoted follower of Christ and arguably the most influential early missionary who spent the rest of his life traversing the Mediterranean Basin in a time when travel was arduous, laborious and dangerous, to bring His Word to both Jews and Gentiles.

More than any of Christ’s disciples, it was Paul who fully understood that, by His incarnation, death and resurrection, Jesus replaced the covenant of the Old Testament with a new covenant. This was made clear by Jesus Himself in the Last Supper:

“This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” (1 Cor 11.25; cf. Mt 26.27-29; Mk 14.24, Lk 22.20; Heb 8.6, 9.15).

Henceforth, God’s chosen are all who “take up their cross” and follow Jesus the Christ. In other words, what once was a tribal religion — Judaism — is now superceded by the universal faith of Christianity. That is why St. Paul is called the “Apostle to the Gentiles.” Without the work of Paul, formerly the sinful Saul of Tarsus, you and I might not be Christians.

So if you think Christ had come only for the perfect and the good, here is Paul’s testimony:

1 Timothy 1:13-16

I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and arrogant,
but I have been mercifully treated
because I acted out of ignorance in my unbelief.
Indeed, the grace of our Lord has been abundant,
along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance:
Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.
Of these I am the foremost.
But for that reason I was mercifully treated,
so that in me, as the foremost,
Christ Jesus might display all his patience as an example
for those who would come to believe in him for everlasting life.

Paul was beaten, arrested and imprisoned on more than one occasion. According to Christian tradition, he was beheaded in Rome during the reign of Nero on June 29, AD 67 — the same day as St. Peter was crucified upside down because Peter felt himself unworthy to be crucified as His Lord had been.

Shortly before he was martyred, St. Paul had written to St. Timothy these famous words:

“I am even now ready to be sacrificed, and the time of my dissolution is at hand. I have fought a good fight; I have finished my course; I have kept the faith. As for the rest, there is laid up for me a crown of justice which the Lord, the just judge, will render to me in that day: and not only to me, but to them also that love His coming.”

For all these reasons — the sinful, pre-conversion Saul; the post-conversion Paul who turned his back on his past and devoted the rest of his life to Jesus; the Apostle to the Gentiles who taught us about Jesus’ New Covenant; the author of all those letters that teach and inspire “so long as men can breathe, or eyes can see”; the saint who so loves Jesus that he joyfully went to his martyrdom — I love and admire St. Paul with all my heart.

So whenever you imagine your sins to be so great as to be unforgivable — which, of course, is really your overweening arrogance speaking — just remember the man who once was named Saul.

Laughing JesusSee also:

May the love and peace and “ocean of mercy” of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you,

~Eowyn

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Pope Francis is ashamed of the Cross, knows better than the Gospels

In Mark 16:15-16, 19-20, it is written that the resurrected Christ instructed the 11 apostles:

“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned…. After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was taken up into heaven and He sat at the right hand of God. Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere….”

But Jorgé Bergoglio, whose job title is Pope Francis, knows better than the Gospel of Mark.

On December 10, 2015, as reported by NBC News, the Vatican’s Commission for Religious Relations with Jews issued a major new document pronouncing that God had never annulled his covenant with the Jewish people, and so Catholics should not try to convert Jews: “The Church is therefore obliged to view evangelization to Jews, who believe in the one God, in a different manner from that to people of other religions and world views.”

God never annulled his covenant with the Jewish people.

Really?

Once again, Jorgé Bergoglio pretends to know better than the Gospels, specifically Luke 22, when Jesus in the Last Supper consecrated bread and wine into His body and blood, and said to the apostles:

“This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my Blood, which will be shed for you.”

Jorgé Bergoglio also knows better than St. Paul, who clearly wrote in his letter to the Hebrews 8:13:

“In speaking of a new covenant, He makes the first one obsolete.”

Not only does Jorgé Bergoglio know better than St. Paul and the Gospels of Mark and Luke, he’s also ashamed of the Cross — the symbol of the most important truth of Christianity, which is that the Second Person of the Triune Godhead humbled Himself by becoming incarnate, was grievously tortured, and allowed Himself to be nailed to a cross to die, all in reparation for the sins of humanity, beginning with the first sin of Adam and Eve in that first garden.

A part of every pope’s uniform, including Pope Francis’, is the pectoral crossa cross that is worn on the chest, suspended from the neck by a cord or chain.

Pope Francis I

But Pope Francis is so ashamed of our Lord Jesus Christ that he concealed his pectoral cross from Jews by stuffing it into his fascia or waist sash.

  1. On Jan. 16, 2014, Bergoglio concealed the cross when he hosted a delegation of 15 Argentine Jewish leaders at a kosher luncheon in the Vatican (Catholic Family News):

Pope Francis lunch with Jews at Vatican Jan. 2014

  1. In May 2014, Bergoglio visited Israel, along with Jordan and the West Bank. Here he is on the red carpet at Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv, with the cross stuffed inside his waist sash. Note, however, that an accompanying cardinal displayed his cross.

Pope Francis at Ben Gurion International Airport, May 25, 2014

3. On May 26, 2014, Bergoglio paid a courtesy call to the two Chief Rabbis of Israel in the Heichal Shlomo Center, next to the Great Synagogue of Jerusalem. Once again, he concealed the cross by stuffing it inside his waist sash.

Pope Francis hides crucifix

L to R: Israeli Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar, Pope Francis, Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau, during a visit to the Heichal Shlomo Center in Jerusalem on May 26, 2014. (Photo by Vincenzo Pinto, AFP)

L to R: Israeli Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar, Pope Francis, Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau, during a visit to the Heichal Shlomo Center in Jerusalem on May 26, 2014. (Photo by Vincenzo Pinto, AFP)

Israel Meir Lau, Chief Rabbi of Israel from 1993 to 2003, said that “Crucifixes are an insult to Jews. The cross is against the Jewish religion and the sight of the cross is forbidden for a Jew.”

For that matter, the Talmud teaches that Jesus was a bastard, a fool, a conjurer and a seducer, who was conceived during menstruation (primitive peoples regard menstruation and a woman in menses as unclean), was crucified, buried in hell, and set up as an idol by his followers. (See Rev. I.B. Pranaitis, The Talmud Unmasked: The Secret Rabbinical Teachings Concerning Christians)

Pope Francis really should heed these words of Jesus:

“But he that shall deny me before men, I will also deny him before my Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 10:33

“For he that shall be ashamed of me and of my words…: the Son of man also will be ashamed of him, when he shall come in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” Mark 8:38

H/t Ann Barnhardt and Norvus Ordo Watch

See also:

~Eowyn