Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Feast of The Transfiguration


Tonite at Mass we read St. Luke's account of the transfiguration of Jesus. The priest gave a great homily about how the transfiguration not only announced who Jesus was by the Father's own voice, but set the stage for the next part of the plan of salvation. With Elijah and Moses, he spoke of his exodus that he was going to accomplish in Jerusalem. Don't you wish you were a fly on the wall for that conversation? Talk about a Holy Huddle!
On Recon Blog, today the suggestion is offered that this was the time in Scripture that Jesus "prayed" to Saints! That got me thinking..... (Thanks again Susie)

I find it interesting that Moses and Elijah were fully alive and conversant and obviously "in the know." Unless of course because of their unique role as obedient servants of God in Scripture were on a "need to know basis" while the rest of those in heaven maintained a blissful naivete regarding events on earth. So Peter, James and John saw "dead" people who were fully alive and able to hear and be involved in God's plans on earth. What I find surprising is that Peter, being rather quick to speak, didn't chide Jesus for going against the scriptural prohibition on consulting with dead spirits. (Deuteronomy 18:10-12; 1 Samuel 28:3-20; 2 Chronicles 10:13, 14; Isaiah 8:19-22)
Certainly those verses regarding necromancy don't apply here. Neither do they when we pray (ask) people in heaven, who are alive and "in the know" to intercede for us.

11 Comments:

Blogger MMajor Fan said...

Heard behind the scenes: "Oy, Moishe and Eli, they give me such a migraine. How did you both stay sane without Excedrin?"

"Excedrin! So now He tells us."

August 07, 2007 3:37 AM  
Anonymous theo said...

Tiber wrote:

"What I find surprising is that Peter, being rather quick to speak, didn't chide Jesus for going against the scriptural prohibition on consulting with dead spirits. (Deuteronomy 18:10-12; 1 Samuel 28:3-20; 2 Chronicles 10:13, 14; Isaiah 8:19-22)
Certainly those verses regarding necromancy don't apply here."


Well said, TJ! Though the events on the mount of transfiguration don't set up flawless apologetics for the doctrine of asking saints of the communion to intercede, they illustrate well that talking to or even hearing from saints who though dead in the flesh are alive with God is not necromancy--unless of course, we call Christ a necromancer.

I also find it interesting that one whose body was buried (Moses) and one whose body was directly assumed were the human representatives for that amazing "summit meeting." Do we see in them a type of the Church through the ages?

I know some people might be tempted to imagine that our doctrine regarding the Assumption of Mary somehow makes a "goddess" of her; but notice that Moses' stature in Jewish history remains greater than Elijah's. It's ironic, isn't it: that one should not assume about the meaning of assumption. Is it blasphemy to believe that God might have taken Mary in the same manner He took Elijah and (possibly) Enoch?

Your servant and brother,
--Theo

August 07, 2007 1:26 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Dear Theo:
Thanks for those comments.
Believve it or not,My original post ended with a paragraph about Mary and intercession, but thought it would be too much of a stretch. I can see that it was meant to be said!
God bless

August 07, 2007 3:46 PM  
Blogger tara said...

tiber jumper:

"Certainly those verses regarding necromancy don't apply here. Neither do they when we pray (ask) people in heaven, who are alive and "in the know" to intercede for us."

Very good way to reference Catholic truths with Bible teaching--gee you would have thought the Bible was a Catholic book--LOL!

August 07, 2007 6:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Theo,

There is a Jewish extra-biblical tradition that Moses was assumed after falling asleep. I believe this was an early Christian tradition as well.

It seems to make Jude 1:9 make sense and also make sense that both Moses and Elias appeared in bodily form and intact conversing with Jesus.

The apostles were not seeing things and they did not state that they witnessed the "spirit" of Moses (Elias we already know was assumed body and soul). But who knows, maybe I'm completely wrong.

Has anyone else heard about this?

August 07, 2007 6:15 PM  
Blogger Pilgrimsarbour said...

Don't forget about what Jesus told the Saducees in Matthew 22 and the corresponding verses in Mark and Luke.

Matthew 22:31-33

31 And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God: 32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living.” 33 And when the crowd heard it, they were astonished at his teaching.

August 07, 2007 11:56 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Theo said:
Is it blasphemy to believe that God might have taken Mary in the same manner He took Elijah and (possibly) Enoch?
No, and John Martignoni(Bible Christian Society) uses that very argument for Mary's assumption too!

http://www.biblechristiansociety.com/

August 07, 2007 11:58 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

PA:
That's a Great verse.

Question:
What't the difference between a pharisee and a sadducee?


Answer:
The sadducee doesn't believe in the resurrection and therefore is Sad You See? Rimshot

August 08, 2007 12:03 AM  
Anonymous theo said...

Dear Anon:

The tradition you describe might be the one found in the extra-cannonical, "Assumption of Moses." Unfortunately, the earliest version we have of that book is a Latin text dating from the 500's AD. Since the version we have available contains Jewish history up until the time of the early Church, one might speculate that the book we now have is likely not entirely the same source as alluded to in the New Testament regarding a dispute between demonic and heavenly angels over Moses' body: a story that obviously was believed in the early Church.

To the best of my knowledge (which is not all that much) the common take on the story is that Moses did indeed die, and if his dead or resurrected body was assumed, it would have been after his death and burial as described in the Pentateuch.

August 08, 2007 9:35 AM  
Blogger japhy said...

A couple months ago, in a Young Adult Bible Study at a parish nearby, we were reading the Gospel for the coming Sunday, and it happened to be Luke's account of the Transfiguration. Afterward, I emailed the group with three particularly interesting commentaries from Church Fathers in the Catena Aurea:

Saint John Chrysostom: He brings Moses and Elias before them; first, indeed, because the multitudes said that Christ was Elias, and one of the Prophets. He shews Himself to the Apostles with them, that they might see the difference between the Lord, and His servants. And again because the Jews accused Christ of transgressing the law, and thought Him a blasphemer, as if He arrogated to Himself the glory of His Father, He brought before them those who shone conspicuous in both ways; for Moses gave the Law, and Elias was zealous for the glory of God; for which reason neither would have stood near Him, if He had been opposed to God and to His law. And that they might know that He holds the power of life and of death, He brings before them both Moses who was dead, and Elias who had not yet suffered death. Furthermore He signified by this that the doctrine of the Prophets was the schoolmaster to the doctrine of Christ. He also signified the junction of the New and Old Testament, and that the Apostles shall be joined in the resurrection with the Prophets, and both together shall go forth to meet their common King.

Venerable Bede: Moses and Elias, of whom one, as we read, died, the other was carried away to heaven, signify the coming glory of all the Saints, that is, of all who in the judgment time are either to be found alive in the flesh, or to be raised up from that death of which they tasted, and who are all equally to reign with Him.

Saint Remigius: Thus the Lord had witnesses on all sides; from heaven the voice of the Father, Elias out of Paradise, Moses out of Hades, the Apostles from among men, that at the name of Jesus every thing should bow the knee, of things in heaven, things on earth, and things beneath. (cf. Phil 2:5-11)

August 08, 2007 11:30 AM  
Blogger Joyful Catholics said...

I sent an Evangelical friend of mine here, TJ. She visited....wrote me back an email. I'll send it to you via our personal cmail, but AT LEAST she came here, viewed and read and commented to me. I wish she'd be brave enough to comment here, but I think she's afraid of what she'll have to do to THINK things through...Bless her soul.

PAX,
susie

August 09, 2007 12:22 AM  

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