REVELATION (The Fourth Cup & Lamb of God)
I’d like to begin by giving you a quick background and tell you how this started with me. A couple of years ago, I went to see the movie, “The Passion of the Christ.” While I was watching this movie, something was revealed to me. I say the word “revealed”, because I don’t know a better word for it. Nothing has ever been revealed to me before. No flashing lights. No bells. But all of a sudden I had a knowledge that I didn’t gain through study or that no one had taught me. But I knew there were some connections from the Old Testament that were related to what I knew in the New Testament. Now, I grew up Baptist, and I converted to the Catholic Church when I was 21 years old. So I have a pretty familiar background with the Bible. I have read through the Bible a few times from cover to cover, and every year during Lent I try to read the Gospels. But when I was shown these connections in the scriptures in the Old Testament with the scriptures in the New Testament, it blew me away. This was nothing that I had ever heard at Mass or ever heard in the Baptist church. I had never heard it from a priest or a preacher. So I got my highlighter out, and my pencil, and my pen, opened up my Bible and dove into the book of Exodus and many different Old Testament prophecies. I was flipping through the New Testament and marked it, and when I had connected enough and I felt like I couldn’t gain any more by myself, I started asking questions. This took about a year, and I learned through hours of study that the Eucharist that we celebrate at each Mass is actually an extension of the fulfillment of the feast of the Passover, and that Jesus replaced the sacrificial lamb of the Old Testament. I thought I was the first person to ever make these connections. I was scared to death. I went to see the deacon at our church because it was kind of bothering me, and I was thinking, “What am I finding here?” Certainly other people smarter than I am have studied the Bible and made these connections long before I did. So I went to the deacon to ask him if I should continue studying what I was studying, because there were still things being revealed to me and opened up for me all the time. I sat down with him and I spent about 30 minutes trying to explain this to him. He backed away and his eyes got big and he said, “I can’t believe what you’re showing me.” And I asked him, “What do you think about this?” He said, “I don’t know. I’ve never heard it before. I don’t know if you need to continue studying this; I’m not sure if it’s Catholic!” Then he said, “Well, it’s got to be Catholic. But I’ve never heard anything like this before. You need to go see a priest.” I thought, “Oh Boy! What am I studying here? What am I learning here? Am I going to need an exorcism or something?” I was really nervous. So immediately I made an appointment to see the priest and covered the same information that I had with the deacon. And while I was explaining this earth-shattering news to him, he just looks at me and says “Yeah… yeah… yeah…” And he wasn’t bored with it, but as I went through this and realized that it wasn’t new information for him, I finally looked at him and said, “Father, you already know this, don’t you?" He said, “Yes, they teach us this in seminary when we become a priest.” I said, “Really?” He said, “But we don’t learn it quite like this. How did you get it?” And I told him that it was revealed to me, and I’ve been studying this for a long time. I just wanted to know if I should continue studying this. I was afraid it wasn’t Catholic.” He said, “Oh sure, it’s Catholic This is the birth of the Catholic Church!” “Really,” I said. I was so glad to hear that. I don’t need an exorcism. I’m headed in the right direction. So this is the “Birth of the Church,” he said. This is why the Church celebrates the Eucharist so reverently and diligently for over 2000 years. The Catechism says that “The Eucharist is ‘the source and summit of the Christian life.’” (CC 1324) And if you think about it, the Catholic Church celebrates Holy Communion all over the world, every day in over 3000 languages. So you wonder, “What information could they have that would make them do this? Why doesn’t the Catholic Church do like other denominations and spend more time on the homily or sermon and less time on the Eucharist?” Well, this information will help you understand why. After I spoke with my parish priest, I asked him to teach this information because I thought it was so powerful that I wanted everyone to know this. And he looked at me and said, “Well, you have a really clear understanding of this, better than I do. This is deep theology. Why don’t you teach it?” I said, “What do you mean, ‘me’ teach it, Father? You’re the one standing up in front of the Church with the collar around your neck and all these people listening to you. You have the authority; you’re a priest. You teach it.” “No,” he said, “You teach it. I learned it in class, but this was given to you. This was not revealed to you for your benefit alone, but for you to share with other people.” So over the next few months I was introduced to the teachings of two incredible Catholic theologians, Dr. Brant Pitre and Dr. Scott Hahn. Their CDs, DVDs, tapes and books provided me with a wealth of information to help me better understand the Bible. Later I spoke to four different priests because I wanted to know for sure that when I speak on this, that this is truly the birth of the Church. As I spoke to each priest, I repeated this information to them like before as I had to my parish priest. Each one responded the same way and said they wanted me to share this with others. And I asked them, “By what authority do I have to teach this? You know, Father, I am a car salesman. I’m a business owner. I’m a lay person in the Church. I’m a husband and a father. I’m not a deacon. I don’t even have a position in the Church. I’ve never even taken a theology class! By what authority do I have to give this message in the Catholic Church?” I said, “I’ve been a member here a long time and I don’t ever remember anyone being able to stand up and teach about anything.” Each priest told me, “By the authority given to you in Baptism, you have the authority to do this.” And each time I talked to a priest, they told me the same thing. So I want to tell you, it is with the authority given to me in the waters of Baptism that I step forward to give you this message.
To say the words, “Jesus died for me,” is a powerful statement. During this study, I would like to focus on how He died for me. When we unveil God’s master plan, your eyes will be opened and you will begin to understand that how He died, actually gave birth to the Catholic Church. This is important information that all Christians should strive to understand because this is truly the origin of God’s church.
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