Wednesday, May 23, 2012

No Other Name

We may look to the pages of history and observe how true the prophetic words of God’s word concerning His Church.  For example in the book of the Acts of the Apostles 4:12 God’s word relates this: “Of all the names in the world given to men, this is the only one by which we can be saved” (Acts 4:12).  Literally the name Jesus in Hebrew or Aramaic means “God saves” (see Mt. 1:21).  God’s action concerning His Church and the many Saints in history has shown multiple feats of power and miracles that serve to prove the trueness and credibility of the Catholic Church.  This is following the principle ‘you do not argue against facts’ (in Latin the principle is stated as follows ‘contra factum non valet argumentum’).  For example the fact that the present standing of the Catholic Church numbers 1 billion and 181 million in totality is one sign of God’s protection after more than its 2,000 years of existence in the world in spite of the many trials and persecutions undergone through the years.

That was precisely the point of Gamaliel, a Pharisee, as recorded in Acts 5:34-42.  It is good to argue from facts of history lest people will criticize us for just being good at gossiping on inaccurate information.  So Gamaliel argued to give the apostles the freedom to continue on their mission of proclaiming Jesus Christ and His teachings so that they may not be preventing an activity that is really willed by God, as some false prophets and seers were previously doing and gathering crowds of people which later were dispersed and disbanded as they were only begun from human initiative or ambitions, ultimately ending in failure.  His exact words may also guide our relations with our fellow men and women involved in teaching moral truths and values.  “What I suggest, therefore, is that you leave these men alone and let them go.  If this enterprise, this movement of theirs, is of human origin it will break up of its own accord; but if it does in fact come from God you will not only be unable to destroy them, but you might find yourselves fighting against God” (Acts 5:38-39). 

The end of St. Mark’s gospel emphasizes the importance of the assistance from above.  “And so the Lord Jesus, after He had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven: there at the right hand of God He took His place, while they, going out, preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word by the signs that accompanied it” (Mk. 16:19-20).

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