The Catholic Mass is not only based on the “Last Supper” that Jesus had with his disciples, but is also influenced by a long history of special meals celebrated by ancient Jews and early Christians, both before, during, and after the lifetime of Jesus:
- The first Passover meal of the Israelites in Egypt (Exod 12:1-28)
- The annual Jewish Passover meals (Exod 12:43-51; Lev 23:4-14; Num 9:1-14; 28:16-25; Deut 16:1-8)
- Jesus’ feeding of the 5000 in Galilee (Mark 6:30-44; Matt 14:13-21; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-14)
- Jesus’ feeding of another crowd of 4000 people (Mark 8:1-10; Matt 15:32-39)
- Jesus’ Last Supper with his disciples (Mark 14:12-27; Matt 26:17-30; Luke 22:7-39; cf. 1 Cor 11:23-25)
- The risen Jesus’ meal with two disciples at Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35)
- The risen Jesus’ breakfast at the Sea of Galilee (John 21:1-14)
- Early Christians in Jerusalem share in the “Breaking of the Bread” (Acts 2:42-47)
- Early Christians in Troas “break bread” with Paul (Acts 20:5-11)
- Early Christians in Corinth celebrate the “Lord’s Supper” (1 Cor 10:16-17; 11:17-34)
- for a compilation of these biblical texts, click here
-Excerpts from www.catholic-resources.org
“But it is in the Bible as a whole that we find the true material unity of scripture and liturgy. For both the Old and New Testament were canonized not for private study so much as public reading. The canon - the formal and definitive collection of sacred writings - formed gradually and closed relatively late in the history of both Jews and Christians. Indeed, there seem to have been many incremental “canonizations” along the way to the definitive closing of the canon. For Jews, the date is traditionally set at the end of the first century or the beginning of the second century of our era. For Christians, the New Testament list solidified with the synods of Hippo and Carthage (393, 397, and 419 A.D.).
The scriptural canon was enacted primarily as a “rule” for the liturgy. The Greek word kanon means, literally, a measuring stick. From the late fourth century onward, Christians used the word to describe the church’s official lists that determined a documents fitness for use in public worship. “The term is late and Christian,” writes Eugene Ulrich, “though the idea is Jewish.”
The rule dictated liturgical use. Yet it was surely liturgical use that preceded (and determined) the rule. The church promulgated its final New Testament canon with the local councils of Hippo (393 A.D.) and Carthage (397 and 417), whose acts were confirmed and ratified by Pope Damasus I. By then, however the church had been celebrating the Eucharistic liturgy for more than three centuries; and the earliest patristic evidence shows that the liturgy always made use of sacred scripture. As Everett Ferguson points out: “The church did not have to wait until the end of the second century (and certainly not the fourth century) to know what books to read in church.”“
-Excerpts from Letter and Spirit by Scott Hahn
For some reason, we started to laugh about the possibility of Heaven having a University there (hypothetically speaking). We thought about the courses that could be offered there, and who would teach them. Check out our list, and try to identify the inside jokes in them. We had a fun time coming up with these. :P Be sure to click read more!
- Training Your Guardian Angel - Padre Pio, St. Faustina and St. Gemma Galgani
- Caring For Your Stigmata - St. Francis of Assisi, St. Gertrude, St. Catherine of Siena, and St. Rita
- Spiritual Bootcamp - St. Paul, and St. Teresa of Avila
- Spiritual Daycare - St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Monica, and St. Dominic Savio
- Arc Building - Noah
- How Noah Could Have Built A Better Arc - St. Joseph
Quinta via sumitur ex gubernatione rerum. Videmus enim quod aliqua quæ cognitione carent, scilicet corpora naturalia, operantur propter finem, quod apparet ex hoc quod semper aut frequentius eodem modo operantur, ut consequantur id quod est optimum; unde patet quod non a casu, sed ex intentione perveniunt ad finem. Ea autem quæ non habent cognitionem, non tendunt in finem nisi directa ab aliquo cognoscente et intelligente, sicut sagitta a sagittante. Ergo est aliquid intelligens, a quo omnes res naturales ordinantur ad finem, et hoc dicimus Deum.
The Fifth Way: Argument from Design
We see that natural bodies work toward some goal, and do not do so by chance.
Most natural things lack knowledge.
But as an arrow reaches its target because it is directed by an archer, what lacks intelligence achieves goals by being directed by something intelligence.
- Therefore some intelligent being exists by whom all natural things are directed to their end; and this being we call God.
Quarta via sumitur ex gradibus qui in rebus inveniuntur. Invenitur enim in rebus aliquid magis et minus bonum, et verum, et nobile, et sic de aliis hujusmodi. Sed magis et minus dicuntur de diversis secundum quod appropinquant diversimode ad aliquid quod maxime est, sicut magis calidum est, quod magis appropinquat maxime calido. Est igitur aliquid quod est verissimum, et optimum, et nobilissimum, et per consequens maxime ens, nam quæ sunt maxime vera, sunt maxime entia, ut dicitur II Metaphys. Quod autem dicitur maxime tale in aliquo genere, est causa omnium quæ sunt illius generis, sicut ignis, qui est maxime calidus, est causa omnium calidorum, ut in eodem libro dicitur. Ergo est aliquid quod omnibus entibus est causa esse, et bonitatis, et cujuslibet perfectionis, et hoc dicimus Deum.
The Fourth Way: Argument from Gradation of Being
There is a gradation to be found in things: some are better or worse than others.
Predications of degree require reference to the “uttermost” case (e.g., a thing is said to be hotter according as it more nearly resembles that which is hottest).
The maximum in any genus is the cause of all in that genus.
Therefore there must also be something which is to all beings the cause of their being, goodness, and every other perfection; and this we call God.
Tertia via est sumpta ex possibili et necessario, quæ talis est. Invenimus enim in rebus quædam quæ sunt possibilia esse et non esse, cum quædam inveniantur generari et corrumpi, et per consequens possibilia esse et non esse. Impossibile est autem omnia quæ sunt, talia esse, quia quod possibile est non esse, quandoque non est. Si igitur omnia sunt possibilia non esse, aliquando nihil fuit in rebus. Sed si hoc est verum, etiam nunc nihil esset, quia quod non est, non incipit esse nisi per aliquid quod est; si igitur nihil fuit ens, impossibile fuit quod aliquid inciperet esse, et sic modo nihil esset, quod patet esse falsum. Non ergo omnia entia sunt possibilia, sed oportet aliquid esse necessarium in rebus. Omne autem necessarium vel habet causam suæ necessitatis aliunde, vel non habet. Non est autem possibile quod procedatur in infinitum in necessariis quæ habent causam suæ necessitatis, sicut nec in causis efficientibus, ut probatum est. Ergo necesse est ponere aliquid quod sit per se necessarium, non habens causam necessitatis aliunde, sed quod est causa necessitatis aliis, quod omnes dicunt Deum.
The Third Way: Argument from Possibility and Necessity (Reductio argument)
We find in nature things that are possible to be and not to be, that come into being and go out of being i.e., contingent beings.
Assume that every being is a contingent being.
For each contingent being, there is a time it does not exist.
Therefore it is impossible for these always to exist.
Therefore there could have been a time when no things existed.
Therefore at that time there would have been nothing to bring the currently existing contingent beings into existence.
Therefore, nothing would be in existence now.
We have reached an absurd result from assuming that every being is a contingent being.
Therefore not every being is a contingent being.
Therefore some being exists of its own necessity, and does not receive its existence from another being, but rather causes them. This all men speak of as God.
Secunda via est ex ratione causæ efficientis. Invenimus enim in istis sensibilibus esse ordinem causarum efficientium, nec tamen invenitur, nec est possibile, quod aliquid sit causa efficiens sui ipsius; quia sic esset prius seipso, quod est impossibile. Non autem est possibile quod in causis efficientibus procedatur in infinitum. Quia in omnibus causis efficientibus ordinatis, primum est causa medii, et medium est causa ultimi, sive media sint plura sive unum tantum, remota autem causa, removetur effectus, ergo, si non fuerit primum in causis efficientibus, non erit ultimum nec medium. Sed si procedatur in infinitum in causis efficientibus, non erit prima causa efficiens, et sic non erit nec effectus ultimus, nec causæ efficientes mediæ, quod patet esse falsum. Ergo est necesse ponere aliquam causam efficientem primam, quam omnes Deum nominant.
The Second Way: Argument from Efficient Causes
We perceive a series of efficient causes of things in the world.
Nothing exists prior to itself.
Therefore nothing is the efficient cause of itself.
If a previous efficient cause does not exist, neither does the thing that results.
Therefore if the first thing in a series does not exist, nothing in the series exists.
The series of efficient causes cannot extend ad infinitum into the past, for then there would be no things existing now.
Therefore it is necessary to admit a first efficient cause, to which everyone gives the name of God.