09 Nov Chapter 17: Mediation, Intercession, and the Communion of Saints
Chapter 17: Mediation, Intercession, and The Communion of Saints
God’s Plan to Create individuals within a Community
- God created individuals within a community of people.
- In the Old Testament, God called the people of Israel collectively: “Israel, you are my son” (Ps 2:7).
- In the New Testament, Jesus Christ summoned the Twelve Apostles and founded the Catholic Church as a community of believers.
- In fact, the term “Church” in Greek is Ekklesia, which means “a called-out assembly or congregation” (Acts 2:4 and Acts 11:26).
The dilemma of Mediation
- God creates the humankind in order to inherit eternal life. God created us in order to save us.
- How did God save humankind? Exclsusively through Jesus Christ.
- Jesus Christ is the only redeemer of humanity: “There is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tm 2:5).
- Based on that, many of our brethren in non-Catholic circles disagree with the theology of mediation of creatures in the process of our salvation.
- They assume that Christ has already saved us and therefore there is no need for any intercession or mediation of others.
- It is true that Christ has already saved us but, at the same time, there is much more to salvation than that.
- The Catholic Church believes in mediation and intercession of others. Why?
Mediation is possible because the Church is the Body of Christ
- St. Paul teaches that Jesus Christ “is the head of the body, the church” (Col 1:18).
- Because we are all members of the body of the Church and Jesus Christ is the head, we are part of one reality.
- We are and we will always be related to each other in God’s plan.
- St. Paul VI teaches: “The life of each of God’s children is joined in Christ and through Christ in a wonderful way to the life of all the other Christian brethren in the supernatural unity of the Mystical Body of Christ, as in a single mystical person” (Indulgentiarum Doctrina, 5).
- All the members of Christ’s body must interact because they all need each other: “As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ…The eye cannot say to the hand, “I do not need you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I do not need you” (1 Cor 12:12 and 21).
- Because of this necessary interaction among the members of Christ’s body, St. Paul could boldly state: “For we are God’s co-workers; you are God’s field, God’s building” (1 Cor 3:9).
- God works on us for our salvation; we work with God on each other for our salvation.
- As a summary, St. Thomas Aquinas states: “Since all the faithful form one body, the good of each is communicated to the others.… We must therefore believe that there exists a communion of goods in the Church” (St. Thomas Aquinas, Symb., 10).
Mediation is possible because of the Holy Spirit
- It is the Holy Spirit who connects all the members of Christ’s Body, the Church.
- In the same way the spirit of the human person keeps the members alive and connected, so also the Holy Spirit keeps the members of the body of Christ, the Church, connected and alive.
- Pope Benedict XVI emphasizes that mediation and interaction is possible because of the Holy Spirit not only in the Church, but also among all members of the human family of all times.
- The Holy Spirit connects the past to the present and gives life to all human beings on earth and in heaven.
- The entire humanity is “called by God to a single goal, both those who historically preceded the Word made man, and those who live after his coming in history: the Spirit of the Father, bestowed abundantly by the Son, is the animator of all (cf. Jn 3:34)” (Pope Benedict XVI, Dominus Iesus, 34).
- God invites the entire human race of all times to help each other reach a universal salvation.
- That’s what we call “communion of saints.”
Mediation is Possible Because the Church on earth, in Purgatory, and in heaven are One Church in Communion
- The people on earth, the people in purgatory, and the people in heaven are not three churches.
- They form one Church that has three different states: “But at the present time some of his disciples are pilgrims on earth. Others have died and are being purified, while still others are in glory, contemplating ‘in full light, God himself Triune and one, exactly as he is” (Vatican II, Lumen Gentium, 49).
- St. Paul VI confirms the same theology by saying: “We believe in the communion of all the faithful of Christ, those who are pilgrims on earth, the dead who are attaining their purification, and the blessed in heaven, all together forming one Church” (St. Paul VI, CPG, 30).
- Therefore, in God’s logic of creating us, it is impossible for anyone to be alone whether they are on earth or in heaven.
- Pope Benedict XVI so eloquently desribes the communion of saints by teaching: “… No man is an island, entire of itself. Our lives are involved with one another, through innumerable interactions they are linked together. No one lives alone. No one sins alone. No one is saved alone … So my prayer for another is not something extraneous to that person, something external, not even after death… my prayer for him – can play a small part in his purification” (Spe Salvi, 48).
- What is amazing about the communion of saints is that it works in every direction.
- Everyone is helping everyone on earth and in heaven: “Our prayer for them (who passed away) is capable not only of helping them, but also of making their intercession for us effective” (CCC, 958).
First Form of Mediation: The living intercede for the living
The living intercede for the living in the Old Testament
- In the Old Testament, God asked prophets, kings, and angels to communicate his plan to us.
- God used the living to mediate and intercede for the living.
- Abraham was interceding for the people of Sodom and Gomorrah when God wanted to exterminate them because of their sins.
- God listened and fulfilled Abraham’s wishes (see Gn 18:22-19:29).
- When the people of Israel complained against God and Moses in the desert, they were bit by snakes. Moses had to intercede for them in front of God.
- When they repented, they “came to Moses and said, ‘We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.’ So Moses prayed for the people” (Nm 21:7).
- Moses invited God to stay with his people interceding for the forgiveness of their sins: “If I find a favor with you, O Lord, do come along in our company. This is indeed a stiff-necked people; yet pardon our wickedness and sins, and receive us as your own” (Ex 34:9).
- Moses pleaded with God not to destroy his people when they made a golden calf to worship (see Ex 32).
- These are just examples; the Old Testament is full of instances of the living interceding on behalf of the living.
The living intercede for the living in the New Testament
- Mediation reaches its culminating point in the New Testament where the living pleaded with Jesus to grant his grace to others who are still living.
- What Jesus did on earth is intended to last forever: if Jesus listened to people interceding for others on earth, he will continue to do that in heaven.
- In John 2, the Virgin Mary intervened at the feast of Cana in Galilee to have Jesus change the water into wine at the request of the guests.
- Jesus listened to Mary on earth and did the miracle; He will continue to listen to her in heaven.
- Jesus healed St. Peter’s mother-in-law because others ask Him to: “After he left the synagogue, he entered the house of Simon. Simon’s mother-in-law was afflicted with a severe fever, and they interceded with him about her” (Lk 4:38).
- The Apostles interceded on behalf of the synagogue leader asking Jesus to heal his son (see Lk 7:1-10).
- Jesus heals the daughter of the Canaanite woman when his disciples pleaded with him (see Mt 15:21-28).
- Philip brought Nathaniel to Jesus by inviting him ‘come and see’ (Jn 1:45-51). As a result, Jesus called Nathaniel to follow him. Jesus called Nathaniel with the help of Philip.
- The theology of intercession and mediation is evident in the Bible as a part of God’s plan.
- St. Paul is the mediator between God’s grace and the Galatians: “You have probably heard how I have been entrusted by God with the grace he meant for you” (Gal 3:2).
- St. Paul explains to the Ephesians God’s grace for them was entrusted to St. Paul when Jesus converted St. Paul to serve him: “For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles-assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you, how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly” (Eph 3:1-3).
- St. Paul urges Timothy to pray and intercede for the authorities that they may do the will of God in their leadership: “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people — for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness” (1 Tm 2:1).
- The Letter to the Hebrews makes it clear that the community is responsible to communicate and share God’s grace to others: “See to it that no one be deprived of the grace of God” (Heb 12:15).
- St. Jude emphasizes the role of Christians in acting according to the Gospel of Jesus Christ to “save some, by snatching them out of the fire” (Jude 23).
- St. Peter confirms that serving others with the gifts we received from God becomes a channel of grace for them: “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Pt 4:10).
Second Form of Mediation: The living intercede for the dead
- The mission of the earthly Church is to pray for all those who passed away.
- Our job is to ceaselessly pray for them because they have no more chance to amend their lives.
- The prayer of the Church is the only hope they have.
- But they are already dead and judged by God.
- How can our prayer help them? the answer is simple.
- God has no sequence of time: God has no past or future, only presence.
- God looks at the entire human history in a ‘one shot deal’.
- God encompasses, understands, controls, and sees every single event in human history from the beginning of creation until the end of time.
- Therefore, God sees the prayers for a certain person before they die and apply these prayers to them at the moment of their death.
- My mother died in 1933.
- When I offer the Sacrifice of Mass for her today, my prayers are present in front of God before my mother died.
- At the very moment of her death, God applied my prayers to her salvation.
- In the Book of the Maccabees, when their leader Judas found that those who had fallen in the war had sacred tokens of idols, he was worried about their fate and salvation.
- Judas and the Jews “turned to prayer, begging that the sin which had been committed might be wholly blotted out … In doing this he acted very well and honorably, taking account of the resurrection. For if he were not expecting that those who had fallen would rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead. But if he was looking to the splendid reward that is laid up for those who fall asleep in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Therefore he made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin” (2 Mc, 12:42-45).
- In the the Gospel of John, Martha prayed to Jesus for her dead brother Lazarus. Jesus, God himself in the flesh, answered her prayers and helped Lazarus rise back to life (see Jn 11).
- God answered the prayer of Martha for her dead brother Lazarus.
- Our prayers are always oriented to the glory of God.
- When we pray for the dead we improve their status to be closer to God and, therefore, to praise God better.
- Therefore, our prayer for the dead is ultimately directed to glorify God.
- No wonder we read in the Book of the Psalms: “The dead do not praise the Lord, nor do any that go down into silence” (Ps 115:17).
- Also Isaiah confirms this truth by writing: “For it is not the nether world that gives you thanks, nor death that praises you; Neither do those who go down into the pit await your kindness” (Is 38:18).
- Vatican II gives a summary of this theology by teaching: “For every genuine testimony of love shown by us to those in heaven, by its very nature tends toward and terminates in Christ who is the crown of all saints, and through Him, in God Who is wonderful in his saints and is magnified in them” (Lumen Gentium, 50).
- St. Theresa of Lisieux, talking about her prayer life, once said: “The Creator of the Universe awaits the prayer of one poor little person to save a multitude of others, redeemed like her at the price of his blood” (The Story of a Soul).
Third Form of Mediation: Those in heaven (Angels) Intercede for the Living
- In the entire Bible, angels are clearly destined to help us obtain salvation. Few examples are sufficient to explain this truth of faith.
- In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus teaches how the mission of the angels is to constantly watch over people and protect them: “See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father” (Mt 18:10).
- In the Gospel of Luke, The angels’ message, intercession and work are successful when sinners return to God: “In just the same way, I tell you, there will be rejoicing among the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (Lk 15:10).
- In the Gospel of Luke, the angel Gabriel confirmed to Zachariah that he is announcing to him nothing but God’s plan: “I am Gabriel, who stand before God. I was sent to speak to you and to announce to you this good news” (Lk 1:19).
- In the Gospel of Luke, the same angel Gabriel confirmed being God’s messenger as he “was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary” (Lk 1:26-27).
- in the Acts of the Apostles, the words of the angel coincide with the words of the Holy Spirit: “Then the angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, ‘Get up and head south on the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza, the desert route.’ So he got up and set out. Now there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of the Candace, that is, the queen of the Ethiopians, in charge of her entire treasury, who had come to Jerusalem to worship, and was returning home. Seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah. The Spirit said to Philip, ‘Go and join up with that chariot'” (Acts 8:26-29).
- Therefore, these heavenly creatures are capable to intercede for us to obtain salvation from God: “Are they not all ministering spirits sent to serve, for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?” (Heb 1:14).
- Angels are mediators and intercessors who act on God’s behalf. Not cooperating with them implies not cooperating with God: “See, I am sending an angel before you, to guard you on the way and bring you to the place I have prepared. Be attentive to him and heed his voice. Do not rebel against him, for he will not forgive your sin. My authority resides in him” (Ex 23:20-21).
- Angels are mediators and intercessors who communicate God’s plan: “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show unto his servants, even the things which must shortly come to pass: and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John” (Rv 1:1).
Third Form of Mediation: Those in heaven (Saints) intercede for the Living
- If angels can help us from heaven, the saints can do the same. Why?
- Because Jesus confirmed that those who rise from the dead to eternal life “are like the angels in heaven” (Mt 22:30).
- At the moment of his death, St. Dominic said to his brethren: “Do not weep, for I shall be more useful to you after my death and I shall help you then more effectively than during my life.”
- Here are some examples from Scriptures how the saints interact and intercede for the living.
- Moses asked God not to punish his people invoking the intercession and help of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob who were already dead.
- The prayers of Moses were answered because of the intercession of the ‘dead’ forefathers.
- Moses said to God: “Turn from your fierce anger; relent and do not bring disaster on your people. Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, to whom you swore by your own self…Then the Lord relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened” (Ex 37:12-14).
- In the parable of the Rich and Lazarus (see Lk 16:19-31), the rich man who was in hell asked Abraham if Lazarus could go and help his brethren who were still alive.
- The rich man wanted one of the dead to come back to life and tell his brothers about the pain of hell.
- Abraham’s answer to the rich man in regards to helping his brothers: “They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them” (Lk 16:29).
- This answer is an evident confirmation that the ‘dead’ Moses and the prophets can help the brothers of the rich man.
- this is how St. Mathew describes the interaction between Moses and Elijah (who are already dead) and Jesus: “After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, conversing with him” (Mt 17:1-4).
- In the Book of Revelation, the four living creatures and the 24 elders were praying to God for the living: “Each of the elders held a harp and gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of the holy ones” (Rv 5:8).
- In the Book of Revelation, the saints’ prayers are done on behalf of the living. In front of God’s throne, the angel “was given much incense to mingle with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar before the throne; and the smoke of the incense rose with the prayers of the saints from the hand of the angel before God” (Rv 8:3-4).
- God is the God of the living not of the dead.
- Do the dead look dead to you in the festival of the heavenly city Jerusalem?: “No, you have approached Mount Zion and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and countless angels in festal gathering, and the assembly of the firstborn enrolled in heaven, and God the judge of all, and the spirits of the just made perfect, and Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and the sprinkled blood that speaks more eloquently than that of Abel” (Heb 12:22-24).
- Therefore, all those members of the Church that are with the living God, are alive in God.
- God established one Church, part of it is on earth and part is in heaven: There is a continuity between earth and heaven.
- Whereas many people believe when the human person dies they disappear, the Catholic Church always taught that our being in heaven extends and continues our state on earth.
- Our being in heaven is a perfection of what we were on earth.
- Our being in heaven is alive, dynamic, and forever living with the Blessed Trinity and others.
- How can someone ask us to pray for them on earth and, at the same time, deny that the person in heaven, who is more alive then us, could do the same?
- At the end of her life, St. Theresa of Lisieux confirmed that she wants “to spend heaven in doing good on earth” (The Final Conversation).
Third Form of Mediation: The Queen of Heaven, Mary, intercedes For the Living
- Did Mary ask Jesus to change water into wine at the wedding of Cana in Galilee? Yes.
- Was Jesus ready to start his public ministry? No.
- Did Jesus do the miracle? Yes and because Mary asked him to.
- Why would Jesus do a miracle on earth at the request of his mother, and then change his way when in heaven?
- Mary’s request to Jesus “they have no wine,” assumes a permanent character: Mary comes to the aid of human needs throughout the entire history.
- John 2 is God’s Word revealing his plan of action.
- God’s plan of action for Mary displayed the Gospels will never change: “Taken up to heaven, she did not lay aside this saving role, but by her manifold acts of intercession continues to win for us gifts of eternal salvation” (Vatican II, Lumen Gentium, 62).
- The intercession of Mary to perform the miracle at the wedding of Cana happened because she was the mother.
- Because Mary is the mother of Jesus, she was capable of telling the servants to “do whatever he (Jesus) tells you.”
- Vatican II confirms that Mary’s motherhood is the fundamental reason behind her intercession for us in heaven: “Because she was, by the design of divine Providence, the mother who nourished the divine Redeemer, Mary became ‘an associate of unique nobility, and the Lord’s humble handmaid,’ who ‘cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope and burning charity in the Savior’s work of restoring supernatural life to souls.’ And this maternity of Mary… will last without interruption until the eternal fulfillment of all the elect” (Lumen Gentium, 61-62).
- Mary becomes the strongest defender of the Church forever: “Mary places herself between her Son and mankind in the reality of their wants, needs and sufferings. She puts herself “in the middle,” that is to say she acts as a mediatrix not as an outsider, but in her position as mother” (St. John Paul II, Redemptoris Mater, 21).
Mary’s Mediation is above all human mediation
- The mediation of creatures varies depending on their role in God’s plan and their degree of holiness.
- St. Paul VI describes all the merits of Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, and all the saints as if they were a treasure of infinite value.
- The Catholic Church decides to share these merits asking God’s special graces to be given to people in special circumstances.
- The merits of the Virgin Mary go well beyond all creatures because she is the only one “full of grace” and blessed among all generations: “This treasury includes as well the prayers and good works of the Blessed Virgin Mary. They are truly immense, unfathomable, and even pristine in their value before God” (St. Paul VI, Indulgentiarum Doctrina, 5).
- There is no creature higher then the Virgin Mary ever: As Christ redeemed humanity, he made Mary his “associate of unique nobility” (Vatican II, Lumen Gentium, 61).
- Jesus redeemed humanity using his human nature taken from Mary.
- Jesus is sitting at the right hand of the Father with the risen human nature taken from Mary.
- Therefore, Mary will continue to be present in the Church as the Mother of the Redeemer until the end of time: “Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation.… Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix” (Vatican II, Lumen Gentium, 62).
Jesus Christ is still the Only Mediator between God and humanity
- The mediation of Christ is essentially different from the mediation of Mary and the saints.
- Jesus Christ is one with the Father and the Holy Spirit in his divinity.
- Jesus Christ is also one with us in his humanity.
- Therefore, Jesus’ mediation is perfect because he united the Divine and the human in his person: “And he (God) put all things beneath his (Jesus’) feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way” (Eph 1:22-23).
- Therefore, Christ and only Christ is capable of destroying sin and death.
- Jesus’ mediation coincides with his cross and resurrection: as he mediates with the Father, he redeems us.
- The mediation of Mary and the saints is a sharing in Christ’s mediation.
- They draw their mediation from Jesus’ mediation, cooperate with it and foster it.
- The mediation of Mary, the angels and the saints does not add anything to the mediation of Christ: “They do not cease to intercede with the Father for us, as they proffer the merits which they acquired on earth through the one mediator between God and men, Christ Jesus” (Vatican II, Lumen Gentium, 49).
- God is the only creator, even though he invited us to cooperate with the act of creation through conception and birth.
- Christ is the only savior, even though he invites us to cooperate with the act of redemption through prayers and good actions: “No creature could ever be classed with the Incarnate Word and Redeemer, the unique mediation of the Redeemer does not exclude but rather gives rise among creatures to a manifold cooperation which is but a sharing in this unique source” (Vatican II, Lumen Gentium, 62).
- The Catechism of the Catholic Church gives an outstanding summary of the theology of mediation by teaching: “God is the sovereign master of his plan. But to carry it out he also makes use of his creatures’ co-operation. This use is not a sign of weakness, but rather a token of almighty God’s greatness and goodness. For God grants his creatures not only their existence, but also the dignity of acting on their own, of being causes and principles for each other, and thus of co-operating in the accomplishment of his plan.” (CCC, 306)
Conclusion: Mediation is a part of God’s plan
- There is a concrete and real interaction between God and humanity and among us all.
- Jesus is a personal God who became fully human with all the ramifications of human relationships.
- He is a concrete God and, because he was an authentic man, he established real relationships with us.
- Therefore, listening to petitions and granting favors is part of the mechanism of human relationships.
- Both Old and New Testament reveal God’s way: God granted favors to us at the intercession of his mediators.
- Therefore, if someone holier then us intercedes for us, why not rely on their love and help especially if they do much better job then us?
- I am hiding behind the Virgin Mary when I die: There is absolutely no better guarantee of salvation then to entrust ourselves totally to Mary.
- I am all yours, Virgin Mary. Totus Tuus!!!
Capítulo 20: La Mediación y la Comunión de los Santos
Las enseñanzas en este capítulo se basan en las Escrituras Sagradas, la Tradiciones de la Iglesia Católica (especialmente el Catecismo de la Iglesia Católica (CCC)), los Padres de la Iglesia (especialmente San Thomas Aquinas y San Agustín) él Magisterio de la Iglesia Católica (especialmente San Papa Pablo VI, San Papa John Paul II y Papa Benedicto XVI).
Dios creó la Comunidad de Personas. Las dos Órdenes Paralelas de Creación y Salvación: Es obvio que Dios creó una comunidad de personas, no solo individuos. La interacción entre individuos dentro de la comunidad ha sido estudiada por muchos filósofos y teólogos. Cuando dos sujetos, los dos en la imagen y semejanza de Dios y ambos trascendentales por naturaleza, se relacionan con otros, el contacto entre las libertades y las dignidades humanas intocables es siempre un reto. A diferencia de los animales, los seres humanos tienen un alma inteligente que les permite relacionarse con el mundo utilizando su libertad y conciencia subjetiva. Se establecen relaciones en muchos niveles y se establecen límites para mantener la paz y crear respeto entre individuos. Todos los individuos están invitados a ayudarse y a amarse uno al otro porque todos comparten el mismo destino. Eso es lo que Dios estableció en el ethos de la creación (la lógica y la funcionalidad de la creación). La salvación es paralela a la creación. Estas dos órdenes van juntas y se completan porque el mismo Dios que creó la familia humana también quiere salvarla.
El Plan de Dios para Establecer la Comunión de los Santos: En el Antiguo Testamento, Dios llamó colectivamente a las personas de Israel: “Israel, tú eres mi hijo”. Israel es el hijo de Dios colectivamente como personas. También vemos eso en el Nuevo Testamento cuando Jesucristo llamó a los Doce Apóstoles y fundó la Iglesia Católica. La palabra “iglesia” en Griego es ekklisia que significa “asamblea o congregación llamada (Hechos 11:16)”.
¿Por qué haría eso Jesús? Porque la salvación es universal y está destinada a ser para todos. La salvación y los sacramentos deben ser celebrados en la iglesia como una comunidad, y esta iglesia es el cuerpo de Cristo. Como el cuerpo de Cristo, como enseña San Pablo, todos los miembros deben interactuar por necesidad de la creación y la salvación. San Pablo confirma que la mano no puede decirle al pie: “No te necesito”, ni el oído puede rechazar la ayuda del ojo, etc. No es así como Dios quiso que fuera la salvación. Y eso es lo que llamamos “comunión de los santos “.
Dios estableció la iglesia como una comunión de santos. Significa que, de acuerdo con el plan de Dios, hay una interacción que siempre tendrá lugar dentro de todos los miembros de la comunidad de la iglesia. Esa interacción incluye amor, respeto, y ayuda. De nuevo, San Pablo enseña que somos colaboradores de Dios para la salvación de todos.
Dios es el Dios de los vivos, no de los muertos. Dios estableció una Iglesia: parte de ella en la tierra y otra parte comparte la vida eterna de Dios. Por lo tanto, todos los miembros de la iglesia que están con Dios, el Dios viviente, están vivos en Dios. Aunque están en el cielo, todavía son miembros de la única iglesia que estableció Jesús. En la divina providencia de Dios, estas dos partes de la misma iglesia pueden ayudarse, y eso es lo que llamamos la comunión de los santos.
El Papa Juan Pablo II y la Acción Moral: Cuando una persona realiza un buen acto, influyen todos los miembros de la iglesia aquí y en el cielo. Pero una acción malvada también influye negativamente la creación entera. El Santo Papa Juan Pablo II enfatiza que hay comunión de santos y también comunión de pecado. La gente puede vivir el mundo entero con ellos a través de buenas acciones o bajar el mundo entero con ellos a través de acciones malvadas. Necesitamos crear conciencia de que nuestra identidad y nuestra misión en la iglesia católica juegan una parte importante en la salvación de todos.
La disertación doctoral del Santo Papa Juan Pablo II fue “La Persona que Actúa”. Afirma que, no solo somos personas que actuamos, sino que somos sujetos con conciencia de sus acciones. Cómo avanzamos en la vida, debemos recordar que viviremos por un corto tiempo, pero estaremos muertos por “mucho tiempo”. Así que realmente necesitamos desarrollar una conciencia de quiénes somos y qué estamos haciendo en nuestras vidas en la tierra y cómo estamos influyendo en el cuerpo de Cristo, la Iglesia.
Santa Teresita de la Pequeña Flor, al darse cuenta de la importancia de su trabajo, identidad, misión y oraciones para los demás miembros de la iglesia, deseaba vivir una y otra vez hasta el fin del tiempo para cooperar con la redención de la humanidad.
¿La Comunión de los Santos Implica que la Redención de Cristo no era Suficiente? ¿Fue la salvación de Cristo suficiente para redimir a la humanidad? Por supuesto. ¿Puedo agregar a esa redención? No. ¿Puedo compartir y cooperar en esa redención? No podemos agregar a la salvación de Jesucristo porque la Persona que actúa en Cristo es divina y, por lo tanto, todas sus acciones tienen un valor infinito y eterno. Sin embargo, Dios, en su divina providencia, nos permitió compartir esa redención. San Pablo dijo: “Somos colaboradores de Dios para la salvación de todos”. Dios ha ejecutado mi salvación de la manera perfecta. Sin embargo, aún puedo compartir, cooperar y contribuir porque eso era el plan divino de Dios desde el principio.
La Mediación de la Virgen María y los Santos como parte del plan de Dios: Por desgracia, muchos de nuestros hermanos en círculos no católicos no prestan atención a la teología de la comunión de los santos. Asumen que, “Cristo me ha salvado y estoy completamente bien”. Eso no funcionará de acuerdo con las Escrituras. Sé que “Cristo te ha salvado”, pero, al mismo tiempo, somos colaboradores de Dios para la salvación de todos.
Hemos mencionado que no podemos agregar a la salvación de Jesucristo porque la Persona que actúa en Cristo es divina y, por lo tanto, todas sus acciones tienen un valor infinito y eterno. Por lo tanto, cada acción que Jesús hizo en la tierra debe permanecer válida para siempre en la historia de la humanidad. En Juan, 2, la Virgen María intervino en la fiesta de Caná de Galilea para que Jesús convirtiera el agua en vino. Los apóstoles intercedieron en nombre del líder de la sinagoga pidiéndole a Jesús que sanara a su hijo. Jesús levantó a Lázaro por indicación de su hermana Marta: “Si estuvieras aquí, él no habría muerto”. Si Jesús aceptó la mediación en la tierra de las personas, no cambiará de opinión en el cielo: sus acciones siempre tendrán valor eterno.
Fe, Acción y Libertad: St. James enseñó que la fe sin acción está muerta. No puedes simplemente creer en Jesucristo y asumir que eres salvo sin actuar en tu fe. La Biblia entera se basa en un código moral donde Dios nos invita a hacer el bien y evitar el mal. Creer en Jesús es el primer paso, actuar según la voluntad de Jesús nos llevará a una unión con Dios. Jesús confirmó fuertemente que no aquellos que dicen Señor Señor entrarán en el reino de la desesperación; pero los que hagan la voluntad de mi Padre entrarán en el reino de los cielos. Creer en Jesús no significa nada porque los demonios también creen en Jesucristo y no son salvos. Ellis began actuar de acuerdo con el plan de Dios y, por lo tanto, fueron eternamente condenados.
Cuando las Cartas a los Romanos y a los Efesios declaran que eres salvo por medio de la fe, simplemente están enfatizando el primer paso esencial: adherirse a Jesucristo en obediencia a la fe. De ninguna manera implican que creer en Jesús y no hacer nada acerca de eso sea suficiente para la salvación. La fe en Jesucristo nos salvará mientras lo vivamos.
Tenemos una auténtica libertad y un código moral para seguir: “no matar; no cometer adulterio … “. Estas son las cosas que Jesucristo le dijo al joven cuando le preguntó:” ¿Qué debería hacer para heredar la vida eterna? ” No podemos simplemente creer y asumir que somos salvos sin hacer nada. La comunión de los santos es nuestra fe en la acción beneficiando a todo el cuerpo de la iglesia. Nuestros hermanos en el cielo que comparten la gloria de Dios siempre oraran por nosotros. Ellos no están muertos. Dios no es Dios de los muertos. Él es el Dios de los vivos. Ellos son nuestra familia celestial que, de una manera que nunca podemos entender y comprender, oran por usted y por mí, rogándole a Dios constantemente misericordia, protección y salvación. Siempre serán esa parte de la iglesia que es poderosa, intercediendo por todos nosotros hasta que nos unamos en el cielo.
¿Orando por los Muertos? La misión de la Iglesia de Dios es orar por todos los que an fallecidos. Podrías decirme: “Ya están muertos, ¿Cómo puedo orar por ellos?”
Hoy estamos en 2018. Mi madre murió en 1971. Si crees que Dios no tiene una secuencia de tiempo, Dios mira a toda la historia humana en un “trato único” y abarca, entiende, controla y ve cada evento en historia humana desde el comienzo de la creación hasta el final de los tiempos. Por lo tanto, Dios ve las oraciones por los muertos antes de morir y les aplica todas las oraciones en el momento de su muerte.
Mi madre murió en 1971. Cuando ofrezco el Sacrificio de la Misa para ella hoy (2018), mis oraciones están presentes delante de Dios antes de que mi madre muriera porque Dios está fuera del tiempo. Por lo tanto, todas las oraciones que se le ofrecieron antes y después de su muerte están presentes delante de Dios y se aplicarán a su salvación en el momento de su muerte. Nuestro trabajo es orar sin parar por aquellos que fallecieron porque no tienen más oportunidad de enmendar sus vidas. La oración de la iglesia es la única esperanza que tienen. La Virgen María en todas sus apariciones invitó a la Iglesia a rezar el Rosario constantemente por las almas del Purgatorio.