Thursday, June 2, 2011

Top Three Ax

This post got my attention recently: list your three favorite Bible verses. I tried picking three; couldn't do it.

I decided to set a lower standard for myself and pick three favorites from the Ax of the Apostles, which coincidentally are discussed in Catechism class...which makes this a catechetical post.  Here they are, the Top Three Ax:

"And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they believed." (Ax 14:23)

Paul and Barnabas did not allow the new flocks to hire their own shepherds. Paul and Barnabas appointed shepherds for them (although the congregations could propose candidates). As God spoke through Jeremiah: "I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding," and "I will set shepherds over them who will care for them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall any be missing, says the LORD."

"For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things" (Ax 15:28)

The Apostles, Paul, Barnabas, and the elders meet in Jerusalem, and decide on their own authority that clear Scriptural instructions about the necessity of circumcision (and other observances) simply do not apply to Christians, thus rendering whole swathes of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy null and void. And to top it off, this proto-Magisterium also confidently says the Holy Spirit agrees with them! The effrontery! The authority! Take that, you newly-baptized Pharisees!

"And God did extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that handkerchiefs or aprons were carried away from his body to the sick, and diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them."  (Ax 19:11)

Can Sacraments really be more than symbols? Can they effect spiritual changes in those who receive them? How about relics? Is there any value in a saint's clothes or body parts? This post-Ascension passage suggests there is.

In conclusion, picking 3 verses only from Ax was harder than I expected.

I know that's not much of a conclusion, but school's out for the summer.