This is an excellent homily on racism and the history of our country. Worth a listen. The homily starts at the 30:00 minute mark.

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A Catholic couple wrote and expressed their dismay at the current state of affairs in our country and the world. He said he was about to give up. I wrote to him these words which I hope will encourage others as well.

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We certainly do live in disappointing times. Seeing the chaos and anarchy in our country, with many even espousing Marxism again, I shake my head sometimes as I see how so many of the bishops and priests, even the Vatican respond to all of this nonsense and anarchy. Rainbow flags fluttering, police assaulted, BLM T-shirts, abortion, pulling down statues, cursing and rioting and killing…

However, remember that the Church has never had a Golden Age and there have been times in the Church that have been much worse than our current situation. Imagine living in England and Ireland during the reign of King Henry VIII and the later in the French Revolution when priests were killed and the Catholic faith was illegal. Families hid priests in “priest holes” and many lost everything including their lives. The horrendous stories of being drawn and quartered

I always recall Peter’s response to Jesus, “Where else can we go, you are the only one with the words of eternal life (John 6:68-69).”

My wife and I feel as though we were born for these times. God places us in our own period of history for a reason and I believe our reason is to stand up and speak out and be a living example of the Christian life. This is no time to retreat and let evil win. A wise man once said that all evil needs to succeed is for a few good men to do nothing.

Don’t be dismayed or discouraged. Stand strong and stay true to Our Lord and his Church even if our shepherds are more politicians than they are pastors, even if many of our own fall for the seduction and sin of the present age. Jesus suffered for us and he is even now not giving up on us — so we can never give up on him.

If you ever get discouraged read the last book of the Bible and you’ll see that we win in the end. And don’t ever forget that God always has an army of holy saints. We are not alone. The world is full of faithful Christians who will never back down. These days are the kind of days in which saints are made.

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Peter & the Primacy in the New Testament

by Steve Ray on June 30, 2020

St. Peter in the New Testament
What Do We Know About Him?

Kd-KeysPeter is the big rugged fisherman who became the humble servant of the servants of God. Jesus chose him from among the Twelve to be the leader and the visible head of the Church.

What do we know about Peter from the New Testament? More than most people realize. It is good to remember this man that Jesus specially chose. Here is my article on Peter and the Primacy in the New Testament.

From the obscure fishing village of Capernaum on the shores of Galilee, Simon son of John rose to great prominence in the early Church. When choosing Simon as a disciple, Jesus informed him that his name would be changed to Cephas (Rock) (Jn 1:42). From his simple beginning as a fisherman, Simon Peter’s life ended in a glorious martyrdom in the Imperial City of Rome.

In the NT, the names Simon, Peter, or Cephas occur almost 200 times. The names of all the other disciples combined occur only about 130 times. In the NT lists of apostles, Peter is listed first. Matthew uses the word first (Mt 10:2) to “to single him out as the most prominent one of the twelve”. He was the spokesman and authoritative voice of the apostles, as seen in the early chapters of Acts. Paul spent fifteen days in private with Peter before beginning his own apostolate (Gal 1:18).

Jesus bestowed special prerogatives on Peter, recounted in Matthew 16:13-20. Peter is given a new name, which in Scripture denotes a change in status or position (e.g., Gen 17:4?5). Jesus spoke Aramaic and gave Simon the Aramaic name Kepha (Rock) which is is “Petra” in Greek and “Peter” in English. The Greek “petra” is feminine so the masculine “Petros” was adopted.

There is no distinction between Kepha the man and Kepha the Rock upon which Jesus would build his Church-Peter is the rock (cf. CCC no. 552). Protestants often claim that Christ is the only foundation (1 Cor 3:11) attempting thereby to unseat Peter. However, they mistakenly mix the metaphors. In 1 Corinthians, Paul is the builder and Jesus is the foundation; in Matthew, Jesus is the builder and Peter is the rock foundation. Another NT metaphor pictures the Church “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone” (Eph 2:20).

Jesus chose Caesarea Philippi as the backdrop for the Petrine appointment. Here Herod had built a temple to Caesar Augustus atop the massive rock, a center of pagan worship and a source of the Jordan River. At the rock base was a gaping cavern referred to by the pagans as the “gates of hell”. Standing before the “temple” built to the “divine Caesar”, Jesus revealed God’s plan to build his new “temple”, the Church, to the true God with Peter as the solid rock.

After establishing Peter as the “Rock”, Jesus promises to give Peter the “keys of the kingdom of heaven”-a reference to the steward’s keys in Isaiah 22. The Davidic throne had been vacant since the Babylonian captivity (586 BC). The archangel Gabriel announced to Mary her Son Jesus would be given “the throne of his father David” (Lk 1:42). As Jesus, the new King of Israel, re-established the Davidic throne he appointed Peter to the office of royal steward-to rule “over the house” of the king (cf. CCC 553). Keys represent exclusive dominion and this authority was granted to Peter alone. The office of royal steward was successive in Israel. Familiar with their history, the Jews certainly understand that the office of Peter would be filled by successors as was the royal steward’s office in Judah. The steward may die, but the office continues.

As the steward of Christ’s kingdom, Peter is given the authority to bind and loose. This entails more than “opening heaven’s door to those who believe the Gospel”. Protestant scholar M. Vincent explains, “No other terms were in more constant use in Rabbinic canon-law than those of binding and loosing. They represented the legislative and judicial powers of the Rabbinic office. These powers Christ now transferred . . . in their reality, to his apostles; the first, here to Peter.” Aramaic scholar George Lamsa writes, “ ‘He has the key,’ means he can declare certain things to be lawful and others unlawful; that is to bind or to loose, or to prohibit or to permit, or to forgive”.

Other passages express Peter’s primacy. Jesus tells Peter that, “Satan demanded to have you [plural], that he might sift you [plural] like wheat, but I have prayed for you [singular] that your faith may not fail; and when you [singular] have turned again, strengthen your brethren” (Lk 22:31?32). Peter represents the apostles before God, and Jesus prays for him exclusively that he in turn can support his fellow apostles. This perfectly exemplifies the primacy of the Pope and his collegiality with the other bishops. Jesus also appoints Peter the shepherd of his sheep with the universal Church in view (Jn 21:15?17).

The Jews would understand, according to contemporary usage, that the words “feed” and “tend” meant to teach, govern, and rule. St. Augustine comments, “The succession of priests keeps me [in the Catholic Church], beginning from the very seat of the Apostle Peter, to whom the Lord, after His resurrection, gave it in charge to feed His sheep, down to the present episcopate.” St. John, writing long after Peter’s death, reminds Christians of Peter’s singular status.

Papal infallibility is often challenged by mentioning Paul’s public rebuke of Peter in Galatians 2:11-14. However, Paul does not oppose Peter’s teaching, but rather Peter’s failure to live consistently with his teaching. It was Peter’s example that everyone followed so his conduct was crucial. Papal infallibility does not guarantee impeccable conduct; it only guarantees infallible teaching under strict conditions (CCC no. 891). Paul acknowledges Peter’s office as “Rock” by referring to his as “Cephas” eight times-the title Christ himself had chosen. Tertullian (c. 160?c. 225) wrote, “If Peter was reproached [by Paul] . . . the fault certainly was one of procedure and not of doctrine” (On Prescription Against the Heretics, 23).

James’ pastoral summary at the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15) does not nullify Peter’s primacy. On the contrary, Peter delivered a binding pronouncement and defined doctrine. Only after Peter spoke did the debating assembly “keep silence” (Acts 15:12). After Paul relates his experiences, James spoke, as the bishop of Jerusalem, to summarize, quoting Peter along with Scripture. In 1 Peter 5:1, Peter’s calls himself a “fellow elder”. This humble greeting does not diminish Peter’s authoritative office anymore than the President’s words “My fellow Americans” denies Presidential authority, or the Popes’ greeting “my fellow bishops” denies Papal authority.

In the first century, Christians and Jews referred to Rome with the pseudonym “Babylon”-persecutor of God’s people. Peter wrote his first epistle from “Babylon” (1 Pet 5:13) where he was later martyred. Jesus prophesied that aged Peter’s arms would be stretched out and John interprets Jesus’ words as foretelling Peter’s death (Jn 21:18?19). After decades of spreading the Gospel and ruling as Bishop of Rome, Peter’s noble apostolate ended in crucifixion, though his Petrine office continued. Early Church history consistently affirms Peter’s crucifixion and burial in Rome around AD 67. From the first century onward, the chair of Peter in Rome was revered among the Church Fathers.

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Greek definition of the word “first”: Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and other Early Christian Literature (William F. Arndt and F. Wilbur Gingrich [Chicago, IL: Univ. Chicago, 1957], 733).

Tertullian’s quote: William Jurgens, The Faith of the Early Fathers, Liturgical Press, 1:121.

Vincent’s quote: M. Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament, (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1887, 1980), 1:96.

Lamsa’s Quote: George M. Lamsa, Old Testament Light [New York, NY: Harper 

Augustine’s Quote: Against the Epistle of Manich¾us in The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, first series, ed. by Philip Schaff [Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1983], 4:130).

Tertullian’s Quote: William Jurgens, The Faith of the Early Fathers 1:121.

Referencing Rome as Babylon: (Orac. Sybil. 5, 159 f.; 4 Esdras. 3:1; Apoc. Baruch, vis. ii; Rev. 14:8; 16:19; 17:5; 18:2, 10, 21).

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Recommended Reading:

Upon this Rock: St. Peter and the Primacy of Rome in the Scriptures and the Early Church, Steve Ray, Ignatius Press, 1999.

Peter in the New Testament, Raymond Brown, ed., Augsburg Publ. and Paulist Press, 1973.

And on this Rock: The Witness of One Land and Two Covenants, Stanley L. Jaki, Christendom Press, 1997.

The Keys of the Kingdom Stanley Jaki, Franciscan Herald Press, 1986.

Peter: Disciple, Apostle, Martyr, Oscar Cullmann, Westminster Press, 1953.

The Shepherd and the Rock: Origins, Development, and Mission of the Papacy, J. Michael Miller, Our Sunday Visitor, 1995.

Jesus, Peter, and the Keys, Scott Butler, Norman Dahlgren, David Hess, Queenship Publ., 1996.

To see the whole life of Peter filmed on location in a rollicking and adventurous format, check out our DVD Peter, Keeper of the Keys. To hear Steve’s talk, Peter: the Rock, the Keys & the Chair, click here and scroll down a page.

I also have three articles on INFALLIBILITY:

 

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Eucharist Interview with Steve Ray and Paul Sangreal

June 29, 2020

This is a recording of my interview with Paul Thies on the Eucharist. You can listen by clicking below. His website page for this talk is here. Questions discussed: 1.      As a convert to Catholicism, describe how you came to accept the Real Presence? 2.      What was instrumental in increasing your devotion to the Eucharist? 3.      What is […]

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Did Jesus Re-name Simon the “Rock” – Confusion with Petra, Cephas, Rock and Peter

June 29, 2020

A loving wife of an unbelieving Protestant husband asked me to explain to her husband that Jesus renamed Simon as Peter and how that relates to Greek, Aramaic and Hebrew. So in simple terms I gave it a simple (though a bit long) explanation. I hope it helps you as well. ******************************* Let’s give this […]

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Terrifying Power of Black Lives Matter

June 27, 2020
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Founder of Protestant movement returns to Catholic Church

June 25, 2020

By Hannah Brockhaus Punalur, India, Jan 15, 2020 / 02:42 pm MT (CNA).- The founder of a prominent non-denominational movement in India has returned to the Catholic faith of his baptism, after more than a decade as a Pentecostal pastor and traveling preacher. Sajith Joseph, 36, was confirmed Dec. 21, 2019 at St. Mary’s Cathedral in […]

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Isn’t this homily a breath of fresh air?

June 24, 2020

Fearless, politically-incorrect and calling out those who need to be called out including the USCCB, the coronavirus hysteria, the Cardinal of Washington DC, and more. He actually discusses politics – how dare he? He also challenges the media, LGBTQ, the attack against masculinity, the genuine role of men and fathers and reactions to sin in the world. I wonder […]

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Steve & Janet Speak at Free Virtual Homeschooling Conference this weekend

June 23, 2020

Free Conference Pass for June 25-27 Get full access to all the content up through the last day of the conference for FREE. HIT Subscribe to get your FREE Access!  If you want to upgrade to the VIP Pass, click on the Early Bird price: – Year round access to all talks – BONUS content […]

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Help “Priests for Life” Elect Pro-life in November – Volunteer HERE!

June 23, 2020

If we all just sit around and hope for the best, it will not happen. The liberal Left, pro-death camp is out recruiting and working like crazy. All that is necessary for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing. Click this banner which will take you to the Priest for Life website […]

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The Inspiration of Scripture and “People of Faith”

June 22, 2020

A fellow Catholic wrote with a good question. I would like to ask you a question. When I was in grade school, everyone just accepted the Bible as the Word of God. If you said, “It’s in the Bible” then it was assumed to be true, even if it was a very questionable interpretation. Now, […]

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Why We Don’ t Support Pride Month: Excellent 56-Second Video by Fr. Simon

June 21, 2020

If you click the video and it does not play, then click on the words above the video and it should take you to Twitter to view the 56 second video. It is short, sweet and carries an eloquent punch. Twitter deleted this video and Fr. Simon’s twitter account because it went viral. Let’s make […]

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Catholic Statues Now Toppled by Lunatic Mobs

June 21, 2020

A violent horde toppled a CA statue of a great missionary and Catholic saint, Father Junipero Serra. Patriots, the Left plays for keeps while so many “conservative” leaders just seek to placate the mob. The madness must stop. Are you angry yet??? pic.twitter.com/o2lvDgX13i — Steve Cortes (@CortesSteve) June 20, 2020

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Fascinating 10-minute Black & White 1929 Movie of the Holy Land

June 20, 2020

This black & white movie of the Holy Land from 1929. What a different world than we know today. Interesting scenes of pilgrims arriving at about the 7:30 second mark; Nazareth around 7:50 with girl like Mary carrying a water jug on her head. They show the Garden Tomb as the place of the crucifixion […]

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A Short & Pleasant Diversion – Nothing Like Kids Hysterically Laughing

June 20, 2020

If this doesn’t make you laugh, check your pulse :-)

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Virtual Pilgrimage and Bird’s-eye View of the Whole Bible

June 19, 2020

Walk through the geological origins of the #Bible with the best tour guide! Steve Ray's Virtual Pilgrimage only on #VMPRadio this Saturday, June 20th. Sign-up now: https://t.co/FknWUgEXX7 pic.twitter.com/DsZqDD5T3s — Virgin Most Powerful Radio (@VMPRadio) June 18, 2020

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