Monday, February 17, 2020

Well we’re off to a good start here in Jerusalem. We’re staying at the Notre Dame hotel and this morning we takeoff for Bethlehem in the south. We started at the shop so people can buy some authentic Christian olivewood and religious items. Then we had Mass at the Milk Grotto where the Holy Family lived after they moved out of the cave stable in Bethlehem (homily here).

Then the drive deep into the Palestinian West Bank to visit Hebron and the Machpelah where Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are buried with their wives. Always a bit tense but always exciting. We are stepping back into 4,000 thousand years of history here.

We visited the Jewish synagogue and the Muslim mosque and saw all of the cenotaph tombs of the patriarchs and matriarchs and pointed out the hole down under the structure where the actual bones are contained.

Then we drove back north to the Herodion which was a fortress of King Herod and the place where he was buried. We had dinner in Bethlehem with wonderful lamb dinners and the Christian dancers.




download (4) This is a common fallacy among Protestants. Now that Jesus has become our high priests, priests are no longer needed; in fact, they detract from the priesthood of Christ. We don’t need priests now because Jesus has become our one and only High Priest.

We believers are all priests in the New Covenant. We are the “priesthood of all believers” and there is no need or biblical suggestion that there should be priests in the Church.

download (2)This is a typical reaction to the priesthood in the Catholic Church. Is it valid? Did the Catholic Church create a man-made institution to supplant the work of Christ. The answer, of course, is a resounding NO. The priesthood was intended for the Church from the beginning, practiced by the very first Christians and is easily and readily defended from the Bible and the very earliest traditions.

Jimmy Akin has an excellent article that lays it all out in a simple and understandable way. You can read the whole thing here. See his debate on the priesthood here.

download (3)But here is a simple chart to help visualize the correspondence between the Old and the New Covenants remembering that the Church is the New Israel and would be assumed to have a similar structure of priesthood, authority and structure.

OLD TESTAMENT  =  Aaron the High Priest + Levitical Ministerial Priesthood + Priesthood of all the Israelites

NEW TESTAMENT  = Jesus the High Priest + Ordained Ministerial Priesthood + Priesthood of all believers.

The parallels are always remarkable because, well, that is the way God intended it to be. Welcome to the fullness of the faith and Scripture in the Catholic Church!