October 21
vol 13, no. 120

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"To God the things that are God's"

Just as they tried to ensnare Jesus, they will try to ensnare you to deny your Faith and, thus, to deny Christ.

    Editor's Note: Today we are bringing you Father's sermon he delivered yesterday for the 22nd Sunday After Pentecost. In it Father points out that many have misinterpreted the Scriptures because they did not trust in the infallible discernment of the Church. He particularly points to the total misunderstanding about the "abomination of desolation." For those who are not rooted in Catholic truth, they will think it means the Jews must rebuild the temple. Nothing could be further from the truth for Christ, through the confection of bread and wine at the Consecration in the Canon of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, becomes present Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Transubstantiation in the Temple, offered up on the altar to the Father by the high priest for us as the perfect sacrificial victim. It is the deconstruction of this holy sacrifice, the eternal sacrifice which is truly the "abomination of desolation" because man did not render to God what is due Him.

   The Lord wishes us to render unto God the things that are God's. But if God is infinitely perfect, what can we give to God that He does not already have? Yet there are things God does not have, even though He is not less perfect for the lack of them. God does not always have the love of His creatures, although this is what they owe to God, their Creator, in strict justice. Quoting the Book of Deuteronomy, Jesus reminded His hearers of the great commandment, "Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength" (Mk.12:29,30).

   Those who love God worship Him in spirit and in truth, and are united with Him by the bonds of true Religion. True Religion is that which has been revealed to us by the Son of God, Jesus Christ. St. Paul says, "God, Who … spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets, last of all in these days has spoken to us by His Son, Whom He appointed heir of all things" (Heb.1:1,2). Because we are mere creatures, and God is our Creator, we are bound to worship Him in the true Religion that He Himself has revealed to us. Other 'religions' can only be false religions, since their source is not divine revelation, and they do not acknowledge the divinity and the supreme authority of Jesus Christ.

   From the beginning, true worship expressed itself in sacrifice. One gave the best one had to offer - the first - fruits of the land, an unblemished lamb from the flock. God accepted some sacrifices and rejected others. He accepted the sacrifice of the just Abel, the firstlings of his flock, but rejected Cain's offering of the fruits of the earth because it was not offered with a perfect heart (Gn.4:1-5).

   We now give God the best we have to offer - the first-born Son of our humanity, the sinless Lamb of God, Whom we offer daily on our altars in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. It is not enough now to offer the fruits of the field or lambs of the flock, or bulls or red heifers, as they were once offered in the Temple in Jerusalem.

   Yet millions of Christians are being misled by evangelical preachers like Hal Lindsey, into supporting the cause of the Israelis, whom they believe are destined to rebuild the Jerusalem Temple. Focusing on the Temple Mount, Lindsey sees an explosive situation developing, because it was recently stated by the Jerusalem Mufti, Sheikh Ikrema Sabri, that the Temple Mount belongs only to the Muslims, who will not allow anyone to interfere in their internal affairs, including the Israeli authorities. His words, says Lindsey, could actually set the stage for Armageddon. As Lindsey sees it, it is the will of God that the Jerusalem Temple be restored on its original location, the Temple Mount, now controlled by the Muslims, and one of their holiest shrines, the Dome of the Rock. Lindsey states:

    "God predicted through Moses that Israel would be destroyed and dispersed twice in its history (Deuteronomy 28). But Moses and other prophets predicted that they would be twice restored. After the second restoration, Israel will build the Third Temple just before the Messiah, Jesus, comes to set up God's kingdom on earth. Jesus himself predicted the event that will touch off the final war. It will be the placing of an ultimate sacrilege in the holiest place of the Temple. This is technically called in prophecy the 'abomination of desolation' (Mt.24:15&21-22)" (H. Lindsey, Jerusalem Mufti incites Armageddon,, October 16, 2002).

   The Israelis may indeed attempt to take control of the Temple Mount with the intention of rebuilding the Temple, thereby setting off the battle of Armageddon, but the true Temple has already been restored. In His Sacred Humanity, the true Temple, Jesus offered true and acceptable worship to the Father, especially in His death on the Cross. "Destroy this temple," Jesus had told the Pharisees, "and in three days I will raise it up" (Jn.2:19). The Temple of His Body is now glorified and ascended to the Father. But in the Church, His Mystical Body, and the true Israel, He still offers true worship to the Father in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, at the hands of the priest. Without Jesus Christ our worship would not reach Heaven. It would be like the sacrifice of Cain, the smoke of which fell back to the earth, whereas the worship of the just Abel, a figure of Christ, ascended to Heaven. Worship without Christ always falls back to earth.

   Lindsey refers to an ultimate sacrilege called the 'abomination of desolation' to take place in "the holiest place of the Temple." This will happen, they believe, when the Antichrist will have his own image set up in the holy place. But after Jesus returns and defeats the Antichrist at the battle of Armageddon, the Temple will be for Jesus, Who will reign from Jerusalem for a thousand years. This is why evangelical Christians, spurred on by latter-day 'prophets' like Hal Lindsey, think they must support the Israelis in what they consider a holy cause - the rebuilding of the Temple.

   The true 'holy place,' the place where God dwells among His people, is now to be found in the tabernacles on our altars, upon which the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is offered. The Douay-Rheims Bible says of the 'abomination of desolation,': "…specifically it shall be fulfilled by Antichrist and his precursors, when they shall abolish the holy Mass, which is the sacrifice of Christ's body and blood, and the only sovereign worship due to God in His Church."

   According to the prophet Daniel: "The victim and the sacrifice shall fail, and there shall be in the Temple the abomination unto desolation" (Dan.9:27).

   "The devil has always managed to get rid of the Mass," says St. Alphonsus Liguori, "by means of the heretics, making them the precursors of the Antichrist who, above all else, will manage to abolish, and in fact will succeed in abolishing as a punishment for the sins of men, the Holy Sacrifice of the Altar, precisely as Daniel predicted."

   Is it any wonder that we should be suspicious of 'vernacular liturgies,' altered consecrations, displaced tabernacles, altars facing the people, Communion in the hand, this…and much, much more? They have taken away the Holy Sacrifice! And Oh, the desolation! But while, by the grace of God, we are still able to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in its unaltered form, let us be filled with gratitude as we go unto the Altar of God.

Father Louis J. Campbell

October 21, 2002
vol 13, no. 120
"Qui legit, intelligat" Father Louis Campbell's Sunday Sermons