The One Who is to Come
As Christmas grows closer we are bombarded with images of the season but more and more the reason for the season is denied because Christmas has become a secular, greedy time where so many have forgotten the sole reason for the season: the birth of the God-Man Who is the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity and Who died for us that we might have eternal life. There are no other gods. Only the One Triune Divinity. If you do not believe that you are doomed.
"Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is the Antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. No one who disowns the Son has the Father. He who confesses the Son has the Father also… Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone forth into the world. By this is the spirit of God known: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh, is of God. And every spirit that severs Jesus, is not of God, but is of Antichrist…" (1 Jn.2:22,23;4:1-3)
Editor's Note: In Father Louis Campbell's sermon for the Second Sunday of Advent, he makes it very clear that only in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church is salvation possible by citing Sacred Scripture and the Athanasian Creed. Yet what we hear from the Newchurch of Vatican II sounds nothing like the dogma Extra Ecclesiam nullam salus for we are told by the ecumaniacal Vaticanistas that Christians, Jews and Muslims worship the same God. No we don't and Father documents this quite well. Anyone who subscribes to universalism and indifferentism sins gravely against the Faith and that goes from John Paul II on down. How dare the Modernist church undermine Catholic doctrine. We must pray for these apostates and pray that God will increase and strengthen our beliefs, our Faith. [bold and italics below are editor's emphasis.]
"Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?" (St. Matthew 11:3). One could hardly blame St. John the Baptist for his state of uncertainty about Jesus. Was Jesus really the Messiah of Whom the prophets spoke, the "long desired of all the nations"? Languishing in Herod's dungeon while awaiting his uncertain end, John was probably assailed by many doubts and questions, as all the saints are in the dark nights through which they must pass in their spiritual journey. But Jesus reassures His cousin: "Go and report to John what you have heard and seen" (St. Matthew 11:4). It was enough for John.
Is it enough for us? St. Hildegarde, as we noted last week, said that in the last times "there shall be so much doubt and incertitude in the Catholic faith of Christians that men shall be in doubt of what God they invoke." Her words, unfortunately, have been fulfilled, for many are in a state of doubt about God and Jesus Christ. Is it necessary for us to worship the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 15:6), or can follow the ecumaniacs and shop around?
Ecumania, a kind of creeping Universalism, has infected the Catholic Church like a plague since Vatican II. It is now commonly taught that salvation is for all without the necessity of belief in Jesus Christ or of being baptized. We are all on our way along different paths leading to our "common Homeland." The adherents of all religions are now "believers," and Jews, Muslims and Christians worship the same God, since all three look to Abraham as their father. Yet the Jews and the Muslims would vehemently deny that they worship Jesus Christ as God. In fact, the Jews consider Him an apostate from the true religion, and to the Muslims He is a lesser prophet than Mohammed.
It is true that the descendants of Abraham worshipped the true God as long as they had the same faith as Abraham. But that faith was forsaken by the Jews when they refused to accept Jesus as the Messiah. And the new religion founded by Mohammed was not based on the true religion revealed by God through Abraham, Moses, and Jesus Christ. In any case, most of those whom we call Jews today are not blood descendants of Abraham.
Arabs are blood descendants of Abraham through his son Ishmael, but it is not correct to equate Arab with Muslim. A Washington Times article commenting on various sources including a federal brief released last Wednesday entitled "The Arab Population in 2000," reports that 42 percent of Arab-Americans are Catholic, 23 percent Orthodox Christian, 12 percent Protestant, and only 23 percent Muslim. And according to one estimate, only 20 percent of Muslims in this country are Arabs, 40 percent are American blacks, and another 30 percent come from countries in South Asia. (Joyce Howard Price, The Washington Times, Dec. 4, 2003).
The word "Messiah" or "Messias" comes from the Hebrew, meaning the "anointed one." The word "Christ" comes from the Greek equivalent. When God permitted the Hebrews to have kings they were anointed with oil by one of the prophets, as in the case of Saul, David and Solomon. Scripture says of King David: "Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren. And the spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward" (1 Kings:16:13).
The anointing of the kings prefigured the baptism of Jesus, during which He was anointed with the Holy Ghost:
"And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And immediately on coming up from the water he saw the heavens opened and the Spirit, as a dove, descending and remaining upon Him. And there came a voice from the heavens, 'Thou are My beloved Son, in Thee I am well pleased'" (St. Mark 1:9-11). Jesus is thus the Christ. We need not look for another.
But are we not all sons and daughters of God? Because He is the Divine Son of God, Jesus, the Anointed One, has a unique relationship to God the Father - that of only-begotten Son. As St. John says in the prologue of his Gospel: "No one has at any time seen God. The only-begotten Son, Who is in the bosom of the Father, He has revealed Him" (St. John 1:18), and again, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that those who believe in Him may not perish, but may have life everlasting" (St. John 3:16). Because God is our Father by adoption, through grace, we have a relationship with Him which differs from that of Jesus, which is why Jesus would say: "I ascend to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God" (St. John 20:17). Jesus Christ is the unique and only-begotten Son of the Father.
St. John in his first Epistle leaves no room for doubt as to the Divine Sonship of Jesus. Those who deny it, he says, are liars:
"Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is the Antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. No one who disowns the Son has the Father. He who confesses the Son has the Father also… Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone forth into the world. By this is the spirit of God known: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh, is of God. And every spirit that severs Jesus, is not of God, but is of Antichrist…" (1 St. John 2:22,23;4:1-3).
The Athanasian Creed, attributed to St. Athanasius, is an expression of the ancient faith handed down to us from the Apostles, without which we perish. It reads in part:
"Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic Faith. Which Faith except everyone do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. And the Catholic Faith is this, that we worship one God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity. Neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Substance. For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost… Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting Salvation, that he also believe rightly the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the right Faith is, that we believe and confess, that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man. God, of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and Man, of the substance of His mother, born into the world. Perfect God and Perfect Man… This is the Catholic Faith, which except a man believe faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved."
"I do believe, Lord. Help my unbelief" (St. Mark 9:23).
Father Louis J. Campbell
vol 14, no. 40
"Qui legit, intelligat"
Father Louis Campbell's Sunday Sermons