Thursday 13th May 2021

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

Catholic Replies

January 8, 2021 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

Q. In your Christmas Quiz, the answer to question 26 said that the Magi visited Jesus, Mary, and Joseph “in a house.” But don’t we always see the three kings in the stable at Bethlehem? — T.W., via e-mail.
A. Yes, we usually do see the Magi in the stable, but the Gospel of Matthew says that after their audience with King Herod, “the star that they had seen in its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was. They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary His mother. They prostrated themselves and did Him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way” (Matt. 2:9-12).
So why should we accept the traditional scenario with the Wise Men in the stable? Well, for one thing, Matthew and the other three Evangelists were not as concerned about precise historical chronology as modern-day historians are. They were more concerned with reporting the events in the life of Jesus than in giving us the exact order in which they occurred. For another thing, it makes sense to capture the whole infancy story in one tableau that includes shepherds and the three kings.
But in reality, the chronology surrounding the birth of Jesus might have gone like this: Jesus was born in a cave in Bethlehem and was circumcised eight days later. The crowded conditions in Bethlehem apparently had lessened so that the Holy Family was able to move from the stable to a house. While the Magi are traditionally placed in the cave, it may actually have been some weeks after the birth of Jesus when they brought their gifts to Him. We know that Jesus was presented in the Temple 40 days after His birth, and it’s unlikely that Mary and Joseph would have felt safe traveling to Jerusalem if they knew King Herod was trying to kill Jesus.
Once Herod realized that the Magi were not going to report back to him on the whereabouts of the Child, he ordered his soldiers to kill every boy in Bethlehem two years of age and younger. That’s when the angel warned Joseph to flee to Egypt. We don’t know how long the Holy Family was in Egypt — it may have been only a few months, but once they got word that Herod had died, they returned to the land of Israel, not to Bethlehem of Judea, where Herod’s more evil son Archaelus was ruling, but rather to Nazareth in Galilee, where Herod’s less evil son Antipas was in charge. Jesus would run afoul of him 33 years later.

Q. (1) I have had a non-Catholic ask me if the Holy Mass is a meal. How should I answer him? (2) Mary says that “all generations will call me blessed.” How did she know this? Do you think she knew all that would happen according to the lyrics of the song, “Mary, Did You Know?” — E.N., California.
A. (1) Holy Mass is both a sacrifice and a banquet (not a meal). In the words of the Second Vatican Council: “At the Last Supper, on the night when He was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic Sacrifice of His Body and Blood. He did this in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the Cross throughout the centuries until He should come again, and so to entrust to His beloved spouse, the Church, a memorial of His death and Resurrection, a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a paschal banquet in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us” (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, n. 47).
(2) Mary may have been a teenager when the angel appeared to her, but she understood that something unique was going to happen to her. Not only would she bear a son without disturbing her virginity, but that Child would be called “Son of the Most High” and “Son of God,” and His kingdom would have no end.
As a faithful Jew, she would have been familiar with the Old Testament heroine Hannah, who offered her son Samuel to God and sang a song of praise that began, “My heart exults in the Lord, /my horn is exalted in my God. /I have swallowed up my enemies; /I rejoice in my victory ” (1 Samuel 2:1). And with Judith, who also sang a canticle of praise to the Lord after cutting the head off the enemy General Holofernes (cf. Judith 16:1-17). When she returned to her people, they sang, “You are the glory of Jerusalem, /the surpassing joy of Israel; /You are the splendid boast of our people” (Judith 15:9).
Another link between Judith and the Virgin Mary occurred when the elder Huzziah hailed Judith for her bravery, saying: “Blessed are you, daughter, by the Most High God, above all the women on earth; and blessed be the Lord God, the creator of Heaven and earth, who guided your blow at the head of the chief of our enemies. Your deed of hope will never be forgotten by those who tell of the might of God” (Judith 13:18-19). The inspiration of the Holy Spirit was also surely involved in Mary’s Magnificat. In his encyclical Mother of the Redeemer, Pope St. John Paul II said: “These words used by Mary on the threshold of Elizabeth’s house are an inspired profession of her faith in which her response to the revealed word is expressed with the religious and political exultation of her whole being towards God. In these sublime words, which are simultaneously very simple and wholly inspired by the sacred texts of the people of Israel, Mary’s personal experience, the ecstasy of her heart, shines forth. In them shines a ray of the mystery of God, the glory of His ineffable holiness, the eternal love which, as an irrevocable gift, enters into human history” (n. 36).
In his Life of Christ , Giuseppe Ricciotti said that one could not imagine a “more unlikely prophecy,” namely, that a “little girl no more than fifteen years old, without any fortune or social standing whatever, unknown to her fellow countrymen and living in a tiny village equally unknown, was confidently proclaiming that all generations would call her blessed.” He said that “twenty centuries have passed since then and we may compare the prophecy with reality. History now has had all the time it needs to discover whether or not Mary’s prediction was correct and whether humanity today really does exalt her above Herod the Great, the arbiter of Palestine, and above Caius Julius Caesar Octavian Augustus, then master of the world” (p. 232).

Q. Due to COVID regulations in our diocese, if you wish to receive Communion on the tongue, you must be at the end of the line and then the priest must use hand sanitizer between each communicant. Our experience is that the Eucharist has the strong taste of the sanitizer. These sanitizers are labeled with “external use only” warnings. It appears that COVID paranoia trumps peoples’ safety. More importantly, it seems extremely sacrilegious. What is your opinion? — M.M., Iowa.
A. First of all, you are in one of the few dioceses that permit Communion on the tongue at all. So that’s a plus. Second, we have noticed the taste and odor of sanitizer after receiving in the hand and placing the Host in our mouth. This is because the priest sanitizes his hands before he gives out Communion to the faithful. We don’t consider this to be any kind of a health threat, anymore than we believe that the virus itself could be spread through the sacred Body and Blood of the Lord.
Third, the situation you describe is not sacrilegious. Sacrilege involves the deliberate desecration of persons, places, or objects set aside for the worship of God. This includes grave irreverence to the Eucharist, such as receiving Communion while in a state of mortal sin, throwing the Host on the floor, or using the Host in some obscene or diabolical ritual. None of these examples even remotely resembles the situation you have described, so we don’t think that any sacrilege is involved.

Share Button

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

VICTORY!

23rd Texas City Bans Abortions, Becomes “Sanctuary for the Unborn” https://t.co/v9JKt68xhF

The goal of much of the modern American left is to celebrate public sin and to disparage traditional values as bigotry.

Abortion on demand, open borders, four dollars a gallon gasoline, churches and schools closed - what's not to love?

Chris Manion . . . Introducing A New “Reality” By Legislative Fiat - https://t.co/fUiS6S0oft

Load More...

Vatican observes ‘Earth Hour’

On Saturday, along with the Vatican, symbolic monuments of cities all across the globe turn off their lights, to demonstrate the serious global climate crisis. By Vatican News staff writer Vatican City State took part in the traditional international initiative Earth…Continue Reading

House passes bill setting up path to citizenship for millions of Dreamers

Lawmakers in the House of Representatives on Thursday passed an immigration bill that would create a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country as children.

The Misleading AP Attack on the Catholic Church for Accepting COVID Relief

In early 2020, a pandemic came to America. We started staying home, then we were ordered to stay home. The market tanked. The economy tanked. Unemployment soared. You remember all this, because you lived it. We all did. Congress created a…Continue Reading

Catholic bishop released five days after kidnapping in Nigeria

CNA Staff, Jan 1, 2021 / 10:42 pm MT (CNA).- A Catholic bishop in Nigeria, who was kidnapped on Sunday, has been released unharmed, according to the Archdiocese of Owerri. The diocese, which is in southeastern Nigeria, announced in a social…Continue Reading

More GOP senators vow to challenge Biden’s win

WASHINGTON – A last-ditch effort by President Donald Trump and his allies to overturn the election thrust Washington into chaos Saturday as a growing coalition of Republican senators announced plans to rebel against Senate leaders by seeking to block formal…Continue Reading

Underground Catholic bishop dies in China

CNA Staff, Dec 31, 2020 / 03:25 pm MT (CNA).- According to the Catholic outlet AsiaNews, headquartered in Rome, Bishop Andrea Han Jingtao, 99, a leader in the underground Catholic Church in China, died Dec. 30. Han Jingtao was the…Continue Reading

‘All-star,’ ‘brilliant jurist’: Pro-life leaders thrilled Trump nominated Barrett to Supreme Court

September 26, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett is “an absolute all-star” and “a judicial role model for the next generation,” pro-life leaders said today.  If confirmed, Barrett will replace pro-abortion Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died just…Continue Reading

Farewell, Uncle Di: Father Paul Mankowski, RIP

My editorial career has brought me into close contact with quite a few impressive thinkers. I have worked with famous authors, with noted theologians and philosophers, with canny political strategists, with at least a half-dozen Nobel Prize winners. Among them…Continue Reading

VIDEO: BLM mob threatens, chases Rand Paul down streets of DC

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 28, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky found himself the target of left-wing violence yet again Thursday night as protesters swarmed him as he was leaving the White House, chasing him and his wife…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood acknowledges Margaret Sanger’s ‘racist legacy’, continues abortions

CNA Staff, Jul 21, 2020 / 11:05 am MT (CNA).- The New York affiliate of the nation’s largest abortion provider said Tuesday it will remove the name of its founder, Margaret Sanger, from its Manhattan building because of her support…Continue Reading

Statue of Virgin Mary beheaded at Tennessee parish

CNA Staff, Jul 15, 2020 / 10:40 am MT (CNA).- A statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary was attacked this weekend at a parish in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the third reported incident against a statue of Mary occuring in the same…Continue Reading

21 doctors tell bishops Communion on tongue ‘safer’ than in hand

June 26, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Twenty-one Austrian doctors have authored a letter appealing their country’s Bishops’ Conference to lift the de facto ban on receiving Holy Communion on the tongue, which has been enforced since Communion in the hand was…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Catechism

Today . . .

USCCB has ‘nothing in the works’ on Biden and Communion (See Story Below)

Recent reports that the US Conference of Catholic Bishops may at their spring general assembly press pro-abortion Catholic politicians not to receive Communion are unfounded, and at best ignorant of ecclesial structure, a source close to the conference has told CNA. A source close to the USCCB told CNA April 29 that they believe such reports from the AP and the Washington Post are either “just totally ignorant of the Church’s structure,” or meant “to…Continue Reading

Catholic Bishops to debate calling on Biden to stop taking communion

Catholic bishops are debating calling on President Biden to stop taking communion due to his stance on abortion. The Committee on Doctrine for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is working on a document that would say politicians who are pro-abortion rights or publicly advocate for abortion rights should not take communion, The Associated Press reported. The national meeting will be held in June and will be the first meeting since Biden, the second…Continue Reading

Oklahoma governor signs laws to ban virtually all abortions

OKLAHOMA CITY, April 26, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Oklahoma’s Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt signed into law Monday three new measures “protecting the lives of the unborn” from effectively all abortions, though at least two of the laws are likely to be put on hold by the courts before taking effect. KOKH reports that the first law makes it a homicide to abort any baby with a detectable heartbeat. The second la

Cardinal Cupich asked Archbishop Aquila for ‘public clarification’ over Eucharistic doctrine

Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago wrote to Denver Archbishop Samuel Aquila last week to express “a number of concerns,” after Aquila published an essay on theological and pastoral issues concerning the reception of Holy Communion. Cardinal Cupich urged the archbishop to offer a “public clarification” of his arguments.

‘Cleanse our land’: U.S. bishops call for prayer, action to end racism after Chauvin verdict

Bishops across the United States on Tuesday and Wednesday responded to the guilty verdict for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, in the trial for the murder of George Floyd. Two chairs of committees at the U.S. bishops’ conference (USCCB) issued a joint statement on Tuesday evening, after a jury found Chauvin guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. “The death of George Floyd highlighted 

After Vatican Says No To Same-Sex Blessings . . . Cardinal Ruini Sees “Risk Of Schism” In Germany

By HANNAH BROCKHAUS ROME (CNA) — Italian Cardinal Camillo Ruini has said that he is praying there will be no schism in Germany, as priests and bishops in the country announce their disagreement with a document from the Vatican saying the Church cannot bless same-sex unions.In a May 4 interview with the newspaper Il Foglio,…Continue Reading

Catholic Schools . . . Beat Public Schools In Reading And Math Scores

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY Here is one demonstrable fact about the difference between Catholic and public schools: Students who study at Catholic schools do better in reading and math.We know this because students who attended Catholic elementary schools in 2019 tested better in mathematics and reading than students who attended public schools.The latest issue of…Continue Reading

Archbishop Cordileone’s Letter On Abortion… Is This Nancy Pelosi’s Last Warning?

By PHIL LAWLER (CatholicCulture.org) — With his pastoral letter powerfully reaffirming the importance of the Church’s teaching on the dignity of human life, San Francisco’s Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone has issued a serious challenge: to all Catholics, certainly, but to his brother bishops in particular, and especially to the prominent Catholic politicians who support legal abortion…Continue Reading

The Problem With Love

By DONALD DeMARCO Love is the will to promote the good in another. Because love operates on the plane of reality, it needs the truth of the other in order to do its work effectively. Love is not blind; its guiding light is the truth about the one who is loved. “Love is not blind,”…Continue Reading

Biden Vs. Biden On “Is America A Racist Country?”

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN “Hear me clearly: America is not a racist country.”So declared Sen. Tim Scott, a Black Republican, in his televised rebuttal to Joe Biden’s address to Congress.Asked the next day what he thought of Scott’s statement, Biden said he agrees. “No, I don’t think the American people are racist.”Vice President Kamala Harris…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

The Peace Not Of This World

By Fr. JAMES ALTMAN Dear family, when you depart from every Holy Sacrifice of the Mass you should have within you Peace.Not as the world gives peace, but as Jesus gives peace. When the storms of the world threaten to sink your boat, when you try to step out of it in faith and start to sink, when it looks…Continue Reading

Live According To The Lord’s Words

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Seventh Sunday Of Easter (YR B) Readings:Acts 1:15-17, 20a, 20c-261 John 4:11-16John 17:11b-19 In the first reading today, St. Peter speaks of two necessities regarding Judas. The first, he says, the Scripture had to be fulfilled when David spoke concerning the one who would hand over the Messiah. Second, St. Peter says it is necessary, based…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: Due to the pandemic, we were unable to hold weekly classes for 22 tenth-grade Confirmation students. So instead of using our regular text, Catholicism & Life, which covers the Commandments and Sacraments, we prepared a series of 14 lessons on the material, with a summary of each commandment and sacrament along with some questions to answer, and sent…Continue Reading

Church Corruption Rooted In Crisis Of Authority

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK “But Jesus called them to him and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them’” (Matt. 20:25).The year of St. Joseph gives an opportunity for contemplating the proper role and nature of authority in the Church at a time when it is…Continue Reading

The Good Shepherd, Judas, And Non Timebo Mala

By FR. JAMES ALTMAN Dear family, in the Novus Ordo, this past Sunday was Good Shepherd Sunday. We heard how Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” Jesus then described what it meant to be a bad shepherd. “A hired man, who is not a shepherd and whose sheep are…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . Righteous Anger Against Injustice

By DEB PIROCH Anger in itself is not a sin. It is how we as humans implement that anger that can lead to sin. If anger itself is rooted in love, it may be used to correct evil. Witness the excerpt from the Gospel of Matthew, when Christ was angered by the misuse of His house:“Jesus went into the temple…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Fidelis Of Sigmaringen

By DEB PIROCH There aren’t too many saints that started off in life as lawyers, and ended up as martyrs. St. Thomas More comes to mind. But the saint today, St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen, Germany (1577-1622)? After getting his doctorate in law at Freiburg, he found he was seeking to help the poorest clients, refused to detract from the characters…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)