Day 11: Sources of Divine Revelation (80-87)
Fr. Mike is SO EXCITED!!
Yesterday was pretty awesome when we talked about Apostolic Tradition which handed down ORALLY and IN WRITING to give us DIVINE REVELATION
Today we are going to learn EVEN MORE about the relationship between SACRED TRADITION and SACRED SCRIPTURE
One of the things that people will often be mistaken about is THE BIBLE
The Bible is DIVINE REVELATION
It is NOT the ONLY Divine Revelation
The Apostles or the people connected with them WROTE THINGS DOWN
Divine Revelation involves SACRED TRADITION AS WELL!!
Because there was an ORAL TRADITION
This was also A DEPOSIT OF THE FAITH!!
The Gospel of John 21:25 says, “But there are also many other things which Jesus did; were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.” 🤯🤯🤯
So we have SACRED TRADITION and we have SACRED SCRIPTURE
The ONLY REASON we have Sacred Scripture is because of SACRED TRADITION!!
Let’s look at this reality that there is ONE COMMON SOURCE
Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture FLOW from the ONE SOURCE who is our LORD GOD
We receive that gift of Divine Revelation
This may be challenging to some of us
Divine Revelation = Sacred Scripture + Sacred Tradition + The Magisterium aka the Teaching Office of The Church
Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven, we give you praise and glory. Thank you so much. Thank you for revealing yourself fully in your Son. Thank you for revealing yourself slowly over the course of time through the Patriarchs and through the Prophets and through your Kingdom, the people of Israel. We thank you for in the fullness of time revealing yourself to us in your Son Jesus Christ, the Word made Flesh who dwelt among us who then sent the Holy Spirit to guide your Church into all truth. We know, Lord God, that when we hear the Apostles and their successors speak, we are hearing Christ. Lord God, please help us to hear Christ today. Help us to hear the voice of The Word Himself today. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen”
Dei Verbum is pretty much the document that this section of Divine Revelation encounters and encapsulates
Remember it is The Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation aka Dei Verbum (NOT Dave Airbaum!!!! 🤣🤣🤣)
It feels like we’re cooking with gasoline right now because it is just PHENOMENAL!!
ONE COMMON SOURCE
Paragraph 80 states VERY CLEARLY, “Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture…” (And there goes Fr. Mike squirreling 🤣🤣🤣)
Remember, we talked yesterday about Divine Revelation, the FULLNESS OF REVELATION came to us ORALLY in SACRED TRADITION and IN WRITTEN FORM which is SACRED SCRIPTURE
“Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture, then, are bound closely together and communicate one with the other. For both of them, flowing out from the same divine well-spring, come together in some fashion to form one thing and move towards the same goal.”
THAT IS REMARKABLE!!
What we have in The Catholic Church is SACRED TRADITION
It is like a THREE-LEGGED STOOL so if you take away ONE LEG, you are going to FALL OVER
If you only have ONE LEG, try sitting on that!!
ALL THREE OF THEM WORK TOGETHER!!
Paragraph 81 says, “Sacred Scripture is the speech of God as it is put down in writing under the breath of the Holy Spirit. And Holy Tradition transmits in its entirety the Word of God which has been entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit. It transmits it to the successors of the apostles…”
Paragraph 82 says, “As a result the Church, to whom the transmission and interpretation of Revelation is entrusted, ‘does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence.’”
This has been accepted from THE VERY VERY BEGINNING!!
How do we know this?
Think about this…
St. Paul’s writings are considered the EARLIEST NEW TESTAMENT DOCUMENTS WE HAVE
The exact dates are disputed among scholars
It is believed that 1 and 2 Thessalonians are the EARLIEST WRITINGS WE HAVE and were written around 49 AD
The ENTIRE NEW TESTAMENT wasn’t even codified until MUCH MUCH LATER
We know that Sacred Tradition PRECEDES Sacred Scripture in the New Covenant
ISN’T THAT INCREDIBLE??
HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT ABOUT THIS??
THE LIVING ORAL TEACHING AND PREACHING OF THE APOSTLES
THE DEPOSIT OF FAITH
THE FULLNESS OF DIVINE REVELATION GIVEN TO US THROUGH JESUS CHRIST
THAT is the well-spring from which came SACRED SCRIPTURE
So we KNOW that Sacred Tradition not only PRECEDES Sacred Scripture in many ways
The Church came BEFORE the Bible!!! 🤯🤯🤯
The Christian Church came BEFORE the Christian Scriptures!! 🤯🤯🤯
That is a CHRONOLOGICAL FACT
That is a HISTORICAL FACT
That is a THEOLOGICAL FACT
Because of that, we know just because people didn’t have The New Testament yet, it DID NOT MEAN THEY WEREN’T CHRISTIANS!!!
It did not mean they WEREN’T MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH!!
It meant that they had ANOTHER SOURCE OF DIVINE REVELATION!!
Sometimes that source WAS the Sacred Scriptures
BUT IT WAS ALSO DEFINITELY SACRED TRADITION OF THE CHURCH!!
The ONLY REASON that we know that the New Testament books are New Testament books is BECAUSE OF SACRED TRADITION!!
It wasn’t until Martin Luther, in the 1500s, said “Scripture alone”
Martin Luther said “Faith Alone” and “Scripture Alone”
If we look at “Faith Alone” for just one second, we recognize that two of the PILLARS of the Protestant Reformation were “Scripture Alone” and “Faith Alone”
According to the Protestant Reformation, ALL we need for Faith is SCRIPTURE
THAT WAS UNPRECEDENTED
THAT NEVER WAS THE CASE
Paragraph 82 says, “As a result the Church, to whom the transmission and interpretation of Revelation is entrusted, ‘does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone.”
Because WHERE did the Scriptures come from?
It came from TRADITION!!!
If someone were to try to argue for “Scripture Alone” you would say, “Ok great. Where is that doctrine, that dogma, that claim, FOUND IN SCRIPTURE?”
If Scripture is the SOLE RULE OF FAITH, then WHERE in Scripture does it teach “Scripture Alone”?
The ONLY place people may sometimes turn is 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
It DOES NOT SAY that Scripture is the SOLE RULE OF FAITH
THAT IS VERY VERY IMPORTANT!!
Hope it makes sense!!
Fr. Mike gets very excited about this
He does not mean to bash anyone from a different faith tradition
IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND!!
The difference between “T”-Tradition and “t”-tradition
Paragraph 83 says, “The Tradition here in question comes from the apostles and hands on what they received from Jesus’ teaching and example and what they learned from the Holy Spirit.”
It highlights the fact that the first generation of Christians DID NOT YET HAVE a written New Testament
And the New Testament itself demonstrates the process of LIVING TRADITION
“Tradition is to be distinguished from the various theological, disciplinary, liturgical, or devotional traditions…”
We might call them “T”-Traditions or “t”-traditions
“T”-Traditions will NEVER CHANGE
They are ESTABLISHED
They are part of DOGMA
They are UNCHANGING
We might understand them in a deeper way AS TIME GOES ON
THEY DO NOT CHANGE
“t”-traditions CAN CHANGE
So what’s a “t”-tradition that has changed?
For centuries, THE ROSARY had 15 mysteries
Three sets of five
Five Joyful Mysteries
Five Sorrowful Mysteries
Five Glorious Mysteries
It totals 150 Hail Marys which actually corresponds to the Book of Psalms since there are 150 Psalms!!! 🤯🤯🤯
The Rosary was called “The Poor Man’s Psalter” since not everyone had a Bible or had access to The Psalms
So pray 150 Hail Marys in The Rosary
So this “t”-tradition goes way way back
St. John Paul II LOVED The Rosary and was DEVOTED to Our Lady
His motto was “Totus Tuus” which means “totally yours” which is a reference TO JESUS THROUGH MARY
St. John Paul II LOVED The Rosary
St. John Paul II KNEW THE HISTORY of The Rosary
St. John Paul II knew the “t”-tradition of The Rosary
St. John Paul II said, “You know what? That is great. We have 15 mysteries of Christ’s life which are REMARKABLE. As we pray each decade of The Rosary, we are reflecting on another portion of Christ’s life. AMAZING! Well, how about this? There is more in Jesus’ life we can reflect on too!”
So St. John Paul II added ANOTHER SET OF 5 MYSTERIES!!
THE LUMINOUS MYSTERIES!!
THE MYSTERIES OF LIGHT!!
IT IS REMARKABLE!!
Not only because we get FIVE MORE MYSTERIES
FIVE MORE ASPECTS OF JESUS’ LIFE WE CAN REFLECT ON
That is a “t”-tradition
150 Hail Marys in 15 Mysteries of the Rosary
Now we have 200 Hail Marys in 20 Mysteries of the Rosary
So there’s a pretty good example of a “t”-tradition that was changed
The Rosary is a devotional “t”-tradition
Now it has been TRANSFORMED and ADDED TO
It has been changed!!
It has been changed because it HELPS THE PEOPLE OF GOD!!
IT HELPS US PRAY MORE DEEPLY!!
So we have “T”-Tradition and “t”-tradition
Now the last thing here we have is THE MAGISTERIUM
Paragraphs 85-87 talk about The Magisterium of the Church
Paragraph 85 says, “‘The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living, teaching office of the Church alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ.’”
What does that mean?
“This means that the task of interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome.”
So The Magisterium is the bishops united with The Pope
The necessity of this is ABSOLUTELY PARAMOUNT
Because Sacred Scripture is WITHOUT ERROR
We will talk more about this in the coming days
The Bible is WITHOUT ERROR
Sacred Tradition is WITHOUT ERROR
How do we interpret this INERRANT WORD OF GOD?
How do we interpret SACRED TRADITION that comes to us in the Deposit of Faith?
If we have an INFALLIBLE BOOK
If we have INFALLIBLE SCRIPTURES
Then we need an INFALLIBLE INTERPRETER OF THE SCRIPTURES or else those Scriptures would be WORTHLESS!!
Because YOU can read it ONE WAY
I could read it THE OPPOSITE WAY
We could both make arguments
The question then is, “Well, who is right?”
If God has gone to ALL THIS TROUBLE to give us an INFALLIBLE WORD and an INFALLIBLE REVELATION, then He has also gone to a lot of trouble to give us an INFALLIBLE INTERPRETER of that Revelation
And that is THE BISHOPS UNITED WITH THE POPE!!!
Paragraph 86 says, “Yet this Magisterium is not superior to the Word of God, but is its servant. It teaches only what has been handed on to it.”
THIS IS SO SO IMPORTANT!!
The Magisterium simply SERVES the Deposit of Faith
It SERVES the Word of God
it is NOT THE MASTER of the Word of God
It is NOT SUPERIOR to the Word of God
IT IS ITS SERVANT!!!
“At the divine command and with the help of the Holy Spirit, it listens to this devotedly, guards it with dedication, and expounds it faithfully. All that it proposes for belief as being divinely revealed is drawn from this single deposit of faith.”
Paragraph 87 says, “Mindful of Christ’s words to his apostles: ‘He who hears you, hears me,’ the faithful receive with docility the teachings and directives that their pastor gives them in different forms.”
Our job is to RECEIVE WITH DOCILITY the teachings and directives that the Church’s pastors give in different forms
THAT IS THE CHALLENGE!!
It’s one thing to say, “Well the Bible says this and I can read it how I want and I can interpret it how I want.”
There is a LIVING TEACHER
The word “magisterium” comes from the Latin word “magistera” which means TEACHER
Having a LIVING TEACHER with the LIVING WORD OF GOD and with LIVING TRADITION means that it is NEVER A DEAD LETTER
IT IS NEVER OLD NEWS!!
IT IS ALWAYS NEW!!
The Church can continue to teach us even where we are TODAY
For some of us, that is REALLY EXCITING!!
And for others, it is REALLY INTIMIDATING!!
Because it is HARD to still be a student
It is HARD to be docile
It is HARD to be taught sometimes
That is where we’re at!!
As we are journeying through The Catechism in a Year, we are going to need A LOT OF HELP
We are getting close to the end of Week 2
STAY FAITHFUL TO THIS!!
The Lord still has MUCH MUCH MUCH MORE to teach us!!
Fr. Mike is praying for YOU!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike and for each other
I cannot WAIT to see you tomorrow!!
Scripture References & Reflections
- compiled by Andrew Adamany
Bible Translation - RSVCE
CCC 80 "Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture, then, are bound closely together, and communicate one with the other. For both of them, flowing out from the same divine well-spring, come together in some fashion to form one thing, and move towards the same goal."Each of them makes present and fruitful in the Church the mystery of Christ, who promised to remain with his own "always, to the close of the age"
"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”
CCC 81 "Sacred Scripture is the speech of God as it is put down in writing under the breath of the Holy Spirit…"
2 Timothy 3:16–17
"All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work."
"And [Holy] Tradition transmits in its entirety the Word of God which has been entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit. It transmits it to the successors of the apostles so that, enlightened by the Spirit of truth, they may faithfully preserve, expound and spread it abroad by their preaching."
1 Thessalonians 2:13
"And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers."
“I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come."
1 Timothy 3:15
"if I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth."
"Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me."
2 Timothy 2:1–2
"You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also."
CCC 82 "As a result the Church, to whom the transmission and interpretation of Revelation is entrusted, "does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence."
2 Thessalonians 2:15
"So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter."
CCC 83 "The Tradition here in question comes from the apostles and hands on what they received from Jesus' teaching and example and what they learned from the Holy Spirit. The first generation of Christians did not yet have a written New Testament, and the New Testament itself demonstrates the process of living Tradition."
1 Corinthians 11:2
"I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I have delivered them to you."
"Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men from among them and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They sent Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren, with the following letter: “The brethren, both the apostles and the elders, to the brethren who are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia, greeting. Since we have heard that some persons from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your minds, although we gave them no instructions, it has seemed good to us, having come to one accord, to choose men and send them to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, men who have risked their lives for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who themselves will tell you the same things by word of mouth. For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things."
CCC 84 "The apostles entrusted the "Sacred deposit" of the faith, 45 contained in Sacred Scripture and Tradition, to the whole of the Church…"
1 Timothy 6:20–21
"O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the godless chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge, for by professing it some have missed the mark as regards the faith.
2 Timothy 1:12–14
"But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am sure that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me. Follow the pattern of the sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus; guard the truth that has been entrusted to you by the Holy Spirit who dwells within us."
"By adhering to [this heritage] the entire holy people, united to its pastors, remains always faithful to the teaching of the apostles, to the brotherhood, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
"And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers."
So, in maintaining, practicing and professing the faith that has been handed on, there should be a remarkable harmony between the bishops and the faithful."
Ephesians 4:8, 11–13
“When he ascended on high he led a host of captives,
and he gave gifts to men.”...
And his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ"
CCC 85 "The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ."This means that the task of interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome."
"And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go up and join this chariot.” So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “How can I, unless some one guides me?”
2 Peter 1:20–2:21
"First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by the impulse of man, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God."
2 Peter 3:16–17
"So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, beware lest you be carried away with the error of lawless men and lose your own stability."
“When he ascended on high he led a host of captives,
and he gave gifts to men.”...
And his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God…
so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the cunning of men, by their craftiness in deceitful wiles."
CCC 86 "Yet this Magisterium is not superior to the Word of God, but is its servant. It teaches only what has been handed on to it. At the divine command and with the help of the Holy Spirit, it listens to this devotedly, guards it with dedication and expounds it faithfully. All that it proposes for belief as being divinely revealed is drawn from this single deposit of faith."
"For a bishop, as God’s steward, must be blameless"
"And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and wise steward, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master when he comes will find so doing. Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions."
"A dispute also arose among them, which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. And he said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you; rather let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. For which is the greater, one who sits at table, or one who serves? Is it not the one who sits at table? But I am among you as one who serves."
CCC 87 "Mindful of Christ's words to his apostles: "He who hears you, hears me" the faithful receive with docility the teachings and directives that their pastors give them in different forms."
“He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”