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Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Reflection 2020-10-07 Wednesday 27th Week in Ordinary Time – Our Lady of the Rosary

Galatians 2:1-2, 7-14; Psalm 117; Luke 11:1-4
Our Lady of the Pillar
The Readings today show how the Apostolic authority and Papal infallibility works. The Apostles came to Jesus and ask him to teach them how to pray. Jesus responded by teaching them another version of the Lord’s prayer. How can we then reconcile this version in Luke from the version in Matthew? If there is discrepancy in the same prayer, why were these still included in the Gospel. The reason is Apostolic authority. Those in authority in the early Church thought these two works inspired and began using them. The discrepancies were not of great importance because these works were accepted by people who were disciples of the Apostles. These determined which works were to be included in the canon of Scripture. There were many written works at that time, but only some were classified as divinely inspired and were repeatedly quoted by those we call the Church Fathers. Which is why as early as the 4th century, Jerome used the list of books that had been widely accepted as inspired. This is why Sacred Tradition is important because it was Sacred Tradition that defined the Books of the New Testament.
The First Reading also shows Paul’s respect to Apostolic authority when he wrote: I laid before those in Jerusalem (though only in a private meeting with the acknowledged leaders) the gospel that I proclaim among the Gentiles, in order to make sure that I was not running, or had not run in vain. These acknowledged leaders, Paul identified as Jame, Peter and John. So even Paul, who wrote most of the New Testament acknowledged the authority of the Apostles.
So what of Paul’s correction of Peter? This proves that the Pope is not infallible. Papal infallibility does not mean everything the Pope says is right and has to be accepted. When Paul rebuked Peter for separating himself from the Gentiles when those of the circumcision faction came to Galatia. This is an example of fraternal correction among Apostles. They can correct each other when another person is wrong, including the Pope. The Pope is a human being and is sinful and makes mistakes. If everything he says is to be believed, then we make him God.
Papal infallibility applies only when the Pope speaks on faith and morals and when he pronounces clearly, he is speaking on the authority of his office as Pope. In the case of the First Reading, Peter’s actions were horrible and needed to be corrected, which Paul did. While Peter’s actions were related to faith and morals, he was not speaking on the authority of his office.
Papal infallibility is a gift from God so that we can know God’s will when the Pope speaks infallibly based on Sacred Tradition. The feast today of our Lady of the Rosary is based on Sacred Tradition.
The first and only apparition of our Lady to an Apostle was to James when he was preaching in Spain. Tradition has it that this happened around 40AD when Mary was still alive. Since then, the Blessed Mother has occupied a special place in the Church’s devotion. While devotion to the Rosary was a later development in the Church, it still follows Sacred Tradition because it repeats the Word of Sacred Scripture, specifically, the greeting of the Angel Gabriel to Mary and also of Elizabeth to her. Psalm 136 has a response for every verse: His love endures forever. By reflecting on the events of the life of Jesus that intersect with Mary’s life, we reflect on the love of God for us when he chose to take on flesh, to be crucified, to die and was buried and rose and ascends to heaven. The Rosary is a prayer contemplating the basic Gospel message. 1 John 4:2-3 tells us: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of antichrist. How can it be wrong to contemplate on love of God made visible when Son of God came in the flesh through Mary? If St John said this is from God then this must be a good and holy thing!
Lord, teach me to discern your Truth and may I never be misled by what people say. Bless our Pope and our Bishops, that they may preach the Truth of the Gospel, without fear and compromise. Mary, teach met to know Jesus.

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