Isn't it all about Jesus?
We got an email that said (spelling as received):
...Its all About JESUS not mary, not the Pope, not anyone else but GOD. I personally will not follow any church but i will however Follow JESUS and I have read your arguments and i hope you will one day come to CHRIST not mary or the Pope...No holy water will fix anything its your prayer to GOD!!
Catholics most certainly believe it is all about Jesus. Let us examine two scenarios of a love relationship:
Scenario 1: If someone falls in love, he may say:
I love you so much. I love you so much that I want to spend all my time with you. I never want to talk to your mother. I never want to see your family or friends. I want you to banish them when they come around, I just want to spend my whole life with you and love you.
That's how we understand the Evangelical take on a relationship to Jesus.
Scenario 2: On the other hand, he could say:
I love you so much. I love you so much that I want to spend my time with you. Your mom is welcome to visit our home. Your family is my family, your friends are my friends. The people you love, I will love. We are one flesh and I welcome everyone you welcome."
The second one sounds like a more authentic love. This is the Catholic approach to a relationship with Jesus.
The Eucharist IS Jesus
We must also consider what the Catholic Church says about the Eucharist. We say it is the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus. There was 100% unity among the earliest Christians on this. And there is absolutely no evidence of any dissent among early Christians. Yet 1000 years later it is called into question for the first time in history.
The first calling into question of the Eucharist being the Body & Blood of Christ (by Christians) was by Berengar of Tours around 1040-1050 AD. It led to a heretical sect called the Berengarians who followed his views. He was a young priest in charge of a theological school in Tours with many distinguished students who later became bishops and archbishops.
Berengar denied the belief that Jesus is really and truly present in the Eucharist under the appearances of bread and wine. He called such belief 'the opinion of the mob' and taught that the Eucharist is simply a symbol of Christ's presence among us.
Berengar's teaching actually helped the Church.
In response to his denial of an essential element of the deposit of faith, the Church began to teach more extensively about the Real Presence. Interestingly enough, in pursuing discussion of his teaching among theologians and bishops, he retracted what he had said at least five times.
Finally, at the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215, the Church formally defined that 'by divine power bread and wine are transubstantiated into the Body and Blood' (Canon 1).
The Catholic Church has defended the Body and Blood of Jesus for 2000 years, and so we suggest we are totally about Jesus. When other traditions have abandoned the Eucharist (which the early Christians said is Jesus real and present in this world, and which the Bible spells out), the Catholics have stood up for the real presence of Jesus in the world.
Lord Jesus, let Your prayer of unity for Christians
become a reality, in Your way.
We have absolute confidence
that you can bring your people together,
we give you absolute permission to move.