Hundreds of Catholics each year are led to doubt their faith because they
do not know the biblical basis of it. What is the biblical basis of our faith?
Why are we Catholic?
The first reason to be Catholic is Jesus Christ.
- Who was/is Jesus Christ?
- Jesus of Nazareth is the only founder of a religion who was pre-announced hundreds of years before
his birth. In Isaiah 53, written several centuries before Christ, we read:
- (v5)...he was pierced for our offenses, crushed for our sins,
Upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole, by his stripes we were healed.
- (v12)...Therefore I will give him his portion among the great, and he shall divide the spoils with
the mighty, Because he surrendered himself to death and was counted among the wicked; And he shall take
away the sins of many, and win pardon for their offenses.
Also, see Isaiah 49:1-7; 50:4-11; and the rest of Isaiah 53.
- In Psalm 22, written as early as 980 BC, we find what could pass for an eye-witness
account of the crucifixion of Jesus (the opening words of which he quotes in
- My God, my God, why have you forsaken me... All who see me scoff at me...
"He relied on the Lord; let him deliver him..." They have pierced my hands
and my feet; I can count all my bones... They divide my garments among them;
for my clothing they cast lots..
- .Also, Jesus is the only person ever to predict and carry out his own rising
from the dead. But, could the apostles have fabricated the resurrection? Not
likely. The apostles, who were clearly hard-nosed skeptics would hardly have
endured martyrdom one by one - all but John died as martyrs - for a religion
founded on a hoax.
- So, clearly, Jesus was sent by God. But, was there more to him than that?
Infinitely more. He said in the clearest Semitic way (i.e., indirectly) that
he was God. In Mark 2:5 he forgave sins on his own authority. The Jews knew
well what he was saying by this and responded, "He commits blasphemy! Who can
forgive sins but God alone?"
- In John 8:58 Jesus said, "Before Abraham came to be I AM." This "I AM" is
the same name God used for himself when he sent Moses to the Israelites to
say: "I AM sent me to you" (Exodus 3:14). So Jesus was not only saying he pre-existed,
even before Abraham who lived almost 2,000 years prior to him; he was also
saying by a play on words that he, Jesus, was "I AM," or God. Again, the Jews
knew well what Jesus was saying; they picked up rocks to throw at him (John
8:59). Stoning (Leviticus 24:16) was the penalty for such blasphemy.
- Finally, in John 10:30 Jesus said, "The Father and I are one." Again, upon
hearing this the Jews reached for rocks to stone him saying, "You who are only
a man are making yourself out to be God."
- In none of these three cases did Jesus avoid trouble by telling them he did
not mean to say he was God. He knew very well what he was saying, and so did
- But, you might ask, what about passages such as "The Father is greater than
I" (John 14:28), and regarding the end time, no one, not even the son knows
the day and the hour, "but only the Father" (Mark 13:32), and in Gethsemane,
praying to the Father, "not my will but yours be done" (Luke 22:42)? All of
these quotes merely point to the human nature of Christ which was united to
his divine nature. Had he not said these things, his human nature might have
been doubted by the references to his divinity. (All of this was debated and
sorted out by the early Church: Christ's divinity was defined in 325, his two
natures, in 451 AD.)
- So, either Jesus was divine, as he said clearly enough that the Jews accused
him of blasphemy, or he was crazy, totally deranged. Either he was all he said
he was, or he was nothing.
- Now, what about the Catholic Church? Is it true to Christ and His Sacred
- The Real Presence in the Eucharist
- First, consider the Eucharist. Christ said:
- I myself am the living bread come down from heaven. If anyone eats this bread
he shall live forever; the bread I will give is my flesh for the life of the
world (John 6:51).
- When the Jews balked at this he went on (v53):
- Let me solemnly assure you, if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man
and drink his blood, you have no life in you... for my flesh is real food,
and my blood real drink (6:55).
- This really set them off, since drinking blood was unthinkable to a Jew.
To even touch blood required ritual purification. All Jesus had to say here
to eliminate their fears was, "No, no, no. This is merely a symbol!" but he
didn't. He said:
- Does it shake your faith? ...What then if you were to see the Son of Man
ascend to where he was before...? (John 6:61,62)
- What was the result of all this? Many of his disciples left him (John 6:66).
- But, what about John 6:63?:
- It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless. The words I spoke
to you are spirit and life.
- Doesn't this imply merely a symbol? Not at all. It simply means that Jesus
was speaking of something which would not be visible by the physical eyes of
the flesh (thus allaying any accusation of cannibalism ). but only spiritually,
- So, the Catholic Church is being faithful to the Scriptures in believing
in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. It's radical, but fully biblical.
- The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
- Consider next the Mass. Catholics (and the Orthodox) hold the Mass to be, "above all else a
" (Pope John Paul II, 2/24/80).
- In Matthew 26:26-28 Jesus said of the bread at the Last Supper, "Take this
and eat... This is my body..." and of the cup, "Drink of it, all of you; for
this is my blood, the blood of the covenant, to be shed for many for the forgiveness
of sins." Giving one's body and shedding one's blood for the forgiveness of
sins are biblical expressions which speak of a true sacrifice. It is this divine,
timeless sacrifice of Jesus' death which we "re-present" in the Mass: "his
body and blood are both really present; the species under which he is present
symbolize the actual separation of his body and blood... on Calvary" (Pius
XII, Mediator Dei, 11/20/47).
- Also, in Psalm 110, clearly referring to the Messiah, Christ is called a
priest according to the order of Melchizedek (see Hebrews 5:5-10 as well).
Melchizedek (Genesis 14:18) offered bread and wine as a sacrifice to God for
a victory celebration. Christ offers his body and blood under the appearance
of bread and wine as a sacrifice to God.
- Finally, in Malachi 1:10,11 the prophet predicts that everywhere the Gentiles
will bring incense and a pure "food-offering" for God. The only "pure" offering
sacrificed "everywhere" in this, the "Messianic Age," is the body and blood
of Christ at Mass.
- Jesus said to his disciples whom he sent forth in John 20:23, "Whose sins you shall forgive they are
forgiven; whose sins you shall retain they are retained." The Catholic Church fulfills this by both
and retaining sins (depending on the case) in the sacrament of Penance. It would be impossible to "retain" sins
if the penitent's disposition were not known to the priest, acting in the name
- The Pope
- In Matthew 16:18-19 Jesus said to Peter, "You are 'Rock,' and on this rock I will build my church,
and the powers of Hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven.
" Catholics believe that Jesus gave these powers not personally, to end
with Peter's death (hardly worth mentioning if he did) but in his office as leader
of his church. Peter's church leadership was also
in John 21:15-17. Did Christ intend the Church to be leaderless, and without
a source of doctrinal unity, without even an authority to establish which books
belong in the New Testament (the Catholic Church did
just this from the 4th century onward)? Not likely.
- Thus, in claiming the successor of Peter as its leader, and central source
of doctrinal authority, the Catholic Church is being faithful to Scripture.
- The Saints
- Christ said in Matthew 7:17,20 "Every sound tree bears good fruit... Therefore from their fruits you
shall know them." The "fruits" of the Catholic faith are the saints. Has any other religion besides
our own been able to produce the likes of St. Francis of Assisi, St. Teresa of Avila, St. John Vianney
or St. Therese of Lisieux? (Read their stories; they will amaze you!) And, if Jeremiah and Onias were,
after having died, able to pray for their people (2 Maccabees 15:11-16), and the saints offered "the
prayers of God's holy people" before God (Revelation 5:8), does it not make
sense for us to seek the
- Mary, Mother of God
- There can be no doubt that Jesus lived perfectly the fourth commandment: Honor your father and mother.
If Christ lives in us as he did in Paul (Galatians 2:20) ought not we venerate Christ's mother as he did,
especially since veneration was offered to angels in Joshua 5:14 and Daniel 8:17? How much greater than
the angels is Mary! The Catholic Church honors Mary in imitation of her Son.
of course, the Catholic Church has had its scandals, as has every church, but these are the wounds
in the body of Christ, put there by the sins of mankind. How wondrous, that despite these wounds,
the Church has continued on, and has produced saints in every age.
So, why embrace Catholicism? Because it was founded by the Son of God, it
has the Eucharist, and it is eminently biblical. Don't let anyone convince
© 1991 Rev. T. G. Morrow - With Ecclesiastical Permission
this tract can be obtained by writing to:
Catholic Faith Alive!
1910 Ventura Ave
Silver Spring, MD 20902
donation $12 per 100.
[Back to the Previous Page]
[HOME] * [Catholicism]
[About TIS] *
[Feedback] * [Photo
Gallery] * [Links]
© 2009 Transporter
Info Services, All Rights Reserved.