The Gospel reading today from Luke 7 features a centurion who says something that every Catholic will find very familiar. “Lord…I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof…but say the word and let my servant he healed.” Sound familiar? It should! We say it every time we go to Mass.
The first reading from 1 Timothy 2 contains a passage that many use to try to refute a couple of Catholic practices: praying to saints and confessing their sins to a priest. The verse is 1 Timothy 2:5 – “For there is one God. There is also one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” As the argument goes, why do Catholics need a “mediator” (saints or a priest) when Christ Jesus is the one mediator? Good question.
I’ll first answer the question with a question. If you have ever asked anyone to pray for you, why? You just asked them to be a “mediator” between you and God. Why not just go to God yourself? Prayer is simply a form of mediation. And as Catholics, we consider the saints our brothers and sisters in heaven, not just dead people. We believe their prayers are powerful; therefore, we ask for them. As for confessing to a priest, know that the priest is acting “in persona Christi,” or “in the person of Christ.” Christ is present in the sacrament. So in reality, we are going to Christ.
Father, we thank you for Christ, our mediator, and that we can share in His mediation by our prayers for one another. Amen.
The answers to many questions and objections about Catholicism can be found in A Minute in the Church, available at www.GusLloyd.com.