Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Catholic Q&A: Part 38

This post continues my series of short answers to common (and not so common) questions about Catholicism. For the previous parts in the series, see the "Catholic Q-A Series" blog label.

What is the difference between the 6th and 9th commandments?

In Old Testament times, it was easier to see the distinction between the two commandments. The sixth commandment ("Thou shall not commit adultery") condemned the specific act of having sex with a married person, whereas the ninth commandment ("Thou shalt not covet your neighbor's wife") condemned covetousness, the desire to have what someone else possessed. This is evident in the fact that a man's wife was listed with his house, servants, and animals as things that a person should not covet.

But, once Jesus preached His Sermon on the Mount, where He explained that one commits adultery even by looking lustfully at a woman, then the line was blurred between the two commandments. In the Catechism, the article on the sixth commandment addresses human sexuality, chastity, spousal love, and sins against chastity and the dignity of marriage. The article on the ninth commandment addresses covetousness, concupiscence, purity of heart, and modesty.

Would the priest be in the wrong if he said a warning to the congregation about receiving the Eucharist unworthily and telling non catholics they cant receive before the distribution?

No, but I also think that, with the typical Sunday Mass, it is not necessary. But, at Masses where it is likely that there are a number of Protestants in attendance, such as a wedding Mass or a funeral Mass, I personally think such warnings should be made as a matter of course.

The men of the old testament had circumcision, was there anything the women had to do as a mark of the covenant?

Not that I'm aware of. My educated guess is that women were considered part of the covenant people as long as they were married to or the daughter of a circumcised male.

I know a person who's step son and his step sons wife are not practicing catholics. They did not have either of their children baptized so this guy was babysitting the kids one night and baptized them in the bathtub without the parents knowledge. Would this baptism stand?

No, it would not. A lay person is only permitted to baptize in the case of an emergency, such as when the child is near death or if the child was from a village or some remote area where there were no priests or deacons available. It would also be invalid because a baptism cannot be performed without a well-founded hope that the child will be raised in the Catholic faith. As you said, the parents aren't Catholic, so that hope is not present unless someone presents himself and says that he/she will bear that responsibility.

I listened to a Fulton Sheen cd a while back and i remember him saying that a husband or a wife can save their spouse through their own prayer and sacrifice. For some reason I'm having trouble finding that in the Bible. Can you help me out?

You are probably referring to 1 Cor 7:14-16:
"For the unbelieving husband is consecrated through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is consecrated through her husband. Otherwise, your children would be unclean, but as it is they are holy. But if the unbelieving partner desires to separate, let it be so; in such a case the brother or sister is not bound. For God has called us to peace. Wife, how do you know whether you will save your husband? Husband, how do you know whether you will save your wife?"

Uzzah laid hands on the arc of the covenant and was struck down. Why?

Because the Ark of the Covenant was so holy that no one was allowed to touch it. That's why it was constructed with rings along the edge, so they could run a pole through the rings and carry it that way.

How was David a man of Gods own heart yet he committed adultery an murder. How can he retain that title?

David was a man after God's heart, that doesn't mean he was perfect. He sinned grievously, but he also admitted his sin to the Lord and did penance for it. In the accounts of the life of David and in the psalms that he wrote, we see that David was a great man of faith who loved God's law and never ceased to praise Him.

How can Ezekiel and Jesus both have the title of Son of Man?

"Son of man" is a phrase that simply means that someone is a human being. It is repeated so often in Ezekiel in order to show that, even though the prophet was God's spokesman, he was still an ordinary man. He is a human being just like his fellow men. It also shows the great disparity between him and God. God is the Almighty, Ezekiel is the creature, the son of man.

In reference to Jesus, the title reinforces the fact that while Jesus is fully divine, He is also fully human. Jesus probably also used this title for Himself in order to indicate that He was the fulfillment of the prophecy of Daniel, who said, "I saw in the night visions,and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed." (Dan 7:13-14)

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic
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