Late last month the national press picked up a story out of Salt Lake City where parishioners at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church were claiming a communion wafer was bleeding. Catholics from all over the area flocked to the church to worship the “miraculous” wafer. Catholics believe their priests transform bread wafers into the literal body, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ during the mass.
However, after investigating the phenomenon, the Diocese of Salt Lake City announced on Wednesday that the stains on the wafer were actually red mold, not blood.
As Gregg Allison points out in “Roman Catholic Theology and Practice: An Evangelical Assessment” (see my review here), Catholic theology utilizes a nature-grace interconnection which posits the concrete conferring of grace through nature (priests, sacraments, sacramentals, shrines, relics, buildings, etc.). Catholicism is all about the physical. Spirituality is going to church, participating in the sacraments, and regularly using sacramentals. Accepting Christ is ingesting the consecrated wafer at mass. Catholics are taught God’s grace comes through their church’s sacraments. They must then “cooperate with grace” and perfectly obey the Ten Commandments (impossible!) and church rules to merit their salvation.
But none of us are ever “good enough” to merit Heaven. Not even close. We all fall far short of God’s perfect holiness. So God, in His mercy, sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to live a perfect life and be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. He was the Lamb of God without one single blemish. Jesus paid the full price for all of our sins on Calvary. Praise God, He rose from the dead and He offers His free gift of salvation to all those who accept Him. I have absolutely no plea before a Holy God other than the perfect, imputed righteousness of my Savior.
Forsake all of your own efforts to earn your way to heaven. They won’t work. After you “turn over a new leaf” on January 1st you’ll be as much of a sinner in God’s eyes as you were on December 31st. Believe me, I tried that route more than a few times. Turn away from all those who tell you that you must merit your salvation. Pray to Jesus and ask Him to save you. After you accept Christ as Savior only then can you attempt to obey Him and serve Him as Lord. Find a good Evangelical church in your area that teaches the “Good News” of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ ALONE, without compromise.
“One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!” But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” – Luke 23:39-43