I hope everyone had a nice Ash Wednesday. I am ready for Lent this year, I need this. I am planning on ditching some really bad habits. Right now I'm hungry. We just got back from 7 pm Mass. It is always tough to take the little ones to a late Mass...
Something good happened to me last week. I was invited by somebody that I don't know all that well, although he is a devout Catholic, and knows that I am too. (This all happened 3 years ago when I was walking by his cubicle, and I saw a Saint calendar, a crucifix, and a small statue of Our Lady tucked away behind a large plant.) This guy is supper quiet, and I am pretty extroverted, I just walked up to him and said, "Wow, you have a very Catholic cubicle..." And we had a nice one-time conversation about Our Faith. I really didn't see or talk to him after that... but apparently, here a few years later, he is moved to my floor of the building, and I noticed him so stopped by again to say "Hello"... He then asked me if I had heard about the "Spiritual Encouragement" meeting that is being put on by a group of men during the lunch hour. This is a group open to any denomination of Christian to meet together to talk about faith, the Bible, and to pray. And he asked me to come to the meeting. (A few years ago, there is no way I would have said Yes to something like this. I would never have "put myself out there" at work like this... and I would have been intimidated by any "sola scriptura" protestants in the group who may not agree with Catholic thinking.) But my CATHOLIC bible study is giving me a little bit of confidence.... Maybe I can do something like this? So, I said YES!
Tomorrow my friend is leading the group (everyone is taking turns) and I know he is going to talk about Grace, and Our Sacraments... and I have a feeling there is going to be a debate ensuing.
What does all this have to do with Rahab, and Session 9 of the Bible Timeline Great Adventure? Well, while I was doing my homework last week, I learned who Rahab was while reading Chapter 2 of the Book of Joshua. Rahab was a cult prostitute in Jericho. She helped the Jewish spies when they came to hide and instead of turning them in, she professed her faith in the One True God, and asked to be saved. The red cord she hung out of her window in Joshua 2:24 is symbolic of the Passover and indeed what allowed her life to be spared when Joshua's warriors would destroy the city.
Rahab later marries into the tribe of Judah and becomes an ancestor of Jesus! She is heralded later in the bible, in Psalm 87:4 "I will be mindful of Rahab". And again in Hebrews 11:31 "BY FAITH Rahab the harlot perished not with the unbelievers". And once again in James 2:25 "And in like manner also Rahab the harlot, was not she justified by WORKS, receiving the messengers and sending them out another way?"
This is interesting and I'm stuffing this into my arsenal for when the Faith vs. Works argument comes up, as I'm sure it will. Some Christians will quote Ephesians 2:8-9 "For by grace you are saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, for it is the gift of God. Not of works, that no man may glory." They will interpret this passage that WE ARE SAVED THROUGH FAITH (ALONE). The "Alone" addition was a Martin Luther interpretation that stuck.
However, our Catholic understanding of the matter, is that we are saved by grace through faith AND works. This can be clearly seen by the entire 2nd Chapter of James. "Faith without Works is Dead!" (See James 2:17, 2:20, 2:26, well go ahead and just read the entire Chapter, it is good!) I may not be eloquent in expressing it, but I hope I can adequately defend Our Faith in a discussion on this matter. Maybe Rahab will help me. (I need it.) God bless everyone.