Monday, February 18, 2019

All Day Bethlehem!

by Steve Ray on February 18, 2019

All day in amazing Bethlehem. I gave my overview of the history of Bethlehem as were driving through the checkpoint into the Palestinian West Bank. We give everyone time for shopping (which is our one and only time for doing such). Mass in a cave at Shepherds Field

Next to the Church of Nativity to see the birthplace of Christ. With the normal pushing and shoving we navigated through the crowds to touch the birthplace of Christ. A short drive to the care Carmelite Carmelite Monastery to venerate the bones of an Arab saint recently canonized. Her name is Saint Miriam of Jesus crucified.

We ended the day with a marvelous meal at the Grotto Restaurant which gives you a sense that you’re in a Bedouin tent. We had roasted lamb and platters of salads wit wine – and then came the dancing!




A Baptist antagonist claimed he had the proper view of God’s plan of salvation – working through dispensations.

I explained to him the more substantial, biblical and Catholic concept of covenants. I think you will enjoy the chart which makes salvation history easy to visualize and comprehend.


Hello Jerry:

It was good talking with you on the phone. Sounds like your summer is about as busy as ours. Anyway, . .

. . . . following is a chart describing my understanding of the Catholic teaching on the Covenants, followed by a few paragraphs from the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC). They relate to the covenants which I told you I would send over when we talked on the phone the other day.

These paragraphs appear early on in the Catechism and are in the context of the progressive revelation of God to His people. The Catholic Church has always taught the covenants of God are ever-expanding as he reveals Himself to an ever-expanding group of people in His plan to redeem back for Himself members of every tribe and nation.

I have an extra copy of the Catechism which I will give you; it is a fascinating piece of work. The New Covenant, ratified by the blood of Christ Himself, the Creator, brings all parties within the scope of salvation and the New Covenant – Jew and Gentile.

sheepJesus tells us in John 10:16 that “And I have other sheep, which are not of this fold [non-Jews]; I must bring them also, and they shall hear My voice, and they shall become one flock with one shepherd.” Paul tells us that the great mystery is that the plan of God is to include not just the Jew but also the Gentile (Eph 3:3-6) – the whole world.

They would have a new covenant and offer a new and pure sacrifice (Mal 1:11) which has been understood from the first century to refer to the Eucharist: “My name will be great among the nations [gentiles], from the rising to the setting of the sun. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to my name because my name will be great among the nations,” says the Lord Almighty.” (Endnote 1)

Below is a brief overview of my understanding of the progressive covenants by which the Catholic Church teaches that God revealed Himself and brought His redemption to the world. I put it in a table format for ease of reading.

For the chart and the whole letter, click here.