03 April, 2005             

A Prayer
of Jesus

I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise
and understanding and revealed them to babes; yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will




By Edgar Jones

From men, we have heard nothing but accolades for this Pope just deceased.  But this is the man who was called the Vicar of Christ on earth;  what does Jesus the Christ say about him? 

Luke 6
[26] Woe to you, when all men speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.

Luke 16
[15You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts; for what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.

Matt. 23
[9] And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven.
[10] Neither be called masters, for you have one master, the Christ.

These (Matt. 23:9 - 10) are commandments of Jesus the Christ.  This Pope accepted the exaltation of men, called many men on earth "Father" and accepted not only the title "Father" but the designation of multitudes as "Holy Father."  He accepts the designation, "Master." Consider the implications:

John 14
[21] He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me; and he who loves me will be loved by my Father and I will love him and manifest myself to him.

Luke 6
46] Why do you call me `Lord, Lord,' and not do what I tell you?
[47] Every one who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like:
[48] he is like a man building a house, who dug deep, and laid the foundation upon rock; and when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house, and could not shake it, because it had been well built.
[49] But he who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation; against which the stream broke, and immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.

John Paul was not unaware of these words and their implications, or of the commands of Jesus to call no man on earth "Father" and to be not called "master."  Here is how he justified this gross disobedience to the Word1:

Returning to your question, I would like to recall the words of Christ together with my first words in St. Peter's Square: "Be not afraid."  Have no fear when people call me the "Vicar of Christ," when they say to me "Holy Father," or "Your Holiness," or use titles similar to these, which seem even inimical to the Gospel.  Christ himself declared: "Call no one on earth your father; you have but one Father in heaven.  Do not be called 'Master'; you have but one master, the Messiah" (Mt 23:9-10).  These expressions, nevertheless, have evolved out of a long tradition, becoming part of common usage.  One must not be afraid ot these words either."

Long tradition?  Again, hear Jesus the Christ:

Matthew 15

[3] And why do you transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?
[4] For God commanded, `Honor your father and your mother,' and, `He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him surely die.'
[5] But you say, `If any one tells his father or his mother, What you would have gained from me is given to God, he need not honor his father.'
[6] So, for the sake of your tradition, you have made void the word of God.
[7] You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said:
[8] `This people honors me with their lips,
but their heart is far from me;
[9] in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.

Let all who read ponder the implications of these words of Jesus, not only for this pope and all popes, but for ourselves, knowing that on that day we are all to be judged, not by the accolades of men, but by the Holy Word of the only Good Shepherd serving the Father who is in heaven.  It is the Word of God:

John.12[47] If any one hears my sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.
[48] He who rejects me and does not receive my sayings has a judge; the word that I have spoken will be his judge on the last day.

1. From "Crossing the Threshold of Hope", by John Paul II, © 1994 by Arnoldo Mondadori Editore.

Return to List of Papers     E-mail      Return to Home Page