St. Irenaeus Ministries
Scripture Studies brought to you by the St. Irenaeus Center.
St. Irenaeus Ministries - a center of orthodox Catholic mission and renewal in Rochester, NY

The Second Vatican Council was the largest council of the Church, beginning under John XXIII in October 1962 and running for four sessions until 1965, ending on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception under Paul VI. It reaffirmed and proclaimed the timeless teaching of the Church, though it did not define much new doctrine, the pastoral thrust was very important. We must follow the instruction of all ecumenical councils, even a council that does not define doctrine. The interpretation of this council can be seen through the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which has many references to council documents.

Two foreign words dominated the council, Aggiornamento ("bringing up to date") and Ressourcement ("going back to the sources").  Both complement each other, as without returning to the sources, we cannot be sure what we are bringing up to date, and without bringing the teaching on those sources up to date, we may be stuck in a 16th-century mindset.  Various factions vied for more and less of each at the council, but the reforming element prevailed.

Some of the major theologians who influenced the council were Karl Rahner, Yves Congar, Edward Schillebeeckx, Hans Küng as well as Karol Wojtyła (later John Paul II). Many of these major reformers formed the board of the journal Concilium, but in 1974, Henri de Lubac, Hans Urs von Balthasar, and Joseph Ratzinger (later Benedict XVI), concerned by some of Concilium's editors' desire for more reforms after Vatican II and not through the Church, formed a rival journal, Communio.

This conflict between those who wanted more reform outside the Church
and those who wanted to come to consensus on the council first would
continue for many years.

Direct download: Mission_of_the_Church_3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:11 PM

This is an exciting time to be Catholic." This episode picks up the rousing theme where the last left it off. Vatican II stressed the Church's need to engage with the modern world. The popes that followed have, with unrelenting urgency, urged every Christian to take up the task of mission. This episode sounds the call anew – in the words of Pope St. John Paul II: "the moment has come to commit all the Church's energies to a new evangelization."

Direct download: Mission_of_the_Church_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:55 PM

The goal of this series is to equip Catholics to live out the mission of the Church, which is to proclaim Christ to the whole world. We will explore what this means for the faithful laity using the documents of Vatican II and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The documents of the Second Vatican Council will be examined through the hermeneutic of continuity, which was championed by Pope Benedict XVI among others. This council has continued what the Church has always said, but stated with a new vigor and a focus on reaching out to the modern world. Vatican II was a council of reform, not a radical break with the past. The next six sessions will explore several important Papal Encyclicals and other Church documents from Popes Paul VI, John Paul II, and Francis. These documents will help us grow in faith and learn to share our faith with others. 

Direct download: Mission_of_the_Church_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:14 AM

The Hebrews consecrate the Tabernacle and all of the preparations are completed one year later, even washing the hands and feet of the priests in the middle of a desert. God has created a people fit for God, and we must strive not to fall back into slavery to sin because of it.

Direct download: Exodus16.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:23 AM

Exodus repeats much of the information regarding the tabernacle in the final chapters, signaling the restoration of Israel to God's favor.  The Hebrews finish the tabernacle according to God's design.

Direct download: Exodus15.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:11 PM

After the great sin of the golden calf, Moses asks God to see His glory to know His ways. God shows Moses His reflected glory, but shields him from His face. God writes the tablets again, with no changes, to present to the people as a covenant. God instructs the Hebrews to worship Him alone, for He is a jealous god. This jealousy is a desire for an exclusive relationship, as we can see in James 4:5 and 2 Cor 11:2. God also commands that the Hebrews observe the Sabbath and the harvest feasts.

Moses comes back to the people, but shields his face with a veil to prevent the people from seeing God's glory fade. This veil separates the people from God, but Jesus removes that veil, as Jeremiah 31:31ff prophesies.

Direct download: Exodus14.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:04 PM

When Moses delays in coming down from Mt. Sinai, the people demand an idol of gods to go before them. Aaron makes a bull out of the people's gold, in the form of some of the Canaanite gods, and declares it to be the god that brought the Hebrews out of Egypt. God proposes to kill the Hebrews and make a great nation out of Moses, but Moses intercedes for the people. God, through Moses, directs the tribe of Levi to slay those notorious in the production of the golden calf, and for that, the tribe of Levi is ordained for service to the Lord. God tells the people that He will not be among them, for they are a stiff-necked people and He would consume them. He orders the people to take off their ornaments and mourn, and God resides in the tent of meeting outside of the camp.

Direct download: Exodus13_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:04 PM

The law defines the high priest's garments, which includes the twelve tribes of Israel for a remembrance to God. The ordination of priests also includes an ablution which relates to baptism, which can be seen also in Heb 6:1f. God also identifies things that are holy and not for outsiders in the ordination process. There is also a description of the incense altar in the tabernacle.

The people would be taxed for the upkeep of the temple, and this was a way to show the participation of the people in atonement for their sins.

Before the close of the revelation at Sinai, God reiterates the importance of keeping the Sabbath.  The tablets are then completed and given to Moses.

Direct download: Exodus13.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30 AM

The book of Exodus dedicates significant space to the description of the tabernacle of the Lord. This may be difficult to read through, but it is important to the understanding of the worship of God. The Ark of the Covenant points to Mary (as we can see in Luke 1:35 and in the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth, similar to 2 Samuel 6, and Revelation 12), and the holy place of the tabernacle and the holy of holies are but a shadow, or type, of what exists in Heaven. This description is seen as well in the book of Revelation.

The Ark of the Covenant is overlaid in gold and a cover called the Mercy Seat, where God is enthroned, is over it, with two cherubim, angels with wings and human faces. Inside were the tablets of the ten commandments, Aaron's staff, and a jar of mana. These things reflect the Word of God, the priesthood, and the bread that came down from Heaven, respectively.

The table of the bread of the presence is also described, which is a table that contains 12 loaves of bread, offered to God but also shared by men and a symbol of God's covenant with man. Also in the holy place is a lampstand, which has a figure of budding almonds, a sign of life which may also be reflected in Num 17:8, where budding almonds also show favor from God.

The tabernacle was a tent that was constructed to be erected whenever they were in a place and was designed to be movable. The tabernacle tent is a box decorated by rich curtains, divided into a large holy place separated by a veil from a much smaller cube of the holy of holies.

God wishes to dwell with His people, to sanctify the space where His holy place is, God asks us to give freely to worship Him in the way that He commands us, and that this sacrifice should be a worship of some value. This reverence and value increases as the holy things get closer to the Ark of the Covenant. Unholy worship can be punished, as were Aaron's sons Nadab and Abihu in Leviticus 10.

Direct download: Exodus11.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:24 PM

The laws of God are in many cases very practical and based on the environment that we are in. Strangers should be cared for and not abused by being thrown into the cold without a cloak or placed into debt. The escaped beasts of burden of a stranger should be returned to a stranger's owner as well as it would be for your own. The Hebrews were strangers in Egypt, and they should remember that when dealing with strangers.

Moses returns to the people and recites the law and then writes it down. The ratification of the law is done through blood, as noted by Hebrews 9:18. The people say that they will obey the law and the people feast as part if the ratification.

Direct download: Exodus10.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:04 AM