Q -We are currently doing the Matthew: The King and His Kingdom Bible Study at our church. I have been appointed the person to get the answers to questions that come up in our discussions. There is one question that I have not been able to find an answer to and I am hoping you can help or point me in the right direction. Jeff Cavins made a statement in the session 12 DVD that King David was a priest. Several attendees of the bible study were confused by that statement and want to know if King David was a priest. Any help will be greatly appreciated!
A -Hi Teri,
The Cultic Priesthood in Ancient Israel was hereditary -- a priest had to be born of tribe of Levi, a descendent of Aaron. Although David was of the tribe of Judah, and therefore was not a Levitical priest, he did exercise some priestly functions. He appears to have offered sacrifices [2 Sam 6:13, 17-18; 2 Sam 24:18-25; and 1 Chr 21:18-28) and David's sons were called priests [2 Sam 8:18]. As such, David was a "type" or foreshadowing of the one who would be totally and perfectly priest, king, and prophet -- Jesus, the Son of David and Son of God.
Faithfully in Christ,
Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio
Q -I'd like your opinion on the eating of pork - read on another site that Jesus said swine were 'unclean'? Was that only relevant during His time on earth?
MK from UK
A - Dear MK,
These words of Jesus have been understood from the time of the early Church as invalidating the dietary laws of the Old Covenant: "Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile, since it enters not the heart but the stomach, and goes out into the sewer?" (Thus he declared all foods clean.) Mark 7:18-20 NRSV. The vision of Peter prior to the visit of Cornelius (Acts 10) is another Scripture reference that backs this up.
So in traditional Christianity, the eating of pork has never been seen to violate God's law.
Faithfully in Christ,
Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio
Q -I have enjoyed your writing and have heard you speak live. I have to comment though, on your most recent e-newsletter with the article "Why Call Him Father?"
You state that God the Father is not male or female. You are correct so far. But then you state that He is not masculine or feminine. Dr. Peter Kreeft would disagree with you. The Father is most certainly masculine. He is not what our society has come to define as masculine. He doesn't drink beer, belch, and yell at ball games on TV. No, I am not saying that. But He IS masculine in the divine definition of that word. He gives.
Christ, the second person of the Trinity is masculine in his divinity, which manifests as male in his humanity. If the Son is masculine so too is the Father and the Holy Spirit. He is one God. Christ's bride, the Church, is feminine. To receive is to be feminine. We receive our Groom. When we give, we reflect the masculinity of God. When we receive, we reflect the femininity of the Church. The femininity of the Church is united in marriage as one body with the masculinity of Christ.
This is a very short, in a nutshell, explanation. I cannot begin to express how that understanding freed me from some unhealthy feminist views. Eph 5 is now an amazing scripture passage to me, a woman. Please read up on Dr. Peter Kreeft's writings on sexual symbolism and hear his wonderful talk with the humorous title "Why Only Boys can be the Daddies." Then you and Dr. Kreeft can discuss it Dr. to Dr., Catholic theologian to Catholic theologian, and man to man.
I really enjoy reading your work. Thank you for your efforts!
Debbie J. Idaho
A - Hi Debbie,
Thanks so much for your note.
Dr. Peter Kreeft is one of my favorite writers!
Of course, the definition of masculine and feminine is not cut and dried.
People can differ in the way they describe these traits and characteristics.
I think one can make a case that since God lacks no perfection by definition, the perfection of all goodness and characteristics that can be called either masculine or feminine are possessed by him to the ultimate degree. Rather than saying that God is neither masculine nor feminine, I
should rather say that he is both, or transcends both. I believe that he expresses or images the feminine dimension through Mary and the Church, both of which we call and relate to as "Mother."
Faithfully in Christ,
Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio
Q -Dear Marcelino,
I do (pray for healing). Twelve years ago, I was received into the Catholic Church at St. Joseph's Parish-South, in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I was born with a crippled foot, it is called clubbed foot. Due to a miscommunication when I was a tiny baby, a cast was put on that foot/leg and left there for six weeks; as a result that leg is almost three inches shorter than the right leg, adding to the fun. I have had three surgeries on that leg, but the pain, weakness, limp and awkwardness continue. I need special shoes. SO, almost every time I am before the Blessed Sacrament, either for Holy Communion, or Adoration, I pray and ask Jesus to please heal that foot/leg. After all, HE created me, and knit me together in my mother's womb, and KNOWs about that foot. So far, he has not chosen to heal me. NOW, let's ask: Why is it that He does not want to heal me? He must not WANT to, or He WOULD. Right? Love and Prayers, Bunny L.
A - Hi Bunny,
Of course, we can never be sure why we don’t get what we ask for when we ask for it. I prayed for healing of a back problem for about 23 years and pursued conventional medical treatment as well. God put someone in my path a few years ago who gave me some nutritional products that relieved me of about 95% of the symptoms. Why he did not just do it supernaturally 20 yrs earlier, I don’t know.
But all I know is, our job is to keep asking and knocking and seeking. Then we can keep our eyes and mind open to answers that may come in unexpected ways.
Q -Is your doctrinal dissertation available for purchase? Thank you very much
A - Hi Matthew,
Right now, it is unpublished, but may be gotten through interlibrary loan or from the following source: http://www.calstatela.edu/library/buydiss.htm
Thanks for inquiring.
Q -I would like a short explanation of what Masons are and why they are not something we should belong to - I also have been told that they are something like Knights of Columbus in being secretive and I thought Knights of Columbus was a good organization - I'm confused and I don't know how to answer the person telling me this.
A - Hi Barbara,
The Knights of Columbus is indeed a good and Catholic organization. There are similarities between Masons, K of C, Elk, Shriners, etc in that they are all fraternal organizations that have some "members only" secret ceremonies, etc, and do works of charity.
The problem with the Masons is not their secrecy, but the fact that from their inception they have had some very anti-Catholic activities that they've promoted. I have some business associates that are masons and swear that there are no such elements remaining. I don't know. But the anti-Catholic history is undeniable and I'd encourage Catholic guys to stay away and instead join the Knights of C. I myself am a member of the K of C.
They have done fantastic work for the Church and the disadvantaged of all faiths.
You can get more info on the masons perhaps at www.catholic.com or other Catholic apologetic websites.
Q - I have your CD on the Passion of Christ but it doesn't answer my question.
Who is the man that Satan is carrying during the crucifixion? - Mary H.
A - Hi Mary,
There is a book I co-authored and edited called "A Guide to the Passion: 100 Questions about the Passion of the Christ." I'd recommend that you buy it from our website-only $6.
Question 63 asks your question. The answer is as follows:
"This is yet another example of artistic license taken by the director. Its symbolism is both disconcerting and powerful. Here are a few likely
interpretations: first, the devil wants to corrupt anything that is good and beautiful in God's creation. The image of the hideous demon child could simply be seen as a very tangible depiction of moral ugliness. A second interpretation would be to show the gift of life--a human child--in such a depraved manner. This image could very well be symbolic of our contemporary culture's frequent disdain of children (as revealed through the widespread acceptance of abortion and the reality of child abuse). A final interpretation of this scene is the contrast between Mary's gazing on her child, Jesus, and Satan's embracing of this child. You probably also noticed the smile on the demon child's face. This sends the message to the audience that he is delighting in Jesus' suffering."
Hope that helps. There is no one simple answer to the question--it is open to various interpretations.
Q - I am in a serious relationship with a non-denominational man. Do you have any suggestions on reading material or prayers that could help the two of use learn to worship together?
A - S,
My advice is that praying the psalms, together with spontaneous prayer, would be a good thing for you to do.
But if the relationship is headed in a serious direction, should you not make sure that he is comfortable with your Catholic faith? Is he open, or hostile? If hostile, I think I would think twice about pursuing a deeper relationship if I were you. If he is open, then it would seem that he should at times attend Mass with you and learn more about Catholic Christianity. I wrote a book, which is available on my website as well as on Amazon.com, called Exploring the Catholic Church that has helped many non-denominational Christians make sense out of Catholic beliefs and practices, and has helped pave the way for some of them to come into full communion with the Church. You can read info on the book as well as examine the first chapter at:
Hope this is helpful.
In His service,
Timely Resources Available –
The Achievement of Pope John Paul II
by George Weigel, internationally known scholar and writer – and friend of Pope John Paul II – eloquently highlights and elaborates upon 10 enduring accomplishments of this great man, Pope John Paul II.
CD - $8.95 DVD - $20.00
Peter, the Pope and Infallibility –
There are so many questions that our Protestant brother and sisters ask about the Papacy – this CD/AT by Dr. Marcellino D’Ambrosio will shed light on the history of the Papacy and will help you answer many of the common questions that they raise!
CD - $8.95 Audio Tape - $8.95
The Pope's Legacy - The Year of The Eucharist –
Our Holy Father named his final year the Year of the Eucharist. What better way to honor him than by learning more about the amazing gift of Eucharist that Christ instituted before his death. The Feast of Faith is perfect for groups and personal study this 4 session set is available on DVD and CD – Don't forget the workbook!
Feast of Faith DVD - $49.95 Feast of Faith – CD - $19.95
Feast of Faith Workbook - $5.95