I heard a question the other day posed to a Catholic, “why do you pray to the saints and not just Jesus or God?” The Catholic answered, God/Jesus are so in demand and busy; so we pray to the saints because we know a guy that knows the Guy. The Guy (Jesus/God) is very busy, and we don’t wish to waste His time with trivialities.
Are the saints nothing more than a go-between, for humanity and the Godhead? Should we see a heavenly kingpin in the person of Jesus? Do we need to go to the saints to get to the Guy?
If any of the above is true, then Jesus was a liar, and His sacrifice is greatly belittled.
Jesus came and lived as a man among humanity. He “poured out” His God-ness for a season, so that He could be like us in every way. He tells us that “you know me, so you know the Father also.” That sounds pretty relational and open to me. Jesus is called our “advocate” to the Father. Again, it really doesn’t sound like we need a go-between to reach the Godhead. The Holy Spirit is our Paraclete, literally “called alongside one”. This seems to imply that the Holy Spirit is never to busy or overtaxed to be there to help. So, both Jesus and the Holy Spirit seem to already make the Godhead all-access.
The term “mafia” has specific implications. I use the term in this sense, “a closed group of people in a particular field, having a controlling influence.” Another way to see this is a hierarchy of organization, which is certainly the case in heaven and all of God’s creation. In the case of the Roman Catholic Church one might point to the College of Cardinals and the Vatican for examples. They are certainly a closed group in a particular field. The Holy See, the Pope, is selected from the College of Cardinals, He is “made” by them as God’s presence and voice on earth. Most of the Popes are canonized, made into saints, and continue to do their work as a go-between for earth with heaven. Throughout all of the clergy of the RCC the idea of go-between is encouraged.
One must go to Mass to commune with God, it is not possible to know God outside of the consecrated priest. It is through the service of the Eucharist in the RCC that one is saved. The elements of Communion served by a consecrated priest brings redemption. Last Rites are required as a last entreaty to heaven for the soul of the dying. Without these things the individual could be lost, or at the very least know additional suffering in the afterlife.
Do we need a go-between? Perhaps, but not because we need a “guy that know the Guy.” Rather, it seems we need someone to vouchsafe our place in the hierarchy of heaven. Through Jesus, and Him alone, are we granted this privilege. Then each of us becomes the “guy that knows the Guy,” and we need no other. Jesus conquered death and sin for us. A personal relationship with Him is literally all that matters. Do you have to know Him, or believe that He saved you? No, you have a choice. Jesus made you a deal that you can refuse, but you shouldn’t. The Heavenly Mafia want you, but it is up to you to believe it and become a re-“made” man.
Until next time, Fight the Good Fight….Fairly