God’s Final Word
According to that great defender in the early Church, Athanasius, the Catholic Faith is that which was down by our Lord, preached by the Apostles and preserved by the Fathers.
If the Gospel writers are included in the early Fathers, in the first four books of the New Testament we have all we need to know about God’s final revelation for us through the teaching and ministry of his son, Jesus Christ. So we should read a Gospel from beginning to end before we return to single texts.
The world of our Lord’s day was a very literate age. Not only histories and other works were written; people were writers of letters which we can still read. For example, a young Roman man who lived thirty years after Christ wrote two letters about the devastating eruption of the volcano Vesuvius in 79AD which he witnessed from a short distance away.
Our Lord was answering urgent inquiries from friends, and few today would question his facts. It needs no stretch of the imagination to understand that people who witnessed the wonderful works of Jesus would want to write letters about them to their friends as well as talk about them.
Our Gospel writers were not short of material when they began to write more complete accounts of the life, death and resurrection of our Lord. These have now reached us and we should study them carefully for they teach us all we need to know about the Catholic way of life. So reach for your Bibles and for starters read what Mark has to say about God’s final words for his children.