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Is Pentecost the Birthday of the Church?

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It is common to hear the feast of Pentecost referred to as the birthday of the Church because it marks the day when the Apostolic Church received the Holy Spirit in a definitive and powerful way. But is this the same as birth, or is something else happening at Pentecost? Father Hezekias Carnazzo, founder of the Institute for Catholic Culture is our guest.


Cy Kellett:

When exactly was the church born? Father Hezekias Carnazzo is next. Hello, and welcome to Focus the Catholic Answers Podcast for living, understanding and defending your Catholic faith. I’m Cy Kellett, your host, at least usually I’m your host. But in this episode, we have a guest host, a wonderful guest host, Michael Lofton, an apologist for the Catholic faith and associate apologist here at Catholic Answers and someone we really admire. And we’re grateful that he agreed to guest host this episode with father Hezekias Carnazzo who himself is the founder of the Institute for Catholic Culture.

Cy Kellett:

So that’s two pretty high brow people that you’re going to get to hear the conversation of and a wonderful conversation on the birth of the church. Often, nowadays, now that we’ve got social media, people will wish the church happy birthday on Pentecost Sunday, but is that true? Is that the birthday of the church? Where, and when was the church born. Father Hezekias has some very interesting things to say about that. And when we grasp the point he’s making about where the church originates, we know a great deal more about… We have a pretty powerful insight into what we’re doing as members of the church, as part of this beautiful growing kingdom that is dawning. Here’s what father Hezekias had to say to Michael Lofton.

Michael Lofton:

Father Hezekias Carnazzo, founder of the Institute of Catholic Culture. Thank you for joining me on Catholic Answers Focus. How are you father?

Hezekias Carnazzo:

Oh, it’s a blessing to be with you, Michael. Thank you for inviting me.

Michael Lofton:

Oh, absolutely. The honor is all here. Father, tell us a little bit about yourself and also the work that you’re doing with the Institute of Catholic Culture before we dive into the topic at hand.

Hezekias Carnazzo:

Sure. Well, I’m an Amalekite Greek Catholic priest, a Byzantine priest within the Catholic communion. I’m a pastor in Sacramento, California of a beautiful little church, St. George. And the majority of the people in my community are from the Middle East, from the holy land, from Jordan, from Syria, Egypt, and that area. But of course, a lot of Americans also that appreciate apostolic Christianity and the way of worship of the early Christians as it comes to us today.

Hezekias Carnazzo:

But as you said, I’m also the founder of the Institute of Catholic Culture, which is a nonprofit educational Institute dedicated to the faith formation of adult Christians, according to the perennial teachings of the church and to do so according to the model of Jesus Christ, and that is free of charge. To give everyone an opportunity to learn the faith in its depth, its breadth, its beauty, and to give people a chance to study Catholic history, Catholic philosophy, theology, sacred scripture. Not as we oftentimes encounter it kind of, if I can make a blanket judgment in your average parish, but rather to give people an opportunity to study it deeply and to be taught by really qualified professors, seminary professors, priests, bishops, and so forth. And again, to do it all free of charge.

Hezekias Carnazzo:

So at the Institute of Catholic Culture, we are constantly having studies in philosophy and theology and history, the catechism of the Catholic church. And then we provide this, it’s all offered online. So no matter where you live, you can participate via webinar or on demand or live or on demand as you like, and really get a holistic and complete education in the Catholic faith.

Michael Lofton:

Yeah. And that’s actually something that I’ve really appreciated from the Institute of Catholic Culture is that you’re making this content available for free. And frankly it’s seminary level content, although communicated in a very accessible way, but for free. So it’s almost as if you’re just getting a master’s degree of theology for free. So I’ve really appreciated the work that you’ve done there.

Hezekias Carnazzo:

I remember father Paul Scalia, the son of Antonin Scalia. Some people may not realize that his son is a priest in the diocese of Arlington. And he was given a talk for us. And he said, he said, the education that the students at the Institute of Catholic Culture are receiving is better than the education he received at seminary in Rome. And this is what’s available to everyone that comes checks this out, InstituteofCatholicCulture.org.

Michael Lofton:

And also one other point then we’ll move on. But another good thing is that you seem to bring together the best from east and west, the best that the Roman rite has to offer. And also the Eastern rites in that content. And I really appreciate it. And I think we need that today.

Hezekias Carnazzo:

Well, the Catholic church is a family of churches it’s universal. The word Catholic means universal. Embraces all peoples and cultures and says, this gift that you’ve received in your way of life is to be offered to the Lord. And so the church is really a family of families. If you think of the Thanksgiving tables, uncles and aunts are sitting around. It’s one family, but it’s a family of families. And that is what the Catholic church is.

Hezekias Carnazzo:

And when we realize that, we realize that there’s so much for us to learn. There’s so many perspectives on theology and our beloved faith. And so at the Institute of Catholic Culture, we try to be truly Catholic. And that is, we want to learn from like people in my parish, the Christians of the Middle East, as well as those from Rome, as well as those from Constantinople and Alexandria.

Hezekias Carnazzo:

So that we get… I like to use the example of a mountain at the top of the mountain as the revelation of God. And we’re all camped out at the base of the mountain. We’re all seeing the same mountain from a different perspective and all seeing it truly. All of us founded upon the apostles, established by Christ, but all of us with a gift and a perspective of divine revelation. And if we appreciate our brother within the Catholic church, then we’ll gain a vision, which we could not have had alone. Which is really the beauty of our church. That we are a communion of people all gathered together, living the life of God here on earth.

Michael Lofton:

Wow. So let’s talk about the topic at hand, which is, is Pentecost the birth of the church from these different perspectives, perhaps a Eastern and a Western perspective, but especially with a focus from the Eastern, if you don’t mind. But before we answer the question and get you to weigh in on is the Pentecost, the birth of the church. Can you maybe comment on what exactly is Pentecost and what are the biblical and especially Old Testament roots of this feast?

Hezekias Carnazzo:

Sure, sure. It encourage all of our participants today, get out your Bible, to get out of notebook, write this down, because you’re going to want to go back and study. We’re living in this time period, the feast of the Ascension, the feast of Pentecost. But how many Catholics can really say what this feast of Pentecost is all about. Besides maybe a piece of art that we saw with fire coming down on the heads of the apostles. What is this feast?

Hezekias Carnazzo:

Well, the first thing is always to refer back to Acts chapters one and two, and the story of… Which we’ve heard in the gospel now and the epistle, of the coming down of the holy spirit, upon the apostles in the upper room, the gift of the holy spirit. But when we’re hearing it at Mass, the readings, I think oftentimes we enter into this, a friend of mine used to call it the Catholic comatose.

Hezekias Carnazzo:

The Bible is read, and I become deaf to the detail of what is being told to me. And of course, what is being told to us is that in Jerusalem, they were celebrating the feast of Pentecost, which is why so many people were gathered there. Remember 3,000 were baptized in one day. The place was jammed for the feast of Pentecost, which tells us the first thing, which is that Pentecost is not a Christian feast per se. It is a feast of the Jews in the Old Testament. And to understand that, to go back, if you want to go back and take a look, there’s many passages you could look at. But I recommend reading Leviticus chapter 23. And there in Leviticus chapter 23, we’re told that there were certain feasts were appointed for the Jews to go to Jerusalem, Passover being one.

Hezekias Carnazzo:

And then about 50 days later, Pentecost was celebrated where all men that were able were to go to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast. Much like today, we have our great feasts in the church and all are called to come to church. They were to go up to Jerusalem for this feast. And what was the background? What was the origin of the feast? Well, first of all, realize that all of the Jewish feasts had a very ancient harvest foundation. And that is as man looked at the created order and saw the cycle of nature it became very apparent that this cycle was a gift from God. And so they offered praise and Thanksgiving for these gifts. And this feast of Pentecost puts us in that harvest cycle. You know that the passion of Christ took place in the context of the feast of Passover, which we know from the story of Exodus.

Hezekias Carnazzo:

But this feast of Passover really has its own harvest level. It was within the days following the feast of Passover, that the Jews celebrated the feast of the first fruits. Now pay attention and think of springtime. For those of you that are, well, really all across our land today. Everybody’s living through spring right now. And what’s the first thing that comes out of the ground in the spring is the barley. The barley comes out almost overnight. The hills are green and the grass comes up fast. Well, the feast of the first fruits, which the Jews actually celebrated on the day of the resurrection, on the first Sunday, yes, of the resurrection, it was actually a feast day for the Jews.

Hezekias Carnazzo:

It was the feast of the first fruits in which the barley was cut. The first barley was cut, harvested, and it was waved as a wave offering as a Thanksgiving offering before the Lord. And from that day, from the feast of the first fruits, which we know as Paska, as Easter, as the feast of the resurrection, they counted 50 days. And by the end of that 50 days, that Pentacost, the 50 days. By the end of that 50 days, then the full wheat harvest was taken in.

Hezekias Carnazzo:

And that wheat, the barley, and so forth was fully harvested then and baked into loaves, which I think is very beautiful. When you think about the fire coming down upon the apostles. No longer the wheat of the field, but the harvest of Christ and the fire coming down upon them and baking the loaves, which is to become the Eucharistic church.

Hezekias Carnazzo:

So here this harvest level, in which 50 days, following the first fruits, they celebrated this feast of the full harvest of the wheat. But of course, on top of this harvest layer of the feast of the Jews was placed an Exodus layer. So if you can think of three layers with me on the feast days. The first being that harvest that natural layer, and then remembering what God did during the time of the Exodus and the feast of Pentecost, always commemorated the coming to Mount Sinai, 50 days after the Passover, after the Exodus leaving Egypt, coming to Mount Sinai, where God gave them the law. And so the feast of Pentecost becomes a commemoration of this time in which Israel of old receives the law of God. And something very important about this. And that is that the law written on stone was the will of God for his people.

Hezekias Carnazzo:

And we oftentimes think about it almost like positive law. Well, God could have said other things, but he said this. But no, no, it’s not the case at all. Think of, think of the 10 commandments, think of the law of the Old Testament, much like your car manual. The guy who makes the car tells you how to make the car happy. How it’s going to run well. And if you follow these things, but if you don’t follow them, you’re going to be in trouble. You put the gas in the oil part or the oil in the gas part the thing’s not going to work well. Well, this is the will of God for his people. He’s made us, he knows how we’re going to find happiness. And he gives us that way of life in the Old Testament law.

Hezekias Carnazzo:

But of course, written on stone outside of us, because this is after the fall. But remember this was not God’s original plan that we would somehow have to force ourselves to adhere to something exterior to us, but rather to adhere to that will of God, for us, as it is placed in our heart, as we are made in the image and lightness of God, which brings us to our third layer of the feast. That first layer is the harvest layer. The second layer, that Exodus layer in which the people of God receive the law and the third layer for the feast days of the Jews comes about during the Davidic kingdom, the breaking a part of that Davidic kingdom and the Babylonian exile, which takes place about 600 years before Christ. I’m going to share with you a quotation from the prophet Jeremiah, chapter 31, and listen to what he says about what the Lord is going to do regarding this gift of the law, which was celebrated on the feast of Pentecost.

Hezekias Carnazzo:

He says, “Behold, the days are coming says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers. When I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant, which they broke. Though, I was, their husband says the Lord. But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days says the Lord, I will put my law within them and I will write it upon their hearts and I will be their God. And they shall be my people.” And here’s the key that unlocks the feast of Pentecost for us then that the feast of Pentecost is the fulfillment of all of this Old Testament imagery coming… The harvest layer, what God did in giving the Israel the law at Mount Sinai, and ultimately the fulfillment of what Jeremiah says is going to happen.

Hezekias Carnazzo:

And that is the Lord is going to put his law, read his will for his people. How to make man happy, how he’s going to find fulfillment. In other words, he’s going to restore us to our original relationship with God when the Messiah comes on that day. And so on this great feast of Pentecost, we receive with a gift of the holy spirit, a restoration of God’s people to his original plan for them that the law of God, their way of life would now be printed on their heart. His will would be their will, which begins to unlock something for us. And that is that Pentecost should be understood in terms of restoration, not in terms of invention. In other words, the church was not invented on Pentecost. The church was restored to God’s original plan on Pentecost.

Michael Lofton:

Father, how does God renew us and bring us to this new covenant and restore our hearts? How does he do those things that we see in Jeremiah 31? Is that through baptism?

Hezekias Carnazzo:

Well, it certainly begins in baptism. Baptism enters us into, and I’m glad you asked the question, Michael, because this is critically important for us to understand baptism does for us exactly what Jesus says he does when he speaks to Nicodemus in John chapter three. And that is it places us into the kingdom of God. Of course, the kingdom of God is the life of God himself, the father, son, holy spirit, living a life of loving communion from all eternity. This is the kingdom of God, which is made present through God’s creation among his people who are made in his image and after his likeness. The gift of the holy spirit, that is the gift of God’s spirit within us, which is given to us on the day of our baptism and holy confirmation. This gift restores us to our relationship with the Lord.

Hezekias Carnazzo:

That is as St. Paul’s in Romans chapter six, when we were baptized to be baptized, the Greek word is [foreign language 00:16:37], to be plunged into, when we are plunged into Christ, St. Paul says, this is what happens on our baptism. We are plunged into Christ, which means that we are put back in relationship with the father and the holy spirit. We stand in the shoes of the son now, as Christians. Many people say, “Well, I’m a Christian, which means I’m a kind of like Christ.” But this is contrary to apostolic Christianity in which we understand our entrance into Christ as being real and true. Christ is made present in and through my life so much that St. Paul’s says, “It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me.” Which means I am now put into the communion of the Holy Trinity. And this fullness is now revealed to us on the day of Pentecost with the gift of the holy spirit now dwelling within us.

Michael Lofton:

And it seems, especially in the Eastern tradition, you have this concept of theosis, actually becoming like God. And it certainly seems that that is one of the things that is entailed in Romans 1… Or actually Roman 6:1-4, I believe where it talks about how in baptism we’re United to Christ. That’s how this process of theosis begins. Could you briefly comment on that?

Hezekias Carnazzo:

Yeah. St. Peter says in his epistle that the entire purpose of the incarnation, the entire purpose of the incarnation was to make us partakers of the divine nature. That’s in his second epistle. St. Peter says partakers of the divine nature. Natures allow us to act in a certain way. A doggy nature makes the doggies do what doggies do, they bark. Pizza nature makes pizza be pizza, but human nature allows us to act as humans and divine nature allows us to act like God. And I ask you this question, I go, how does God act? What is the one activity of God? And John tells us in his epistle that God is love. Love, of course, is the giving of my life for the beloved, as Jesus says, “There’s no greater love has any man than to give his life for his friend.” Because this is what love is.

Hezekias Carnazzo:

And this is what God has been living from all eternity. The father pouring his life into the son in the holy spirit. Living a life of loving communion. And it is into that life that we are baptized. When Jesus is asked, what is the most important commandment? He says, what? Love God and love your neighbor. Because love is what God is from all eternity. And it is into this reality that we are baptized. This is why I think it’s a big mistake to say that Pentecost is somehow the birthday of the church. And it’s a popular thing to say. Can I share with you a quotation, Michael.

Michael Lofton:

Please yes.

Hezekias Carnazzo:

One paragraph, a little long, but I think it’s words sharing from St. Porphyrios. And this is what St. Porphyrios says. He says, “The church is without beginning, without end, and eternal. Just as the Trium God, her founder is without beginning, without end, and an eternal. She is uncreated just as God is uncreated. She existed before the ages, before the angels, before the creation of the world, before the foundation of the world, as the apostle Paul says. She’s a divine institution. And in her dwells the whole fullness of divinity, she is an expression of the richly varied wisdom of God. She is the mystery of mysteries. She was concealed and was revealed in the last times, the church remains unshaken because she’s rooted in the love and wise Providence of God.”

Hezekias Carnazzo:

And here’s the key. He says, “The three persons of the Holy Trinity constitute the eternal church.” The three persons of the Holy Trinity constitute the eternal church. And here is where I do believe we begin to enter into this feast of Pentecost in which the holy spirit comes to dwell within us, the wheel of God, his love for us, his love for himself, which he has shared from all eternity in the of the Trinity, now begins to live within us.

Hezekias Carnazzo:

And now we begin to understand what it means to be made in the image and likeness of God, to be made in the image and likeness of God is to be made for love, to be made for communion, to be made to live in a communion with God and with one another. This is why Jesus says, this is the greatest command. Yes, this is why he’s constantly teaching that we are to live a life of loving communion within the church because the church is the revelation on earth of God, himself. And that my friend was not invented on Pentecost. It is the original purpose for which God created the world.

Michael Lofton:

When St. Porphyrios talks here about the eternal church, is it related to what Paul talks about in Ephesians 1:4, when he says “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight and love.” Is that effectively the same thing?

Hezekias Carnazzo:

I do believe St. Paul understood this intimately. And when I say intimately, I mean, he understood it very personally. Remember the words, which Christ spoke to him on that day of his conversion when he was struck to the ground by the flash of light. And the Lord says, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” And of course, who was Saul persecuting? He wasn’t persecuting the incarnate Christ. Well, actually he was. But now having taken its fulfillment in those who have been baptized into him. St. Paul sees and realizes on that day, the profound mystery of God’s love and realizes that the Christian is this revelation, the Christian in communion. Now, of course there is no such thing as a Christian out of communion. The Christian is one who is now living the life of the communion of God.

Hezekias Carnazzo:

And he sees this and begins to understand. I said earlier, St. Paul’s says “It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me.” If you want to understand St. Paul’s theology, whether it’s in Ephesians or in Corinthians or in Romans, the key that unlocks Paul line theology is the moment of his conversion in which he sees God’s love and realizes that the Christian has been transformed.

Hezekias Carnazzo:

And that the church is… Is it not St. Paul who tells us what the church. Is it not St. Paul that talks about baptism constantly. When he talks about marriage as the union of two into one. In every aspect of the church, St. Paul realizes that what is revealed is the eternal church. That what is revealed is the communion of the father, son, and holy spirit now made present on earth and restored in Christ. And we have been restored through our baptism to this reality that is revealed to us on the feast of Pentecost in Acts chapter 2.

Michael Lofton:

So father, I want to briefly shift gears and talk about the liturgy. Because when you mentioned that quote from St. Porphyrios, the three persons of the Holy Trinity constitute the eternal church, it seems like the Byzantine liturgy picks up on that, especially in the Slavic tradition. But I think also in your tradition, the amalekite tradition. It seems like it picks up on that because as I understand on the feast of Pentecost, it ties that into the Holy Trinity and the feast of the Trinity. Could you briefly comment on that?

Hezekias Carnazzo:

Oh yeah, absolutely. This is the feast of the Trinity. One of the most beautiful moments in the mass or in the divine liturgy, they’re both the same, is the first thing that we begin with. In the Byzantine tradition, when we begin “Blessed is the kingdom of the father, son and holy spirit.” The same reality, which is proclaimed by the priest, in the name of the father, son, and holy spirit. Now, beginning now, in this moment, at the beginning of the mass, we enter into this kingdom of God. We enter into this relationship of the Holy Trinity. And now we do the one thing that is proper when you realize the great gift that has been given to you, when you receive a gift, Michael, how do you respond to a gift?

Hezekias Carnazzo:

You say, “Thank you.” We tell our kids this. Say, thank you for what you’ve received. And this is what the liturgy is. It is our training wheels for life, by which the one who has giving us everything, the one who has given us everything is now given back our life in a form of Thanksgiving. The word Eucharist that we use so often, literally in Greek is the word Thanksgiving, to offer thanks. Yes, this is so beautiful and so simple about the divine liturgy, about the mass that we celebrate on Sunday when we gather together is once we realize the great gift of our gathering together, then the only proper response for this amazing gift of this communion with eternal life, this communion with the eternal God, that in my love for you, those that are gathered in this church with me, that are now placed in a communion by which there are persons and there’s one. There’s one church.

Hezekias Carnazzo:

But there are people gathered together in this unity. Then the only proper response once we realize that is to say, thank you to God. And it’s the foundation of the liturgy. In this liturgy the kingdom of God is now revealed in this liturgy I begin to live what God has planned from all eternity for me. And that is to place me into the communion of the saints, which make present, which reveal on this earth, the communion of the Holy Trinity.

Michael Lofton:

There’s a curious passage in the book of revelation, chapter 21:22, it says, “And I saw no temple in the city for the temple is the Lord God, the almighty and the lamb.” I also wonder if this passage relates to this idea that effectively the church is something that goes back to the Trinity, because here, it seems like the temple that is the church is identified with God.

Hezekias Carnazzo:

This is exactly right. What we need to start to understand is that the unity of all of scripture reveals to us the one eternal truth, which is the Lord himself. And whether we’re looking at the story of the Garden of Eden or the establishment of the temple of Solomon. The temple of Solomon much like the law of God written on stone was a foreshadowing of what God was going to do when he pumped life back into us. No longer is a law going to be written on stone. It’s going to be written on the heart of man. No longer is the temple of the Lord going to be built out of stone. It is going to be built out of the living stones as St. Peter says in his epistle. And those living stones are of course the apostles and all of the saints, all of us who are gathered together, participating in the life of God.

Hezekias Carnazzo:

If you go back to the whole passage, not only what you pointed out there in revelation 21:22, but if we go back and read all of the chapter 21 and chapter 22 of the book of revelation will realize that this truth is so beautiful. He says, “I see the new Jerusalem coming down out of heaven.” Well, what is the new Jerusalem coming down out of heaven? It is the life of the Holy Trinity now making itself present among us. In the midst of that communion is the one who invites us into that communion. It is the lamb of God. It is Christ. And we are now entered into that. In chapter 20 it says the foundation stones of this temple are the apostles themselves. And so what we see in the Old Testament is now vivified, it is now made alive again, as it was supposed to be in the very beginning.

Hezekias Carnazzo:

And this is, I think the most important point that St. Porphyrios is kind of helping us understand. And that is that the church, that Pentecost that the Eucharist, is all part of God’s original plan. It is not invented by church by Christ, much less the medieval church. Which is what many want to claim. That this is somehow, oh, this development, which men came up with. That’s all nonsense. This is God’s original plan for us, that we would participate in his life. Many might say, especially, and maybe not of the Catholic communion, many might say that what the church says about the saints, about Mary, whatever the case may be, about the Pope. Whatever the case may be. These things take away from the glory of God, how sad it is to say something like that.

Hezekias Carnazzo:

St. Irenaeus tells us that the glory of God is manfully alive. I’ll say that again. The glory of God is man fully alive. Why does he say that? Because man, fully alive is manfully divinized. Which reveals to us God’s love because love is the given of our life to the beloved. It’s only in seeing God’s life present in another that we begin to see the fullness of the glory of who he is, because he is love from all eternity. Do you see?

Hezekias Carnazzo:

So the saints, which are built upon the apostles, all of us living in this loving communion of the Holy Trinity now reveal on earth the beauty of God’s love. We should expect then if God is love that the things of God would be found among men. And that’s exactly what the foundation of all of the church’s teaching is.

Michael Lofton:

Father, is it fair to say that on the day of Pentecost, the holy spirit comes down and rests upon us or enters us or dwells us, however you want to put it, so that we might be United and participate in the divine life. Like we were referring to earlier with theosis. Is that effectively the purpose of what’s going on with the Feast of Pentecost?

Hezekias Carnazzo:

It is the purpose of what’s going on the Feast of Pentecost, but I want to go Michael, maybe a step further. And that is the purpose of what is going on every time God enters into the history of mankind, remember it was on the day of the resurrection that first Paska evening that Jesus went into the upper room and he breathed upon the apostles and says, receive the gift of the holy spirit. And many people go, “Well, then what’s Pentecost all about.”

Hezekias Carnazzo:

Well, I would say, well, what’s baptism all about all, every single time the Lord enters into our life he does the same thing because he doesn’t change. He is love. He just bestows that love time and time again, much like we do in our marriages, in our friendships, in our relationships. You don’t say to your wife, I love you, one time and then walk away.

Hezekias Carnazzo:

No, you say, I love you 100,000 times in 100,000 ways. Every time you hold your wife’s hand or you say a kind word or what, whatever the case may be in 100,000 ways we say I love you. And the Lord has given us this gift because it’s the way he acts. This is the way he acts towards us. The sacraments of the church, I like to think of them as the arteries of the body of Christ in which God’s love is being pumped into us.

Hezekias Carnazzo:

What happens when we are baptized, we receive God’s life within us. What happens when we’re confirmed? We receive God’s life within us. What happens when we receive communion? We receive God’s life within us. The sacraments of the church are seven ways in which God says I love you. In which God’s not only says, I love you in which he does I love you. In which he truly bestows upon us, that which is proper to him, no greater love has any man than to give his life for his friend.

Michael Lofton:

Wow. Father, thank you so much for coming on and doing this and sharing this wisdom with us. Go ahead and put in a plug for anything else that you want to make us aware of in addition to the Institute of Catholic Culture.

Hezekias Carnazzo:

Well, I just encourage people. Come check us out at the ICC, instituteofcatholicculture.org. We have courses going on all the time, again in theology, history, philosophy, and you name it. If it touches upon the Catholic faith, we study it at the Institute of Catholic Culture and we do it according to the model of Jesus Christ. And that is we have received freely, give freely. So come check us out at theinstituteofcatholicculture.org.

Michael Lofton:

Once again, thank you so much, father, for joining us here on Catholic Answers Focus.

Hezekias Carnazzo:

Thank you, Michael. It’s been a blessing.

Cy Kellett:

Considering the relationship of the church to the blessed Trinity is very powerful for me. I hope that it provides some powerful impetus for reflection for you as well. That is what is all of this about? At its root it has to do with intimacy with God, with participation in the divine nature. What a wonderful calling we have to have been called into this Christian faith, this gift given to us by Christ our Lord.

Cy Kellett:

Hey, I really liked what Michael Lofton did and I loved hearing father Hezekias and it’s kind of cool to get to step out and just listen to other people’s work here. Maybe you have a suggestion for another guest host. If you do, it’ll hurt my feelings, but you can send it to us. And any other suggestions, you have to [email protected] That’s our email address, [email protected] Hey, if you’re watching on YouTube, we’re growing on YouTube and thanks for helping us do that.

Cy Kellett:

Don’t forget to like, and hit that little bell so that you will be notified when new episodes are out. We just started the YouTube channel a few months ago, and it’s growing by leaps and bounds. Thousands of people there already. And we’d like to find everybody who’s interested in something that’s just a deep dive into Christian apologetics. If we can find our audience, that’ll be a delight.

Cy Kellett:

And you’re helping us do that when you hit that little bell. And when you share with others what you find there. If you’re listening on apples, Spotify, Stitcher, or one of the other podcasts like subscribe, please give us that five stars and maybe a few nice words. That too helps us to grow the podcast and helps us to find our natural audience. We’re not trying to do something that appeals to everybody. We’re trying to do something that’s helpful to those who are in the arena, defending, explaining the Catholic faith. And if you’d like to support us financially, you can do that at givecatholic.com. I’m Cy Kellett, your host. Well, usually your host and I’ll see you next time. God willing right here on Catholic Answers Focus.

 

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