During the Easter season, the first readings at Mass take us through some of the Acts of the Apostles. This book of the Bible is an incredibly dramatic account of the first days of the church that Christ founded. It begins with the Ascension of the Lord into heaven (Acts 1), and then the descent of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2). The power of the Holy Spirit is revealed immediately, with the Spirit coming upon the Apostles as “tongues of fire”. The Spirit set them on fire for the Lord, and they went out and preached Christ with great courage and zeal.
As a result, “three thousand persons were added that day”, and the Catholic Church began. The Holy Spirit has been leading the Church ever since then. In fact, the Acts of the Apostles is commonly known as the “Gospel of the Holy Spirit”.
So, Acts 2 is probably the best Scriptural defense of the Catholic Church. What I mean is that when people say that the Church is a human institution only, you can say that Acts of the Apostles shows us it is led by the Holy Spirit…it is a divine institution!
This might help to answer the popular question, ‘where is that in the Bible?’ Here are answers to that question on some other beliefs and practices of the Church:
WHERE IS THAT IN THE BIBLE?? (Acts of the Apostles edition):
Confirmation – Acts 2 (again).
Pentecost was the “first Confirmation”. The Holy Spirit came upon the Apostles who had been baptized and made their first Holy Communion…!
Eucharist – Acts 2:42, 46
“They devoted themselves…to the breaking of bread”.
Holy Orders – Acts 13:3, 14:23
Apostles ordained other men as priests when “they laid hands on them” and “appointed presbyters (priests)”.
Deacons – Acts 6:1-6
The Apostles select “seven reputable men, filled with the Holy Spirit and wisdom whom we shall appoint to this task” (to serve at table).
Relics – A) Acts 5:15-16 and B) Acts 19:11-12.
Healings and miracles occur through the shadow of St. Peter (A) and the hands, aprons, and handkerchiefs of St. Paul (B). The grace and power of Christ is in relics of His saints – first class (hands), second class (aprons and handkerchiefs) and third class (shadow).
May you know the peace of the risen Christ,