This is a three legged stool. This is going to sound kind of weird, but every time I see a three legged stool, I think of the big three essentials that we need in order to receive God’s divine revelation in its fullness. I mean, just stick with me here for a second. I think
God has revealed himself throughout salvation history and in Jesus Christ and in the teaching of the apostles, but we get all of that revelation to them. Through scripture tradition and the magisterium and like a three-legged stool. It doesn’t make sense if one of them’s not there.
So let’s talk about the first one. Let’s talk about scripture.
So you’ve heard of the Bible, right? So the Bible is the word of God as written in human words and inspired by the holy spirit. But where do we get the Bible from? I mean, it’s kind of a chicken and egg situation. Ah, what’s this chicken’s name throughout all of salvation history. We have a record of God coming to meet man through the Bible.
These are stories that were written down or were passed on orally and then later written down. But how can we trust these stories and these records of God coming to meet man and speaking to him either before Jesus or after our true, how can we trust that chicken “schmutz” on my microphone? So the apostles, those who lived with Jesus and heard his team.
They passed down orally and in writing the story of Jesus and his teaching and those writings are what turned into what we know is scripture, the new Testament, but the apostles also taught about Jesus and they taught from authority and they left successors known as bishops to also continue that teaching authority and to hand on that teaching from generations.
The bishops form, an unbroken line of successors to the apostles from Jesus to Peter, then to all of the apostles and all the rest of the bishops throughout all of time. There’s this unbroken line all the way to our current Pope, this living transmission guarded by the holy spirit called sacred tradition.
In order for a sacred scripture and sacred tradition to be guarded and preserved throughout all of history. The apostles left the bishops with a unique authority. That’s guarded by the holy spirit to interpret and preserve sacred scripture and sacred tradition throughout all of history. That unique authority.
Body of bishops that can do that. It’s called the magisterium. So you can trust that God has preserved and protected this transmission of the gospel of everything that God has revealed for you to know throughout history. Using the magisterium. The catechism of the Catholic church says in paragraph 19.
It is clear, therefore that in the Supreme, the wise arrangement of God, sacred tradition, sacred scripture, and the magisterium of the church are so connected and associated that one of them cannot stand without the others. So God desires to reveal himself. He did. So in words and actions throughout salvation history, and that has been passed down throughout time and sacred tradition is the transmission of the word of God passed down through the bishops.
And finally, we have the magisterium, which is the teaching authority of the church, which guards and interprets and hands on sacred scripture and sacred Trinity. Wait a minute. Let’s pause for a second and acknowledge a flaw in this stool analogy. So sacred scripture and sacred tradition, makeup, everything that God wanted to reveal to humanity, divine revelation.
Now the magisterium is not superior to divine revelation. It’s it’s sir. So the magisterium doesn’t make up new things to believe the magisterium serves and interprets divine revelation in sacred scripture and sacred tradition. Now I want to be really clear here. The magisterium is the Pope and the bishops in union with him.
Now, the magisterium teaches only what’s been handed onto it through sacred scripture and sacred tradition, which in its entirety is called the deposit of faith. Now the magisterium is really important, but it’s. Equal in quite the same way that the three legs of this stool are equal. So scripture tradition and the magisterium, these are the big three that God used to get Jesus’s teaching and God’s revelation of himself to you today.
So you can trust that the teachings that Jesus. And that had been handed on through the apostles and that come to us through sacred scripture and sacred tradition and interpreted by the magisterium. Like you can trust this as truth. It’s true. It has been guarded by the holy spirit throughout all the time.
God comes to meet us and uses our own language and words to communicate to us, and then protects that message and passes it on throughout all time and guards it in the holy spirit. It’s a special and sacred message, the gospel of Jesus Christ. And he wants you to know it today.