To our short vision, the beheading of St. John the Baptist to satisfy the rancor of a wicked women appears as a painfully ignominious death for the “friend of the heavenly bridegroom.”
Yet never was the burning and the shining light, (John 5:35) of the Precursor’s lamp more radiant than at this moment, when it was absorbed within the abyss of light that is the Godhead. Because John’s role in the economy of redemption was so vital, the Church has made room for him in her glowing firmament of saints next to the Mother of God herself. (John was the Greatest Prophet) Today, as long ago on the banks of the Jordan, John leads us to the fount of apostolic zeal– the divine simplicity of loving only Christ, and all men in and for him.
And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Eliseus the Prophet; and not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian. St. Lk. 4:23-30
Our Lord was demonstrating why those who lack faith seldom see signs and miracles, as He continues, an evil and adulterous generation seeketh a sign: and a sign shall not be given it, but the sign of Jonas the Prophet. St. Matt. 12:39. A prelude to our times as this generation, too, demands signs from God’s witnesses preceding the Second Coming of Christ.
After Christ are Prophets still needed? NO; witnesses to their prophecies, yes. When we think of prophecy, we think of the foretelling of things to come, but there is more to it, Prophets are also messengers of God.
The outstanding Prophet is Jesus Christ—He is God. He proclaims that He is our salvation. In Him the message and the Prophet are one. The whole Church, the assembly of those incorporated into Christ, takes over His role to continue to witness to His prophecy. Prophets always speak with reference to salvation and Messianic times. They foretell or herald the coming of the messianic kingdom. Through faith and the Sacraments we are living in the glorious messianic times, and we witness to them by our way of life. 1. As St. John the Baptist stated, “He must grow, and I must disappear.” St. Jn. 3:30.
Once Christ established the Papacy, the Popes became the number one High Priest, Prophet of Prophets and Doctor of Doctors. This means there is no human placed above the Pope. One must never forget that prior to being Pope, and in order to be Pope, he must first of all be a believer, one who himself has the faith. As a result of this the Pope adheres to the teaching of all his predecessors. He is taught by them. 2.
The Church teaches public revelation is contained either in the Bible or in the deposit of the Apostolic Tradition. After the death of the last Apostle there could be no addition to public revelation. Whenever the majority of God’s people become sinful, God sends us His punishments. Both fonts of public revelation, Scripture and tradition, have been given to the Church; only the Church can authentically interpret the Bible; only the Church can authoritatively declare the content of the Apostolic tradition; but the Church does not receive new revelations, it guards, explains and makes explicit for the faithful the content of the revelations made to the Apostles. Revealed truths proposed by the Church are believed by Catholics with divine faith i. e., because of the authority of God who has revealed them. Anything of Faith is Old not New. To deny a revealed truth proposed for our belief by the Church is heresy. 3.
As long as we have a true Pope in the world there can not be any major prophets and as for the two witnesses which come into the world during the Great Apostasy, (Schism) we will be without a true Pope as the Antichrists will control the apostate church while the faithful seek refuge in the wilderness. Apoc. 12.
Elias and Enoch do not come back but are represented by the current two witnesses. In Christ’s time we had two witnesses: St. John the Baptist, who represented Elias 4, and Jesus who represented Enoch. Enoch was married and represents the married state in the mystical body of Christ. Christ also represents the married state as the Groom of His Church. Isaias 7:15. Elias and St. John the Baptist represents the single or chaste state. It’s my understanding of why we say the Confiteor twice, each time at Mass, as it is said once for the married state and once for the single state. Or you could apply it as well to saying the Confiteor once for Enoch and the other for Elias.
The two witnesses in the end times cannot be of the Religious simply because Enoch was married and his replacement would represent the married state. Also, both witnesses would have to be free of any control of the religious nature, as they would be speaking in the place of the Pope. They will explain the status of Church, prepare the faithful for the battle of Armageddon (the last battle), the great chastisement (fire from heaven), and the Second Coming of Christ.
By faith Enoch was taken up lest he should see death; and he was not found because God took him up—for before he was taken up he had testimony that pleased God and without faith it is impossible to please God. For he who comes to God must believe that God exists and is a rewarder to those who seek him. Heb. 11:5.
Grace be with you, through Mary Our Hope,
In Christ, Joseph
8-29-05 Beheading of John the Baptist.
1. St. Andrew Bible Missal 1962
2. Fortes in Fide.# 1, Father Noel Barbara
3. Catholic Encyclopedia
4. Ott, Fund. of Catholic Dogma, pg.487