I’ve challenged Catholics to prove to Protestants that the Catholic Church is right on Purgatory & Penance doctrines … in several other threads. Ideas were being presented that almost made the case to me, a former Protestant. Still, I needed more proof. Then I came across Christ teaching on these doctrines, in scripture. For me, this was the final PROOF TEXT, the coup de theater, the sine qua non, that I needed to hear from Christ. I’d read this account many times before … but, never seen in light of Catholic doctrines. This time it hit me right between the eyes.
Luke 19:1-10 He [Jesus] entered Jericho and was passing through. And there was a man named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector, and RICH. And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not, on account of the crowd, because he was small of statue. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down; for I MUST STAY AT YOUR HOUSE TODAY.” So he made haste and came down, and RECEIVED HIM JOYFULLY. And when they saw it they all murmured, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “BEHOLD, LORD, THE HALF OF MY GOODS I GIVE TO THE POOR; AND IF I HAVE DEFRAUDED ANY ONE OF ANYTHING, I RESTORE IT FOURFOLD.” And Jesus said to him, “TODAY SALVATION HAS COME TO THIS HOUSE, since he is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man came to seek and to save the lost.”
Recall also that Christ taught it was ‘nigh impossible’ for a RICH MAN to enter heaven. The ‘Eye of Needle’ teaching of Christ. Here we have Zacchaeus obtaining SALVATION, by doing Penance … giving up his wealth, [both the ill-gotten & the excess ‘worldly’ baggage].
For me, this makes secure & true the Catholic Doctrines on Penance and Purgatory. Yet, if a Protestant needs additional testimony from Christ … immediately after this Penance paid by Zacchaeus, which brings about his salvation, Christ reinforces this teaching with the PARABLE OF THE POUNDS [Luke 19:11-26].
The Catholic Church is always FAITHFUL AND TRUE, and can be trusted in all doctrines. Catholic ‘Good Works’ are only done at the request of Christ to us. Those works he ‘graces’ to us. Protestants should not fear them [or us]. They need to embrace doctrines of Penance / Purgatory too.