Saturday, April 24, 2010

Preparation for Adult Confirmation 2010:
Class Two

“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses.” (Acts 1:8)
Preparation for Adult Confirmation

Class Outline for April 24, 2010

II. Jesus Christ – Redeemer of Mankind – Complete Revelation of God

A. Existence and Nature of Jesus - Who and What is Jesus?

1. Tried for blasphemy – “I AM”

  • guilty as charged, not guilty by reason of insanity, fictional character, or Son of God?
2. The Word (Logos)
  • “Emmanuel,” God with us
  • only begotten Son of God, consubstantial with the Father, through whom all things were made
  • fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets
  • Light of the World, Bread of Life
  • the Way, the Truth, and the Life
  • Judge of the living and the dead
3. Fully God and Fully Human

  • God incarnate, God become man – one divine person with two complete natures, both human and divine, and two wills
  • like us in all ways except for sin, with fully human freedom, frailties, and limitations
  • the Son of God became a man to sanctify us, to make us partakers of His divine nature; that is, Jesus assumed our nature so that He, made man, might make men gods
4. Savior of the World
  • “Jesus,” Yeshua, God saves
  • the Messiah King, the “Christ,” anointed one
  • Son of Man
  • the Suffering Servant
  • the Lamb of God, sacrificed in atonement for sin, reconciles mankind with God
B. The Life and Ministry of Jesus – Healer, Teacher, and Testifier to the Truth

1. Early Life of Jesus
  • adoration of shepherds and Epiphany
  • circumcision and presentation in the Temple
  • slaughter of innocents, flight into Egypt, and departure out of Egypt
  • teaching in the Temple
  • hidden family life in Nazareth
2. Signs, Miracles, and Healings
  • bearing witness to who He is and to the fact that the Kingdom of God is present within Him
3. Master Teacher
  • utilizes different methods
  • teaching on a variety of topics, including --
    • testifying to Truth and to Love
    • revealing who God the Father is, revealing who He is, revealing who the Holy Spirit is
    • revealing who we are as human persons
    • instructing us how to pray and how to serve God
    • revealing the Kingdom of God, of heaven, of the last things
    • giving us assurance and trustworthy hope to overcome all hardship
    • commanding us to love God and love one another, to be perfect in love and truth, just as our heavenly Father is perfect, including giving of ourselves and being merciful
C. The Cross and Resurrection – the Paschal Mystery and the Transformative Power of Love

1. Perpetually Crucified, Eternally Resurrected
  • the Crucifixion and Resurrection stand at the crossroads and center of human history
  • God transcends time and space, so that specific points in human time, including the Crucifixion and Resurrection, continue to exist forever in His "present"
  • the Passion of Jesus is an on-going event, He is eternally being scourged and crucified
  • sin is a reality in the world, with real consequences – in the Passion and Crucifixion of Jesus, the truth of that reality and those consequences are made manifest in His flesh
  • we are the ones who crucify Him - every sin of ours is another lash on His flesh, another pound of the hammer driving nails into His hands and feet
  • through the Cross, by His eternal, on-going Resurrection, He “makes all things new”
2. The Lamb of God, Who Takes Away the Sins of the World
  • Jesus is Divine Mercy, who gives His life in forgiveness of mankind
  • Jesus freely offers His life as an expiatory sacrifice, that is, He makes reparation for our sins out of love for God and mankind, so as to reconcile them and repair the rift that had been caused by man’s infidelity and rejection of God
  • rather than conferring forgiveness by simply denying the reality of sin or pretending that it did not happen, and ignoring its consequences, Jesus freely offers His life as a sacrifice in justice and witness to the truth of the real and destructive effects of sin in the world
  • by sin, we are held captive to sin and death, by the Cross, Jesus pays our ransom
  • Jesus takes the sins of mankind upon Himself, not merely taking them upon Himself spiritually, much less philosophically, but He takes the sins of mankind upon Himself in the totality of His being, that is, upon His Body as well
  • the spotless Passover Lamb, who is sacrificed by the high priests for the sins of the people, and who blood is sprinkled so that death would pass over, and we would be lead from the bondage of sin and death to freedom and life
3. The Compassion of Jesus
  • Jesus offers Himself as ransom and accepts death on the Cross out of love for us
  • as fully man, with all the frailties of humanity, Jesus, God Himself, profoundly knows what it means to suffer horrible pain, fear, and anguish – as such, He suffers with us (com-passion) in all of our own individual hardships
  • His joining in our human suffering allows us to join in His suffering, thereby to give meaning to our suffering and to join in His redemptive purpose, our agonies can be transformed and overcome
4. The Destruction of Death and Restoration of Our Life
  • the Resurrection is the crowning truth of the Faith
  • the Resurrection is the work of the Trinity – Father manifesting His power, Son taking up again the life which He freely offered, and the Holy Spirit bringing that life and glorification
  • Love is stronger than death
  • death could not be destroyed by simply avoiding it, death could only be destroyed by descending into it and transforming it
  • in His resurrected and glorified Body, Jesus carries the wounds of His Passion and Crucifixion
D. The Eucharist – Source and Summit of the Faith

1. Real and Substantial Presence
  • Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ
  • transubstantiation – genuine transformation of the whole fundamental substance of bread and wine into the substance of His actual flesh and blood, while still remaining under the appearance of bread and wine
  • instituted to perpetuate the sacrifice of the Cross, and be a memorial of His death and Resurrection
  • recalls the unleavened bread of the Passover meal
  • rightly called “Eucharist,” from the Greek for “thanksgiving”
  • Blessed Sacrament, Holy Communion, the Lord’s Supper
  • recalling the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, Jesus is fully present in each part even in the breaking of the bread
2. Fullness of Communion
  • intimately receiving Him in the entirety of our being, body and spirit
  • unites us to His Glorified Resurrected Body and Blood
  • as in His Incarnation, when Jesus united Himself with humanity, the Eucharist unites God to man and His Creation by utilizing bread and wine, materials that are taken from the earth, but into which man has put a part of himself in his labors by changing grain and grape to bread and wine
  • a sign of unity – communion, joining as one with Him in the entirety of our being, joins us in communion with all the faithful on earth and in purgatory and the saints in heaven
3. One Mass, One Sacrifice
  • Crucifixion and Resurrection transcend time, such that those moments continue in perpetuity
  • in the Eucharistic sacrifice in the Mass, Christ is not sacrificed again and again, rather, the Crucifixion and Resurrection are re-presented, that is, made present again
  • At Mass, the bread and wine are consecrated and transubstantiation is brought about in the Eucharistic prayer through the efficacy of the word of Jesus and by the action of the Holy Spirit
    • bread and wine are made Body and Blood in the same manner as the creation of the universe, when God said “Let there be light” – by the Breath and Word of God
    4. The Fruits of Holy Communion
    • the Eucharist is “the medicine of immortality, the antidote for death, and the food that makes us live forever in Jesus Christ” (St. Ignatius of Antioch)
    • reception of the Eucharist preserves and renews the life of grace and makes us grow in love of neighbor while strengthening us in charity, wiping away venial sin, and giving grace to live a virtuous and holy life
    E. Christ the Bridegroom and His Bride, the Church

    1. Jesus Established the Church
    • Jesus promised that He would be with us always, until the end of the age
    • Jesus established the Church as His Holy Bride, two become one
    • being one with Her Bridegroom Christ, the Church is also the Body of Christ
      • to be in communion with the Church is to be one with Christ
    • the word “church” is derived from the Greek word “kyriake,” meaning “what belongs to the Lord,” which is also called an “ecclesia” in Latin, “an assembly set apart”
    • Jesus called His Apostles – the word “Apostle” is from the Greek for “emissary”
      • the Apostles given special authority and power to act in persona Christi
      • authority to teach
      • authority to confer the Sacraments
      • to build up and govern the Church
      • the Apostle Peter, the first pope, was given a special supreme authority
    2. Mission of the Church - Jesus Calls All His Disciples to be His Witnesses
    • Jesus said to love God and love others as He has loved us
    • Jesus has instructed us to go and make disciples of all nations
    • the mission of the Church is to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ to the world
      • to testify to truth and to love
      • to serve Him and help Him in the reconciliation of man with God and the salvation of mankind
    • all of the faithful, the people of God who make up the Church, are called by Jesus to be a light to the world
    3. Jesus Promises to Send the Holy Spirit
    • the institution of a New Covenant, with an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, had been announced by the prophets Jeremiah and Joel
    • Jesus fulfilled the scriptures in promising to send the Holy Spirit to the Church and faithful
      • to guide and protect the Church
      • to sanctify and make men and women more like God
      • to confer the grace and power to be holy and perfect in love and truth, as God is perfect
    • Jesus told us in the Sermon on the Mount that we should be perfect, just as our heavenly Father is perfect

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