Catechism in Motion: 12. Israel

Taken from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 62-64:

“After the patriarchs, God formed Israel as his people by freeing them from slavery in Egypt. He established with them the covenant of Mount Sinai and, through Moses, gave them his law so that they would recognize him and serve him as the one living and true God, the provident Father and just judge, and so that they would look for the promised Saviour. Israel is the priestly people of God, “called by the name of the LORD”, and “the first to hear the word of God”, The people of “elder brethren” in the faith of Abraham.Through the prophets, God forms his people in the hope of salvation, in the expectation of a new and everlasting Covenant intended for all, to be written on their hearts. The prophets proclaim a radical redemption of the People of God, purification from all their infidelities, a salvation which will include all the nations. Above all, the poor and humble of the Lord will bear this hope. Such holy women as Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, Miriam, Deborah, Hannah, Judith and Esther kept alive the hope of Israel’s salvation. the purest figure among them is Mary.”

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Catechism in Motion: 11. The Covenant with Abraham

 

Taken from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 59-61:

“In order to gather together scattered humanity God calls Abram from his country, his kindred and his father’s house, and makes him Abraham, that is, “the father of a multitude of nations”. “In you all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.” The people descended from Abraham would be the trustee of the promise made to the patriarchs, the chosen people, called to prepare for that day when God would gather all his children into the unity of the Church. They would be the root on to which the Gentiles would be grafted, once they came to believe. The patriarchs, prophets and certain other Old Testament figures have been and always will be honoured as saints in all the Church’s liturgical traditions.”

Bible Passages for Further Reflection:

“The LORD said to Abram: “Go forth from the land of your kinsfolk and from your father’s house to a land that I will show you.” ~Genesis 12:1

“No longer shall you be called Abram; your name shall be Abraham, for I am making you the father of a host of nations.” ~Genesis 17:5

“Scripture, which saw in advance that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, foretold the good news to Abraham, saying, “Through you shall all the nations be blessed.” ~Galatians 3:8

“In respect to the gospel, they are enemies on your account; but in respect to election, they are beloved because of the patriarchs.” ~Romans 11:28 (look up this passage for greater context)

“He did not say this on his own, but since he was high priest for that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, and not only for the nation, but also to gather into one the dispersed children of God.” ~John 11:51-52

“I have other sheep 7 that do not belong to this fold. These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice, and there will be one flock, one shepherd.” Jesus speaking in John 10:16

“…some of the branches were broken off, and you, a wild olive shoot, were grafted in their place and have come to share in the rich root of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches. If you do boast, consider that you do not support the root; the root supports you….. For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated one, how much more will they who belong to it by nature be grafted back into their own olive tree.” ~Paul, speaking of how non-Jews had become chosen people of God through Christ, even though they were not originally part of the Jewish people in Romans 11:17-18

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Catechism in Motion: 10. God’s Covenant with Noah

Taken from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 56-58:

56 After the unity of the human race was shattered by sin God at once sought to save humanity part by part. the covenant with Noah after the flood gives expression to the principle of the divine economy toward the “nations”, in other words, towards men grouped “in their lands, each with (its) own language, by their families, in their nations”.9

“This state of division into many nations, each entrusted by divine providence to the guardianship of angels, is at once cosmic, social and religious. It is intended to limit the pride of fallen humanity united only in its perverse ambition to forge its own unity as at Babel. But, because of sin, both polytheism and the idolatry of the nation and of its rulers constantly threaten this provisional economy with the perversion of paganism.

The covenant with Noah remains in force during the times of the Gentiles, until the universal proclamation of the Gospel. The Bible venerates several great figures among the Gentiles: Abel the just, the king-priest Melchisedek – a figure of Christ – and the upright “Noah, Daniel, and Job”. Scripture thus expresses the heights of sanctity that can be reached by those who live according to the covenant of Noah, waiting for Christ to “gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad”.”

Bible passages for further reflection:

“These are the descendants of Japheth, and from them sprang the maritime nations, in their respective lands – each with its own language – by theirclans within their nations.” ~Genesis 10:5

“See, I am now establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with you: all the birds, and the various tame and wild animals that were with you and came out of the ark…. As the bow appears in the clouds, I will see it and recall the everlasting covenant that I have established between God and all living beings – all mortal creatures that are on earth.” ~Genesis 9:9-10, 16

“He made from one the whole human race to dwell on the entire surface of the earth, and he fixed the ordered seasons and the boundaries of their regions, so that people might seek God, even perhaps grope for him and find him, though indeed he is not far from any one of us.” ~Acts 17:26-27

“And when you look up to the heavens and behold the sun or the moon or any star among the heavenly hosts, do not be led astray into adoring them andserving them. These the LORD, your God, has let fall to the lot of all other nations under the heavens;” ~Deuteronomy 4:19

“She, [Wisdom] when the nations were sunk in universal wickedness, knew the just man, kept him blameless before God, and preserved him resolute against pity for his child.” ~Wisdom 10:5

“The wrath of God is indeed being revealed from heaven against every impiety and wickedness of those who suppress the truth by their wickedness. For what can be known about God is evident to them, because God made it evident to them. Ever since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made. As a result, they have no excuse; for although they knew God they did not accord him glory as God or give him thanks. Instead, they became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless minds were darkened. While claiming to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for the likeness of an image of mortal man or of birds or of four-legged animals or of snakes. Therefore, God handed them over to impurity through the lusts of their hearts for the mutual degradation of their bodies. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and revered and worshiped the creature rather than the creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.” ~Romans 1:18-25

“Melchizedek, king of Salem, brought out bread and wine, and being a priest of God Most High, he blessed Abram with these words” ~Genesis 14:18 (example of a non-Jewish follower of God)

“He did not say this on his own, but since he was high priest for that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, and not only for the nation, but also to gather into one the dispersed children of God.” ~John 11:51-52

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Catechism in Motion: 9. Our First Parents

Taken from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 54-55:

“God, who creates and conserves all things by his Word, provides men with constant evidence of himself in created realities. and furthermore, wishing to open up the way to heavenly salvation – he manifested himself to our first parents from the very beginning.” He invited them to intimate communion with himself and clothed them with resplendent grace and justice.

55 This revelation was not broken off by our first parents’ sin. “After the fall, (God) buoyed them up with the hope of salvation, by promising redemption; and he has never ceased to show his solicitude for the human race. For he wishes to give eternal life to all those who seek salvation by patience in well-doing.”

Even when he disobeyed you and lost your friendship you did not abandon him to the power of death. . . Again and again you offered a covenant to man.

Bible Passages for Further Reflection:

“All things came to be through him [Jesus Christ], and without him nothing came to be.” ~John 1:3

“For what can be known about God is evident to them, because God made it evident to them. Ever since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made. As a result, they have no excuse…” ~Romans 1:19-20

“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel.” ~Genesis 3:15

“who will repay everyone according to his works: eternal life to those who seek glory, honor, and immortality through perseverance in good works.” ~Romans 2:6-7

 

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Catechism in Motion: 8. God Reveals Himself

Taken from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 51-53:

“It pleased God, in his goodness and wisdom, to reveal himself and to make known the mystery of his will. His will was that men should have access to the Father, through Christ, the Word made flesh, in the Holy Spirit, and thus become sharers in the divine nature.”

God, who “dwells in unapproachable light”, wants to communicate his own divine life to the men he freely created, in order to adopt them as his sons in his only-begotten Son. By revealing himself God wishes to make them capable of responding to him, and of knowing him and of loving him far beyond their own natural capacity.

The divine plan of Revelation is realized simultaneously “by deeds and words which are intrinsically bound up with each other” and shed light on each another. It involves a specific divine pedagogy: God communicates himself to man gradually. He prepares him to welcome by stages the supernatural Revelation that is to culminate in the person and mission of the incarnate Word, Jesus Christ.

St. Irenaeus of Lyons repeatedly speaks of this divine pedagogy using the image of God and man becoming accustomed to one another: the Word of God dwelt in man and became the Son of man in order to accustom man to perceive God and to accustom God to dwell in man, according to the Father’s pleasure.”

 

Bible Passages for Further Reflection:

“…he has made known to us the mystery of his will in accord with his favor that he set forth in him”  ~Ephesians 1:9

“…for through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.” ~Ephesians 2:18

“Through these, he has bestowed on us the precious and very great promises, so that through them you may come to share in the divine nature, after escaping from the corruption that is in the world because of evil desire.” ~2 Peter 1:4

“…who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, and whom no human being has seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal power. Amen.” ~ 1 Timothy 6:16

“…as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before him. In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ, in accord with the favor of his will” ~Ephesians 1:4-5

 

Catechism in Motion: 7. The Trinity

Taken from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 232-234:

“Christians are baptized “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”. Before receiving the sacrament, they respond to a three-part question when asked to confess the Father, the Son and the Spirit: “I do.” “The faith of all Christians rests on the Trinity.”

Christians are baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: not in their names, for there is only one God, the almighty Father, his only Son and the Holy Spirit: the Most Holy Trinity.

The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life. It is the mystery of God in himself. It is therefore the source of all the other mysteries of faith, the light that enlightens them. It is the most fundamental and essential teaching in the “hierarchy of the truths of faith”. The whole history of salvation is identical with the history of the way and the means by which the one true God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, reveals himself to men “and reconciles and unites with himself those who turn away from sin”.”

Scripture Passage for Further Reflection:

“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit…”  ~Matthew 28:19

Catechism in Motion: 6. The God Relationship

Taken from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 50:

“By natural reason man can know God with certainty, on the basis of his works. But there is another order of knowledge, which man cannot possibly arrive at by his own powers: the order of divine Revelation. Through an utterly free decision, God has revealed himself and given himself to man. This he does by revealing the mystery, his plan of loving goodness, formed from all eternity in Christ, for the benefit of all men. God has fully revealed this plan by sending us his beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.”