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Common Ground: CCC 512-570

by PastorMinton on May 6th, 2016

PART ONE: THE PROFESSION OF FAITH

SECTION II: THE PROFESSION OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH

CHAPTER 2: I BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST, THE ONLY SON OF GOD

ARTICLE 3: WHO WAS CONCEIVED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT

PARAGRAPH 3: THE MYSTERIES OF CHRIST’S LIFE

IN BRIEF

561 “The whole of Christ’s life was a continual teaching: his silences, his miracles, his gestures, his prayer, his love for people, his special affection for the little and the poor, his acceptance of the total sacrifice on the Cross for the redemption of the world, and his Resurrection are the actualization of his word and the fulfillment of Revelation” (John Paul II, CT 9).

562 Christ’s disciples are to conform themselves to him until he is formed in them (cf. Gal 4:19). “For this reason we, who have been made like to him, who have died with him and risen with him, are taken up into the mysteries of his life, until we reign together with him” (LG7 § 4).

563 No one, whether shepherd or wise man, can approach God here below except by kneeling before the manger at Bethlehem and adoring him hidden in the weakness of a new-born child.

564 By his obedience to Mary and Joseph, as well as by his humble work during the long years in Nazareth, Jesus gives us the example of holiness in the daily life of family and work.

565 From the beginning of his public life, at his baptism, Jesus is the “Servant,” wholly consecrated to the redemptive work that he will accomplish by the “baptism” of his Passion.

566 The temptation in the desert shows Jesus, the humble Messiah, who triumphs over Satan by his total adherence to the plan of salvation willed by the Father.

567 The Kingdom of heaven was inaugurated on earth by Christ. “This kingdom shone out before men in the word, in the works, and in the presence of Christ” (LG 5). The Church is the seed and beginning of this kingdom. Her keys are entrusted to Peter.

568 Christ’s Transfiguration aims at strengthening the apostles’ faith in anticipation of his Passion: the ascent onto the “high mountain” prepares for the ascent to Calvary. Christ, Head of the Church, manifests what his Body contains and radiates in the sacraments: “the hope of glory” (Col 1:27; cf. St. Leo the Great, Sermo 51, 3: PL 54, 310c).

569 Jesus went up to Jerusalem voluntarily, knowing well that there he would die a violent death because of the opposition of sinners (cf. Heb 12:3).

570 Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem manifests the coming of the kingdom that the Messiah-King, welcomed into his city by children and the humble of heart, is going to accomplish by the Passover of his Death and Resurrection.

Commentary:

The entirety of Christ’s life is a mystery on multiple levels. In the English language, “mystery” has a different meaning than it does in Greek. In English, we focus on the absence of information. In Greek, it centers around revelation.

In the Bible, the mystery of Christ’s life is seen in both aspects. We have many questions about what He did, how He grew up, which of the disciples was really His favorite. But much has been revealed so that we may know Him and His salvation: “Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:30-31).

God does not reveal the answer to every question we might ask about Jesus’ life, but He reveals what is necessary for salvation. Everything else must be dismissed as mere speculation. Questions may work well to create historical fiction about Jesus, but these fictions are often more disconcerting to faith than edifying.

We do not need to know everything about Jesus to be saved. Otherwise, we would have no need for faith. Faith takes hold of the mysteries of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. Faith takes hold of God’s promises. Promises revealed so that you might be saved.

Our questions may bring fruitful study of God’s Word and Christian tradition, but it isn’t necessary for salvation. Our questions come from curiosity, which is one of God’s greatest gifts to humanity. Curiosity is what leads to the great advances in society. Questions can be fruitful, but we need not focus on them so much that we no longer look to Jesus’ revelation in the Scriptures.

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