What is God’s relationship with the world? The four merciful events that accomplished Salvation were: Jesus’ life Jesus’ life: The physical presence of Jesus as both God and man on earth. Jesus’ Death: Jesus’ Death: Jesus was crucified and placed in a tomb. The Resurrection: The Resurrection: Jesus overcame death by rising on the third day. The Ascension: The Ascension: Jesus ascended into Heaven, to be with the Father and the Holy Spirit.
God’s Spirit in the world The saving work of God is ‘not yet’ complete. History is still moving toward its final fulfillment, when the reign of God will be fully realized ‘on earth as it is in heaven’. The Spirit, sent by the Father and Son, fills the Church and the world, inviting everyone to the fullness of life in the Kingdom of God. What do you think your own role is in God’s ongoing work of Salvation and Redemption?
The power and guidance of the Holy Spirit The Gospel according to John tells us that, after the Death and burial of Jesus, his disciples locked themselves in a room because they were afraid that they might be arrested and suffer the way Jesus did. During the forty days following his Death and Resurrection, Jesus stayed connected to the disciples by: appearing alive to them; speaking to them about the Kingdom of God; instructing them to wait in Jerusalem for the promise of the Father; promising them that they would be baptized with the Holy Spirit.
The power and guidance of the Holy Spirit The Apostles, Mary the mother of Jesus and the other disciples devoted themselves to prayer while they were awaiting the fulfillment of Jesus’ promise to send the Holy Spirit. Matthias was chosen to take the place of the apostle Judas, who took his own life after Jesus was arrested. (Read Acts of the Apostles 1:21–26) On the Jewish feast of Pentecost, when the disciples were gathered together : a sound like the rush of a violent wind filled the house; divided tongues, as of fire, appeared around them; they were filled with the Holy Spirit; they began to speak in other languages.
The Advocate and Teacher Transformed by the Holy Spirit, the Advocate and Teacher, St. Peter and the others left the upper room. They went out to boldly proclaim the crucified Jesus to be the descendant of King David and to inform the world that he had risen from the dead.
The power and guidance of the Holy Spirit When Peter and the other apostles were asked, ‘Brothers, what should we do?’, Peter responded: Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven. You will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you, for your children, and for … everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him. —Acts of the Apostles 2:38–39 Explain why some think of the Sacrament of Confirmation as a Pentecost event.
The power and guidance of the Holy Spirit Luke wrote his account of the Gospel so that we might know the truth about Jesus. Luke, who was not an apostle, begins his account of the Gospel in Bethlehem and concludes with the Death, Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus in Jerusalem. The Acts of the Apostles reports the story of the preaching of Paul from Jerusalem, the center of Judaism, to Rome, the center of the world, in the first century AD.
The Spirit of Truth and Love Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. —John 13:34–35 The early Church took these words of Jesus to heart. The early Christian writer Tertullian said of the early Church: ‘See, how they love one another.’ From your own experience, how would you define love? (Read 1 Corinthians 13:4–7) How does your understanding of love stack up against the description in 1 Corinthians?
The Spirit of Truth and Love Read Luke’s description in Acts of the Apostles (4:34 – 35; 2:47) of the authentic Christ-like love that drove the early Church: There was not a needy person among them [the Christians], for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. They laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. — Acts 4:34 – 35 This Spirit of Truth and Love at work in the early Church stood in stark contrast to the harshness of the rest of the Greco-Roman world in the first century after the Death and Resurrection of Jesus. The majority of the population was destitute, access to necessities was inadequate and people struggled daily for physical survival.
The Spirit of Truth and Love Survival rules in the Greco-Roman world Help your friends, harm your enemies. Ritually curse important rivals. Seek first your own needs and interests. Do not meet the needs of others unless there is profit in it for you. To have nothing is to be nothing. To have status and wealth is to have honor. Do to others as they do to you. Restate these rules to reflect the values taught by Jesus in the Gospels.
The blood of martyrs, the seed of the Church The world in which the Church emerged actively and aggressively sought to persecute and suppress the Church. Acts of the Apostles 6:1—7:53 tells the story of St. Stephen, who professed and would not deny his faith in the Church. As a result of his commitment to the faith he was arrested, dragged out of Jerusalem and stoned to death. Acts of the Apostles 12:1–2 describes how King Herod laid violent hands upon some of those who belonged to the Church. He had James, the brother of John, killed with a sword. Peter was arrested under the rule of King Herod.
The blood of martyrs, the seed of the Church Despite the persecutions, the Church continued to grow throughout Judea, Samaria, Damascus, Phoenicia, Cyprus, Antioch and Rome. In AD 313 the Emperor Constantine contributed to the growth and development of the Church by giving the people of the Empire the right and freedom to worship publicly. In AD 391 the Emperor Theodosius I named Christianity the official religion of the Empire. The blood of the martyrs was the seed of the Church.
Charisms and Gifts of the Holy Spirit Charisms: Specific gifts or graces of the Holy Spirit, given in order to help a person live out the Christian life, or to serve the common good in building up the Church. Gifts of the Holy Spirit: Permanent dispositions that move us to respond to the guidance of the Spirit. What charisms and gifts of the Holy Spirit has God bestowed upon you?
The Gifts of the Holy Spirit The Gifts of the Holy Spirit work in the ordinary issues and events of life and not just in religious matters. Wisdom Understanding Knowledge Counsel (Right Judgment) Fortitude (Courage) Piety (Reverence) Wonder and Awe (Fear of the Lord) Informed by Christian faith, we try to make the best judgments and decisions.
The story of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta Agnes Bojaxhiu was born in Macedonia, a small country in Eastern Europe, in 1910. At the age of eighteen she became a missionary nun with the Sisters of Loreto. She trained as a teacher and taught geography and theology at St. Mary’s High School in Calcutta, India. Agnes left her convent school to work among the poorest of the poor in the slums of Calcutta, where people lived in absolute destitution, with no healthcare facilities, and many were left to die alone and without dignity on the streets.
The story of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta Mother Teresa of Calcutta and her companions founded the Missionaries of Charity in India. Today the Missionaries of Charity serve in over one hundred countries, caring for the poor, for people with HIV/AIDS and other illnesses, and running schools, orphanages and soup kitchens. Their mission is to serve the poorest of the poor with compassion and dignity. Mother Teresa was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 2003. In what capacity have you served someone who had fewer privileges than yourself?