The story of God and humanity is a story of God’s invitation for us to enter into the relationship with the divine. All we profess, celebrate, live and pray constitutes the response to the invitation to communion. This naturally and especially applies to our celebration of the sacraments for the whole liturgical life of the Church revolves around them.
In Christian tradition, the word “liturgy” describes the participation of the People of God in the work of God. “Through the liturgy, Christ, our redeemer and high priest, continues the work of our redemption in with, and through his Church.” Liturgy refers to the celebration of divine worship, the proclamation of the Gospel and active charity – in other words, liturgy directs us to service to God and neighbor. In each of these, the Church shares in the one priesthood of Christ in both its prophetic and kingly aspects.
The Catechism describes the Church as both the “means and the goal of God’s plan” of communion. The word itself means a convocation or assembly (Latin ecclesia, from the Greek ek-ka-lein, to “call out of”).
Our being made for communion with God makes perfect sense since God has revealed himself to be communion – a Trinitarian communion: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This mystery of the one God, three persons is “the central mystery of Christian faith and life.” As a mystery of faith, however, the Trinity is inaccessible to reason alone. What we can know of this mystery is entirely dependent on God revealing who he is to us.
Part 2 of a year-long study of the Catechism
In his 1992 Apostolic Constitution, Fidei Depositum, Blessed John Paul II indicated the Catechism of the Catholic Church “is a statement of the Church’s faith and of Catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by sacred Scripture, the apostolic tradition and the Church’s magisterium.” He went on to declare it to “be a sure norm for teaching the faith.”
Part 1 of a year-long study of the Catechism
Pope Benedict XVI announced a Year of Faith from Oct. 11, 2012 to Nov. 24, 2013 (Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe). The goal of the initiative is conversion and to re-discover faith so that all members of the Church can become credible witnesses of truth.
The pope has asked Catholics to mark the year by studying and reflecting on the documents of the Second Vatican Council and the Catechism for the purpose of deepening their faith. So for the next year, Theology 101 will help the reader do just that.
Three major religions are rooted in the Abrahamic tradition: Judaism, Islam and Christianity. How do they differ from one another?
Why don’t we follow all the laws of the Old Testament regarding circumcision, kosher diet, etc.? Didn’t Jesus say that not a jot or tittle of the law would pass away?
The Torah, or law in Hebrew, was put in place to keep the community holy and to distinguish it from all other people. It also pointed toward and prepared for the ushering in of the new creation promised by God through the prophets. For Christians, Jesus is this long anticipated new creation. In other words, the law, or Torah, was consummated in Christ. The law has not passed away, but has been fulfilled.