Thursday, July 04, 2013

What Catholics Believe, The Creed Part 3

Icon of the Crucifixion
[This section covered under parts one and two of the series] 
I believe in one God, the Father almighty,
    maker of heaven and earth,
    of all things visible and invisible.
I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,
        the Only Begotten Son of God,
        born of the Father before all ages.
    God from God, Light from Light,
        true God from true God,
    begotten, not made, consubstantial
       with the Father;
        Through him all things were made.
    For us men and for our salvation
        he came down from heaven,
        and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate
        of the Virgin Mary,
        and became man.
*************************************************Part 3

Ecce Homo by Antonio Ciseri
    For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,

This is now considered historic fact.  When the creed was first developed and before the Scriptures were canonized (chosen by the Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit), the belief in Christ's Passion, and Resurrection was already an integral part of Christianity.  The naming of the historic Roman official in charge makes it that much more real.

        he suffered death and was buried, 

Jesus was crucified on a cross, the usual punishment for criminals who were to be made an example.  He was tortured for hours before hand, was treated inhumanely, and then nailed painfully to a cross.  Here we see His fully human side.  He was taken down from the cross by disciples before the evening came--when it would be the Sabbath.  Sabbath Law would not allow them to do so, and Jesus' humiliation on the cross would have lasted another day.  He was taken down and put in a new tomb--a tomb that was not used by any one yet.

Icon of the Women at the Empty Tomb
        and rose again on the third day

        in accordance with the Scriptures. 

Jesus made reference to both Jonah and the temple when speaking of His body and His bodily Resurrection.  He told the disciples He would rise on the third day.  They didn't understand what He was speaking of until it actually happened.  The women came on the third day, Sunday morning, to wash and prepare His body for the tomb.  They brought oils, herbs, and fresh linens.  Because of the hurry to get Jesus down from the cross and place Him in the tomb, He was hurriedly wrapped in the Shroud.  So, the women went to the tomb to do the job properly.   Of course, once there, they became the first witnesses to the Resurrection--Jesus wasn't there!!  And, unlike Lazarus who would eventually die again, Jesus' body was transformed and would never die.

The Ascension by Benjamin West, 1801
    He ascended into heaven

        and is seated at the right hand of the Father. 

We say he ascended because that is how it seems from here.  He went up into the heavens to Heaven.  He has rejoined His Father in the glory of Heaven.  He has picked up the scepter of His Kingdom and will reign forever. 

    He will come again in glory

        to judge the living and the dead 

The belief of all Christianity is the Second Coming of Christ.  He will be the ultimate judge of who will enjoy eternal life and who will endure eternal punishment.  (CCC 677-679)

        and his kingdom will have no end.

Time does not exist beyond this world.  Once His Kingdom is fully fulfilled, there is no end--it is forever.  In the Catechism it says, "Everyone is called to enter the Kingdom.  First announced to the children of Israel, this messianic kingdom is intended to accept men of all nations.  To enter it, one must first accept Jesus' words:  
The word of the Lord is compared to a seed which is sown in a field; those who hear it with faith and are numbered among the little flock of Christ have truly received the kingdom.  Then, by its own power, the seed sprouts and grows until the harvest." (See Mark 4:14, 26-29; and Lumen Gentium no. 5
For a fuller explanation of the Kingdom, one can read the Catechism numbers 543-560.

*************************************END PART 3

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
        the Lord, the giver of life,
    who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
    who with the Father and the Son
        is adored and glorified,
        who has spoken through the prophets.
I believe in one, holy, catholic,
     and apostolic Church.
    I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins
        and I look forward to the resurrection
        of the dead and the life of the world to come.


  1. Very good! We linked this one an others at Catholid Defender Daily ( Link back to us, and keep proposing the faith!

    Blessing and Shalom!

  2. Greetings David! Thank you for the links! Catholic Defender Daily is an interesting site! I've linked in this message and plan to add more links.



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