25 seeking something special

Added: Elija Luby - Date: 27.11.2021 06:27 - Views: 49079 - Clicks: 3005

Christ is the Light of nations. Because this is so, this Sacred Synod gathered together in the Holy Spirit eagerly desires, by proclaiming the Gospel to every creature, 1 to bring the light of Christ to all men, a light brightly visible on the countenance of the Church.

Since the Church is in Christ like a sacrament or as a and instrument both of a very closely knit union with God and of the unity of the whole human race, it desires now to unfold more fully to the faithful of the Church and to the whole world its own inner nature and universal mission.

This it intends to do following faithfully the teaching of councils. The present-day conditions of the world add greater urgency to this work of the Church so that all men, ed more closely today by various social, technical and cultural ties, might also attain fuller unity in Christ. The eternal Father, by a free and hidden plan of His own wisdom and goodness, created the whole world.

His plan was to raise men to a participation of the divine life. Fallen in Adam, God the Father did not leave men to themselves, but ceaselessly offered helps to salvation, in view of Christ, the Redeemer "who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature".

Already from the beginning of the world the foreshadowing of the Church took place. It was prepared in a remarkable way throughout the history of the people of Israel and by means of the Old Covenant. The Son, therefore, came, sent by the Father. It was in Him, before the foundation of the world, that the Father chose us and predestined us to become adopted sons, for in Him it pleased the Father to re-establish all things. By His obedience He brought about redemption.

The Church, or, in other words, the kingdom of Christ now present in mystery, grows visibly through the power of God in the world. This inauguration and this growth are both symbolized by the blood and water which flowed from the open side of a crucified Jesus, 5 and are foretold in the words of the Lord referring to His death on the Cross: "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to myself". All men are called to this union with Christ, who is the light of the world, from whom we go forth, through whom we live, and toward whom our whole life strains.

When the work which the Father gave the Son to do on earth 9 was accomplished, the Holy Spirit was sent on the day of Pentecost in order that He might continually sanctify the Church, and thus, all those who believe would have access through Christ in one Spirit to the Father. Uninterruptedly He renews it and le it to perfect union with its Spouse. Thus, the Church has been seen as "a people made one with the unity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The mystery of the holy Church is manifest in its very foundation. The Lord Jesus set it on its course by preaching the Good News, that is, the coming of the Kingdom of God, which, for centuries, had been promised in the Scriptures: "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand" In the word, in the works, and in the presence of Christ, this kingdom was clearly open to the view of men.

The Word of the Lord is compared to a seed which is sown in a field; 19 those who hear the Word with faith and become part of the little flock of Christ, 20 have received the Kingdom itself. Then, by its own power the seed sprouts and grows until harvest time. When Jesus, who had suffered the death of the cross for mankind, had risen, He appeared as the one constituted as Lord, Christ and eternal Priest, 24 and He poured out on His disciples the Spirit promised by the Father.

While it slowly grows, the Church strains toward the completed Kingdom and, with all its strength, hopes and desires to be united in glory with its King. In the old Testament the revelation of the Kingdom is often conveyed by means of metaphors. In the same way the inner nature of the Church is now made known to us in different images taken either from tending sheep or cultivating the land, from building or even from family life and betrothals, the images receive preparatory shaping in the books of the Prophets.

The Church is a sheepfold whose one and indispensable door is Christ. The Church is a piece of land to be cultivated, the tillage of God. Often the Church has also been called the building of God. This edifice has many names to describe it: the house of God 37 in which dwells His family; the household of God in the Spirit; 38 the dwelling place of God among men; 39 and, especially, the holy temple. As living stones we here on earth are built into it. The Church, further, "that Jerusalem which is above" is also called "our mother". It seeks and experiences those things which are above, where Christ is seated at the right-hand of God, where the life of the Church is hidden with Christ in God until it appears in glory with its Spouse.

In the human nature united to Himself the Son of God, by overcoming death through His own death and resurrection, redeemed man and re-molded him into a new creation. In that Body the life of Christ is poured into the believers who, through the sacraments, are united in a hidden and real way to Christ who suffered and was glorified. As all the members of the human body, though they are many, form one body, so also are the faithful in Christ.

There is only one Spirit who, according to His own richness and the needs of the ministries, gives His different gifts for the welfare of the Church. From all this it follows that if one member endures anything, all the members co-endure it, and if one member is honored, all the members together rejoice.

The Head of this Body is Christ. He is the image of the invisible God and in Him all things came into being. He is before all creatures and in Him all things hold together. He is the head of the Body which is the Church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He might have the first place. All the members ought to be molded in the likeness of Him, until Christ be formed in them.

From Him "the whole body, supplied and built up by ts and ligaments, attains a growth that is of God". In order that we might be unceasingly renewed in Him, 67 He has shared with us His Spirit who, existing as one and the same being in the Head and in the members, gives life to, unifies and moves through the whole body.

This He does in such a way that His work could be compared by the holy Fathers with the function which the principle of life, that is, the soul, fulfills in the human body. Christ loves the Church as His bride, having become the model of a man loving his wife as his body; 68 the Church, indeed, is subject to its Head. But, the society structured with hierarchical organs and the Mystical Body of Christ, are not to be considered as two realities, nor are the visible assembly and the spiritual community, nor the earthly Church and the Church enriched with heavenly things; rather they form one complex reality which coalesces from a divine and a human element.

As the assumed nature inseparably united to Him, serves the divine Word as a living organ of salvation, so, in a similar way, does the visible social structure of the Church serve the Spirit of Christ, who vivifies it, in the building up of the body.

These elements, as gifts belonging to the Church of Christ, are forces impelling toward catholic unity. Just as Christ carried out the work of redemption in poverty and persecution, so the Church is called to follow the same route that it might communicate the fruits of salvation to men.

Christ Jesus, "though He was by nature God. Thus, the Church, although it needs human resources to carry out its mission, is not set up to seek earthly glory, but to proclaim, even by its own example, humility and self-sacrifice. Christ was sent by the Father "to bring good news to the poor, to heal the contrite of heart", 79 "to seek and to save what was lost". It does all it can to relieve their need and in them it strives to serve Christ.

While Christ, holy, innocent and undefiled 81 knew nothing of sin, 82 but came to expiate only the sins of the people, 83 the Church, embracing in its bosom sinners, at the same time holy and always in need of being purified, always follows the way of penance and renewal.

At all times and in every race God has given welcome to whosoever fears Him and does what is right. Rather has it pleased Him to bring men together as one people, a people which acknowledges Him in truth and serves Him in holiness. He therefore chose the race of Israel as a people unto Himself. With it He set up a covenant. Step by step He taught and prepared this people, making known in its history both Himself and the decree of His will and making it holy unto Himself.

All these things, however, were done by way of preparation and as a figure of that new and perfect covenant, which was to be ratified in Christ, and of that fuller revelation which was to be given through the Word of God Himself made flesh. I will give my law in their bowels, and I will write it in their heart, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. For all of them shall know Me, from the least of them even to the greatest, saith the Lord. This was to be the new People of God. For those who believe in Christ, who are reborn not from a perishable but from an imperishable seed through the word of the living God, 88 not from the flesh but from water and the Holy Spirit, 89 are finally established as "a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a purchased people.

That messianic people has Christ for its head, "Who was delivered up for our sins, and rose again for our justification", 91 and now, having won a name which is above all names, reigns in glory in heaven. The state of this people is that of the dignity and freedom of the sons of God, in whose hearts the Holy Spirit dwells as in His temple. Its law is the new commandment to love as Christ loved us. Established by Christ as a communion of life, charity and truth, it is also used by Him as an instrument for the redemption of all, and is sent forth into the whole world as the light of the world and the salt of the earth.

Israel according to the flesh, which wandered as an exile in the desert, was already called the Church of God. God gathered together as one all those who in faith look upon Jesus as the author of salvation and the source of unity and peace, and established them as the Church that for each and all it may be the visible sacrament of this saving unity.

Moving forward through trial and tribulation, the Church is strengthened by the power of God's grace, which was promised to her by the Lord, so that in the weakness of the flesh she may not waver from perfect fidelity, but remain a bride worthy of her Lord, and moved by the Holy Spirit may never cease to renew herself, until through the Cross she arrives at the light which knows no setting.

Christ the Lord, High Priest taken from among men, made the new people "a kingdom and priests to God the Father". Though they differ from one another in essence and not only in degree, the common priesthood of the faithful and the ministerial or hierarchical priesthood are nonetheless interrelated: each of them in its own special way is a participation in the one priesthood of Christ. But the faithful, in virtue of their royal priesthood, in the offering of the Eucharist. It is through the sacraments and the exercise of the virtues that the sacred nature and organic structure of the priestly community is brought into operation.

Taking part in the Eucharistic sacrifice, which is the fount and apex of the whole Christian life, they offer the Divine Victim to God, and offer themselves along with It. Strengthened in Holy Communion by the Body of Christ, they then manifest in a concrete way that unity of the people of God which is suitably ified and wondrously brought about by this most august sacrament.

Those who approach the sacrament of Penance obtain pardon from the mercy of God for the offence committed against Him and are at the same time reconciled with the Church, which they have wounded by their sins, and which by charity, example, and prayer seeks their conversion. By the sacred anointing of the sick and the prayer of her priests the whole Church commends the sick to the suffering and glorified Lord, asking that He may lighten their suffering and save them; she exhorts them, moreover, to contribute to the welfare of the whole people of God by associating themselves freely with the passion and death of Christ.

Finally, Christian spouses, in virtue of the sacrament of Matrimony, whereby they ify and partake of the mystery of that unity and fruitful love which exists between Christ and His Church, help each other to attain to holiness in their married life and in the rearing and education of their children.

25 seeking something special

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