Section 2: Jesus Christ’s Mission is Revealed The “fullness of time,” according to Saint Paul, begins when Gabriel tells Mary that she will conceive and bear a Son, Jesus, whose name means “God saves.” The Holy Family is a model of the love between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, which is which the Church holds the family as of central importance. The Annunciation was when the angel Gabriel asked Mary to be a part of salvation history by giving birth to the Son of God, therefore becoming the Theotokos, or “God-Bearer.” Mary was chosen to bear Jesus since she herself was conceived without sin, which is known as the Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. Mary remained a virgin even in conception to show the divine nature of Jesus’ person. Jesus becomes the “New Adam” since His Father is that of God, just like Adam’s father was God. Jesus did have a foster father, Joseph, on this Earth to protect Him and Mary along the way of life. Mary remained a virgin her entire life to show her devotion to God and to her only Son, Jesus Christ. Joseph, when he found out Mary was pregnant, was righteous and virtuous and decided to divorce her quietly, so as not to embarrass her publicly. An angel, however, told Joseph in a dream to take Mary as is wife still since she was pregnant not with another man’s son, but with the Son of God. Joseph did so and showed what it truly means to listen to one’s calling in life, even amongst confusion and difficulty. The “Messianic Hope” of the Israelites was fulfilled in Jesus Christ. All the Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah were fulfilled in Christ, giving his disciples reason to believe in him and used to spread the faith. Christology is the study of the person and life of Jesus Christ, from his birth, ministry, and mission. Analogy of Faith is the connection that all doctrines bear with one another and with Divine Revelation, such as pieces of a jigsaw puzzle fitting perfectly together. The Doctrine of the Incarnation teaches that Jesus, true God, came down from Heaven and became true man. Jesus then was both fully human and fully man, a concept that will never be fully understood with human understanding. Jesus, as true God and true man, is mediator for us with God since sin cuts us off from God. Jesus, as both man and God, establishes for us the connection that brings salvation. Jesus is expiation for our sins, or the act of atoning for our sins by His Paschal Mystery. Jesus came to also show us how deep God’s love for us truly is so that we can embrace it. Jesus shows us how to be holy in everyday life, since his true God nature is perfect holiness. Jesus came also destroy the ways of the Devil, since no human, due to original sin, could ever overcome or defeat the Devil fully. In Jesus, we see that the Incarnation was pivotal for the Paschal Mystery, for without the Incarnation, there would be no Paschal Mystery. The Reasons for the Incarnation are: ◦ To reconcile us to God through the forgiveness of sins ◦ To know the depth of God’s love ◦ To be our model for holiness ◦ To make us partakers of the divine nature ◦ To destroy the power of the Devil Jesus has many names and titles given to Him in the Bible. The actual name Jesus means, “God saves,” giving the name of Jesus the entire weight and purpose of the Paschal Mystery: to save God’s chosen people. Christ is not Jesus’ last name. Christ literally means “Messiah” from the Greek, which in turn means “anointed.” Kings, prophets and priests were all anointed with oil as a symbol of being chosen and blessed by God. Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit for the mission of redemptive salvation. After the Israel kingdom collapsed, the people thought a new king and Messiah would come to restore their kingdom. That person is Jesus. So when we say Jesus Christ, we are saying “Jesus, the Anointed One sent by God to be the Savior of the World.” Son of God is a title for Jesus that establishes for us the understanding of Jesus’ place in the Holy Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. At Jesus’ Baptism and Transfiguration, we hear God the Father say, “This is my Beloved Son.” “Lord” is the Greek word for Yahweh, or the name given by the Israelites to God, yet too holy to be spoken. Lord then is a confession of respect that Jesus is God incarnate. The Father’s saving plan is revealed through His Son and is fully understood with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Christ’s Passion, death, Resurrection, and Ascension most clearly reveal Jesus’ and His Father’s glory. Jesus’ Paschal Mystery can also be seen before his actual final days. Blessed Pope John Paul II created another set of mysteries for the Rosary, which clearly identify Jesus Christ as the manifestation of God: ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ The The The The The Baptism in the Jordan Wedding at Cana Proclamation of the Kingdom Transfiguration Institution of the Holy Eucharist The full realization of the Kingdom of God is the end result of God’s saving plan. Jesus’s cousin, John the Baptist, baptizes Jesus in the Jordan River, even though Jesus was without sin. Jesus wanted to be baptized to show His embracing of His human nature, in which He takes all of humanity’s sins upon His shoulder. The Baptism shows the Trinity in all its Glory, with Jesus as the Son, the Holy Spirit descending upon Him as the Father says, “This is my beloved Son, with who I am well pleased.” At the Wedding feast, Mary asks Jesus to turn water into wine since all the wine ran out. Jesus does so to show His power over creation and so others would come to believe in Him as such; this was the beginning of His public ministry. The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God shows us that in Jesus Christ and His teachings is the actual Kingdom of God, in which the poor and lowly are exalted and the rich sent away empty handed. This Kingdom challenges all human standards, which is the purpose of the Gospel. “Repent, and believe in the Gospel,” is the message we hear on Ash Wednesday, as well as the message of God’s coming Kingdom. The Transfiguration was when Jesus took Peter and some of the other apostles up a mountain and was transformed into glory before their eyes. As Jesus was glorified, he spoke with Moses, who represents the law, and Elijah, who represents the prophets, to show that Jesus was the true fulfillment of the law and the prophets all in one person. At the Institution of the Eucharist, Jesus gives the Church the most important sacrament and gift it possesses. Jesus turned ordinary bread and wine into the Body and Blood that He would shed on the cross the following day. Transubstantiation is the doctrine that the bread and wine at Mass actually and truly becomes the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. Jesus, in the Eucharist, is identified as the Lamb of God. The Paschal Lamb is Jesus Christ since it is through His blood and death that we are set free from the bonds of sin, just like the blood of the lamb used by the Israelites to escape the bonds of slavery in Egypt. The Lamb is a symbol Jesus willingly being led to the cross, like a lamb to the slaughter. Redemption is the core of the Paschal Mystery, since Jesus redeems us from our sinfulness by dying on the cross. He buys back our way into Heaven by conquering sin and death through His death. In Jesus’ time there was a majority of poor, or non-elite, and a minority of rich people. Jesus embraces His poverty and shows us that we do not need to get ahead like the elite and rich as the Devil would like, but rather to remember that in poverty, we can more fully encounter Christ. Poverty of Heart means recognizing that we must put God before everything else, even gaining and collecting material wealth, hence why this is also called spiritual poverty. Jesus preached that the rich and elite have a responsibility to tend to the poor and needy since in giving to the poor, the rich can be in communion with God’s will. We are challenged to put our trust in God and not in money. Ironic that on money the words, “In God We Trust” is printed. To redeem the disobedience of Adam, Jesus was totally obedient to the Father, even unto death on a cross. Jesus was obedient in His human relationships, with Mary and Joseph. Jesus was obedient to His Heavenly Father, even when He was afraid of the impending death that He tried to run from, though in the end obediently accepted. Jesus goes beyond the Old Law and challenges us to live a life in the New Law, bringing us closer to God through Him. Christ purifies our conscience through the Paschal Mystery, as He takes away our sins and challenges us to accept the ability to do good. Our moral choices should not be based on the law, but on what brings us into union with God. The New Law in the Sermon on the Mount calls us to let go of anger and not let it fester into revenge, for it is then that we are exposed to sin. We are challenged not to avoid sex before marriage, but formulating sexual fantasies and desires that we are bombarded with in the media today. We are called not to just love our family and friends, but to love all people; this teaching is one of the most challenging, and necessary, of the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus’ healings are a sign that God’s plan of salvation is being fulfilled. Jesus did not come to heal the sick alone; He came to heal the ailment of sin and death, which was His true mission. Jesus healings, however, do symbolize our own impending resurrection in which our body and spirit will be made whole and pure by God. Exorcisms are when demon spirits are cast out from the body of a person and was performed by Jesus and His apostles. In Jesus’ time, sickness was associated with sin; today, sickness is associated with natural causes. Jesus did associate sin with sickness; sin made us sick and cut off from God, yet Jesus is the cure for that sickness as He unifies us again to God by His Paschal Mystery.