Saturday, February 19, 2011

Ephesians 4:4-6 part two

Ephesians 4:4-6:  There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.

Today's focus: One SPIRIT

a. See paragraph 683 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (below) answer the questions that follow:

683 "No one can say 'Jesus is Lord' except by the Holy Spirit." "God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, 'Abba! Father!"'

This knowledge of faith is possible only in the Holy Spirit: to be in touch with Christ, we must first have been touched by the Holy Spirit. He comes to meet us and kindles faith in us. By virtue of our Baptism, the first sacrament of the faith, the Holy Spirit in the Church communicates to us, intimately and personally, the life that originates in the Father and is offered to us in the Son.

Baptism gives us the grace of new birth in God the Father, through his Son, in the Holy Spirit. For those who bear God's Spirit are led to the Word, that is, to the Son, and the Son presents them to the Father, and the Father confers incorruptibility on them. And it is impossible to see God's Son without the Spirit, and no one can approach the Father without the Son, for the knowledge of the Father is the Son, and the knowledge of God's Son is obtained through the Holy Spirit.

Questions: According to this passage in the Cathechism of the Catholic Church, what are the roles of the Holy Spirit? I count seven. How many do you count? What do we do to earn the gift of the Holy Spirit? (Careful. This is a trick question).

b. Now see John 3:7-12; 7:38-40; 14:15-18; 16:7-11 and write on a separate sheet of paper the various roles the Lord Jesus attributes to the Holy Spirit (e.g. salvation in John 3:7ff).

c. See Romans 8:14-16. The word 'abba' used here is an Aramaic term used by Jewish children when referring to their 'daddy.' It is the same word Jesus used in the Garden of Gethsemene (Mark 14:35-36). What does this imply about the Holy Spirit's role in our intimacy with the Father?

The Church recites the Nicene Creed at each Mass. Part of the Creed, in addressing the Holy Spirit, reads: "He has spoken through the prophets"  -- meaning the words of Sacred Scripture are "God-Breathed", written for us by men under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Which is why, for example, St. Paul wrote these words to St. Timothy: (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Note also what the Church tells us about Holy Scripture (and then answer the question that follows):

131 "And such is the force and power of the Word of God that it can serve the Church as her support and vigor, and the children of the Church as strength for their faith, food for the soul, and a pure and lasting fount of spiritual life."Hence "access to Sacred Scripture ought to be open wide to the Christian faithful."

133 The Church "forcefully and specifically exhorts all the Christian faithful. . . to learn the surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ, by frequent reading of the divine Scriptures. Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.

136 God is the author of Sacred Scripture because he inspired its human authors; he acts in them and by means of them. He thus gives assurance that their writings teach without error his saving truth.

140 The unity of the two Testaments proceeds from the unity of God's plan and his Revelation. The Old Testament prepares for the New and the New Testament fulfills the Old; the two shed light on each other; both are true Word of God.

141 "The Church has always venerated the divine Scriptures as she venerated the Body of the Lord": both nourish and govern the whole Christian life. "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path" (Ps 119:105; cf. Is 50:4).
Question: Do you have a plan to consistently read through your Bible? If not, visit this page on my other blog for my recommendation.

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