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The Passion

Fourth Article of the Apostles’ Creed

 

After the Last Supper, Jesus went with His Apostles to the Garden of Gethsemani. And going a little ,further, He fell upon His face, praying: “Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from Me; yet not as I will, but as Thou wiltest” (Matt. 26:39). After praying three times the same prayer, Jesus said to His disciples: “Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man will be betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us go. Behold, he who betrays Me is at hand” (Matt. 26:45-46). Judas had come.

    What important events marked the end of Our Lord’s public life? –The following events marked the end of Our Lord’s public life: His solemn entry into Jerusalem, the Last Supper He ate with His Apostles, and finally, His passion and death.

     

  1. Jesus Christ entered Jerusalem in triumph, riding on an ass, with children waving palms and singing.

    The Church commemorates the entrance into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. On that day palms are blessed, and there is a procession, in memory of the palms that the joyous people waved at the entrance into Jerusalem of Our Lord. Palm Sunday is the Sunday before Easter. The week following it is called Holy Week.

     

  2. On the Thursday evening after His entry into Jerusalem, Jesus ate the Paschal Supper with His Apostles. We call it the Last Supper, for it was the last meal He ate before His death.

    The Jews celebrated the feast of the Pasch in memory of their deliverance from Egypt. They had been saved by the blood of the paschal lamb.

     

  3. After the Supper, Our Lord washed the feet of the Apostles. He did this to teach us humility.

    In commemoration, the celebrant of Holy Thursday Mass today washes the feet of twelve men, after the Gospel.

     

  4. After the washing of feet, Our Lord instituted the Blessed Eucharist, said the first Mass, and gave His Apostles their first Holy Communion.

    What is meant by the Redemption? –By the Redemption is meant that Jesus Christ, as Redeemer of the whole human race, offered His sufferings and death to God as a fitting sacrifice in satisfaction for the sins of men, and regained for them the right to be children of God and heirs of heaven.

    redeemer is one who pays in order to get back something lost. He gives satisfaction, compensation for an offense or injury done another.

     

  1. No creature could, of himself, make satisfaction for sin. Sin offends an infinite God, and therefore would need infinite satisfaction. Therefore Someone Infinite, Jesus Christ, had to offer that satisfaction.

    Jesus Christ suffered and died as man; as God He could neither suffer nor die. He suffered excruciatingly in order to make full reparation for sin, and to impress on us the great evil of sin. Even only one sin is so abominable to God that not all the deluges and fires can wipe off the stain. Only the blood of God Himself can do so. “The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Is. 53:6).

     

  2. Christ died for all men, without exception. He is the Redeemer of all men. Not all men are saved because not all accept the graces which Christ merited for us by His death. Many do not believe in Him. Of those who believe, many lead sinful lives.

    “Christ also loved us and delivered himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God” (Eph. 5:2). We can never realize fully that God died for us. We can never repay Him in this life or the next. The only way we can show our appreciation is to live according to His will.

    What were the chief sufferings of Christ? –The chief sufferings of Christ were His bitter agony of soul, His bloody sweat, His cruel scourging, His crowning with thorns, His crucifixion, and His death on the cross.

    Christ had often foretold His Passion. “For he was teaching his disciples, and saying to them ‘The Son of Man is to be betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill him; and having been killed, he will rise again on the third day”‘ (Mark 9:30). Again: “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and the Scribes; and they will condemn him to death, and will deliver him to the Gentiles; and they will mock him, and spit upon him, and scourge him, and put him to death; and on the third day he will rise again” (Mark 10:33-34).

     

  1. From the Last Supper, Christ went with His Apostles to the Garden of Olivesto pray. There He was overwhelmed with sorrow and agony, so that He sweated blood.

    Our Lord looked forward to His agony, saying to His Apostles, “That the, world may know that I love the Father, and that I do as the Father has commanded me. Arise, let us go from here” (John 14:31) . In the Garden, Jesus felt so sad at the sins of men and at what would befall Him that He said, “My soul is sad even unto death” (Matt. 26:38). To His Father, He cried out in pain, “Father, if thou art willing, remove this cup from me; yet not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42). In agony, “his sweat became as drops of blood, running down upon the ground” (Luke 22:44).

     

  2. Jesus Christ was betrayed by Judas, seized by soldiers, led before the high priest, and condemned to death. The Sanhedrin, the council of the Jews, headed by Caiphas the high priest, condemned Jesus to death for the crime of blasphemy, because He claimed to be Christ the Son of God.

    “Then the high priest, standing up, said to him, ‘Dost thou make no answer to the things that these men prefer against thee?’ But Jesus kept silence. And the high priest said to him, ‘I adjure thee by the living God that thou tell us whether thou art the Christ, the Son of God.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Thou hast said it.’ … Then the high priest tore his garment, saying, ‘He has blasphemed; what further need have we of witnesses? Behold, now you have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?’ And they answered and said, ‘He is liable to death'” (Matt. 26:62-66)

    Jesus Christ was led to Pontius Pilate, the Roman Governor of Judea, to have His sentence confirmed. At the time the Jews were forbidden by their Roman masters from putting anyone to death without the confirmation of the Governor. Pilate questioned Christ time and again, but had to say to His accusers: “I find no guilt in Him.”

    The Jewish Priests and Pharisees hated and persecuted Jesus because they expected the Messias to be an earthly king. They were so wicked that in spite of the proofs of Christ’s divinity, they would not believe a poor man could be the Messias. They hated Jesus; He had rebuked them for their sins.

     

  3. But Pilate wished to please the Jews, and had Jesus scourged, Jesus was bound to a pillar, His clothes torn off; strong men with whips, cords, and straps with iron spikes scourged Him, and the whole body of Our Lord was one great wound.

    “And the soldiers, plaiting a crown of thorns, put it upon his head, and arrayed him in a purple cloak. And they kept coming to him and saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ and striking him. Pilate therefore again went outside and said to them, ‘Behold, I bring him out to you, that you may know that I find no guilt in him.’ Jesus therefore came forth, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple cloak. And he said to them, ‘Behold the man!'”

     

  4. At last, fearing that if he did not permit Jesus to be put to death the Jews would accuse him before Caesar, Pilate gave in to the insistence of the Jews and delivered Him to them to be crucified.

    Christ was made to carry His cross through the streets of Jerusalem to Mount Calvary. He was nailed to the cross about noon, dying three hours afterwards, crucified between two thieves.

This article has been taken from “My Catholic Faith” I am not the author merely the distributor.
God Bless BJS!!

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Adam and Eve: Our First Parents

 

Our first parents were perfectly happy in Paradise. If they had not sinned, they would never have died or suffered from sickness and sorrow. When the time came for their leaving the earth, they would have been taken body and soul to Heaven. The tree of life grew in Paradise. By eating of its fruit Adam and Eve were preserved from death, sickness, and all manner of weakness of the body. All these gifts were lost as a punishment of the sin our first parents committed.

 

Who were the first man and woman? — The first man and woman were Adam and Eve, the first parents of the whole human race.

 

  1. God made Adam’s body out of the slime of the earth, and breathed an immortal soul into it (Gen. 2:7). God then cast a deep sleep upon Adam, and taking one of his ribs formed it into Eve (Gen. 2:22).

    Adam’s body was formed from the earth. But his soul was immediately created out of nothing by the almighty power of God. The soul of every person is created in this way. We do not inherit our soul from our parents; it comes directly from the hand of God at the same moment that we receive life.

     

  2. Adam and Eve were our first parents. All of mankind makes up one great family.

    Sacred Scripture says that before the creation of Adam “there was not a man to till the earth” (Gen.2:5) ; and that Eve was the “mother of all the living” (Gen. 3:20). Legends of all races tell of an original happiness from which man fell, and of a flood that covered the earth.

     

  1. All men have common bodily characteristics.

    The beat of the pulse, the temperature of the body, the physical structure, and even such faculties as the sense of smell, of sight, of hearing,–all these vary little among different races. Differences are results of variations in climate, food, ways of living, and opportunity.

     

  2. Emotionally and intellectually all races are the same.

    Researches have discovered a universal sameness in ideas of right and wrong; there is a universal moral code, even among the most primitive of tribes. For example, all men consider wrong the murder of those who are not enemies, cruelty to children, incest, and irreverence. If the moral code were the result of fear of reprisal, why was not stealing considered wrong when committed against an enemy? Science almost compels the conviction of the origin of mankind from only one pair of ancestors; Religion declares it.

    What was the chief gift bestowed on Adam and Eve by God? — The chief gift bestowed on Adam and Eve by God was sanctifying grace, which made them children of God and gave them the right to heaven.

       

    1. God created Adam and Eve in the state of innocence and holiness. This made them pleasing to God, and full of love for Him. It made them children of God, and therefore heirs of heaven. This state of innocence we term “sanctifying grace”.

      “God filled them with wisdom and the knowledge of understanding…. He created in them the science of the spirit, he filled their heart with wisdom. … And their eye saw the majesty of his glory, and their ears heard his glorious voice” (Ecclus. 17:6,11).

    2. God’s abiding grace made Adam and Eve so happy that their happiness almost equaled that of the angels.

      “Thou hast made him a little less than the angels; thou hast crowned him with glory and honor” (Ps. 8:6).

    What other gifts were bestowed on Adam and Eve by God? — The other gifts bestowed on Adam and Eve by God were happiness in the Garden of Paradise, great knowledge, control of the passions by reason, and freedom from suffering and death.

    If our first parents had not sinned these gifts would have been transmitted to all men as the possession of human nature.

       

    1. God put Adam and Eve in the “paradise of pleasure”, a garden which contained all kinds of plants, flowers, birds, and beasts, – everything good that could be imagined.

      All the birds and beasts were perfectly obedient to Adam and Eve. In the midst of the garden grew the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Near it was the tree of life, which protected Adam and Eve from disease.

       

    2. God also gave Adam and Eve infused knowledge; that is, without experience or study they knew all that full-grown persons needed to fulfill the purpose of their creation, and as educators of men.

      For example, Adam knew the indissolubility of marriage; his insight helped him give suitable names to the animals.

       

    3. God blessed Adam and Eve with a freedom from subjection to their lower appetites, such as impurity, drunkenness, etc. They had no inclination to evil.

      Their will was free from all weakness, weakened by no sensual desires. On account of the absence of rebellion of the flesh against the spirit, they felt no shame even though they were naked in Paradise.

       

    4. Lastly, God gave Adam and Eve freedom from bodily disease and death.

      Adam and Eve were created immortal, and were made free from all subjection to sickness, which is the prelude to death. Had Adam and Eve been faithful to God, they would never have died, nor suffered disease.

    What commandment did God give Adam and Eve? — God gave Adam and Eve the commandment not to eat of the fruit of a certain tree that grew in the garden of Paradise.

       

    1. God wanted Adam as head and representative of the human race to meritheaven. And so, after granting him His abiding grace, and blessing him with wonderful gifts, and giving him the Garden of Paradise to live in, He commanded him not to eat of the fruit of a certain tree.

      “Of every tree of Paradise thou shalt eat: but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil thou shalt not eat; for in what day soever thou shalt eat of it, thou shalt die the death” (Gen. 2:16,17). The fruit of the forbidden tree was not evil in itself, for in Paradise God did not place anything bad. It was bad only because it was forbidden; and if Adam and Eve partook of it they would have disobeyed God.

       

    2. If Adam and Eve had been faithful to God, they would have passed without disease and without bodily death from their earthly Paradise to heaven, God’s home, where they would see Him face to face.

      All the children of Adam, the entire human race, would have been born as Adam had been Created, in a state of friendship with God, and with all his gifts. If one had sinned, he would have been punished by God, but not being the head of the entire human race, he would not have passed on the stain to his descendants. Everybody would then have suffered for his own sins alone.

    Did Adam and Eve obey the commandment of God? — Adam and Eve did not obey the commandment of God, but ate of the forbidden fruit.

    The devil tempted Eve to eat of the fruit. and she ate; then she gave some to Adam, and he also ate (Gen. 3:1-13).

This article has been taken from “My Catholic Faith” I am not the author merely the distributor.
God Bless BJS!!