Tag Archives: Last Supper

​The Living Church

 

In spite of all kinds of persecutions, the Church, under the guidance of the Holy Ghost, has continued to spread all over the world. It has obeyed strictly the command of Our Lord to the Apostles: “Go and make disciples of all nations.” Everywhere men have listened to its voice, believing the warning of Christ, “He that believeth not shall be condemned.”

 

    Give a short summary of the history of the Church for the almost two thousand years of its existence –The following is a brief summary: 

  1. The first 400 years. The Apostles dispersed to different countries in order to carry out Christ’s command to teach. The Apostles baptized, preached, and ruled in various countries to which they were sent. They appointed bishops and priests to rule and minister to the faithful.In spite of sufferings and persecutions they persevered, until finally they sealed their faith by martyrdom. Peter and Paul were especially interested in the conversion of the Roman Empire, the mightiest and also most wicked empire of ancient days.The morals of the Romans were extremely debased; the evil was spreading from the Imperial City of Rome throughout the vast empire. In Rome alone some 30,000 different “gods” and “goddesses” were worshipped, many of them for their very immorality. So close was the union of the pagan religion and the empire that to attack the religion was to be considered a traitor to Rome. For this reason the full force of the empire was set against the new religion of the Christians. But the Fisherman did not falter: Peter battled with all his might. He and Paul were both martyred; but others rose to continue the battle for Christ, which lasted for nearly 300 years.Persecution followed upon persecution, numbering ten unsurpassed in ferocity. The severest were those under Nero (64-68) and Diocletian (303-305). The latter condemned to death some two million Christians. But the more they were persecuted, the faster they increased. Tertullian says: “The blood of martyrs is the seed of Christianity.”

    At last, in 313 A.D., the banners of Christianity were flung out in victory; peace was granted by the Edict of Milan. Later, Constantine the Great made Christianity the State religion (324 A. D.) He was led to this step when he conquered in battle after seeing in the heavens a luminous cross with the words In hoc signo vinces (In this sign thou shalt conquer). His saintly mother, St. Helena, had also a great influence on his conversion.

     

  2. The second 400 years. Before sixty years had passed after the Edict of Milan, hordes of barbarian Huns, Goths, Vandals, and Visigoths, numbering millions, started moving from the north into the civilized European countries. City after city surrendered until Rome itself was taken, and the darkness of barbarism covered the continent. But the missionaries and teachers of the Church mingled with the barbarians, returned with them to their countries, and brought light once more out of darkness.St. Patrick was sent to Ireland, and converted that nation to Christianity. St. Augustine in England and St. Boniface in Germany changed those nations into followers of the cross of Christ. The idol worshipping Franks followed their king Clovis into the Christian fold. At the end of four centuries, the cruel and savage barbarians of Italy, Spain, France, Germany, England, and Ireland were Christians, civilized, progressive, settled in peaceful cities, building churches, carrying on trade. 
  3. The third 400 years. In the seventh century Mohammed had begun to propagate his doctrines among the Arabian tribes. His was a conversion by the sword: a great part of Asia, North Africa, Spain, and the islands of the Mediterranean were overrun and conquered to Mohammed’s Allah. At last Mohammedanism broke into France.In a memorable nine-day battle in 732 A. D., the French Christians under Charles Martel defeated the Mohammedans at Tours, and thus stopped their incursions into France. But in the next century the Mohammedans entered and sacked Rome itself, even St. Peter’s. However, the Church carried on and finally repelled the invader.The fall of Jerusalem into the hands of the Mohammedans in the eleventh century gave impetus to the Crusades, during which Christian armies went to free the Holy Places from the infidels. There were seven Crusades in all, from 1095 A.D., to 1254 A.D. Among the outstanding leaders we may mention: Godfrey de Bouillon, Frederick Barbarossa, Richard the Lionhearted, and St. Louis of France. 
  4. The fourth 400 years. The Christian rulers of Europe, upon becoming more powerful, began to look with envy on the Pope’s authority, and to encroach upon it. Although the Crusades had had good effects, too much interest in material preparations caused a relaxation in spiritual life; heresy often attacked the Church. Berengarius denied the Real Presence; followed the Greek schism, the Albigensian heresy, and the heresies of Wycliff and Huss, who denied the authority of the Church. Finally, in the sixteenth century, the general laxness and spirit of revolt culminated in open defiance against Church authority, and the Protestant Revolt swept Europe.An Augustinian monk, Martin Luther, in 1517 made an open attack on the doctrine of Indulgences. When he was effectively refuted by Doctor John Eck in a public argument, Luther became enraged, and more active in propagating his errors. Because his doctrines appealed to human vanity and weakness, he attracted many followers. The princes. who envied the papal authority, threw in their lot with Luther. The Bible was declared the only rule of faith, so, that no one would any longer be dependent on Church authority, but could interpret the word of God as he pleased for himself. The vicious were readily won over by the doctrine that man cannot prevent sin on account of natural corruption and the absence of free will.Revolt spread from Germany to other countries. In Switzerland John Calvin followed in Luther’s footsteps, and began Calvinism. In Scotland John Knox was the propagator of Protestantism. In England, Henry VIII’s desire to change wives was the immediate cause for the establishment of the Anglican Church. Denmark, Holland, Norway, and Sweden were all swept into heresy by their rulers.But out of the pains of the Protestant revolt, the Church came forth stronger and purified. In the meantime, newly discovered countries were converted. The Portuguese and Spaniards were the pioneers in this missionary enterprise. The discoveries of new lands, to which Catholic missionaries went, resulted in the gain of more millions for the Church than had been lost in Protestantism.

     

  5. The last 400 years. Many in Europe returned to the Church; more were gained in the Americas. Protestantism has continued to attack the Church; the paganism bred from the spirit of laxity and revolt is another enemy. Open warfare goes on in Russia and satellite countries. Still the Church continues to grow, the greatest single religious body in history.In 1954 missionaries of Mother Church can be found in the most remote portions of the globe, working patiently to bring souls to Christ. They go where no other foreigners would go. At present there are about 30,000 priests, 12,000 lay brothers, and 60,000 Sisters working in the foreign missions. The missions are supervised and supported by the Societies for the Propagation of the Faith and the Holy Childhood.At present the Church has a membership of about 425,000,000 in all parts of the world. They are under the direction of some 420,000 priests, 2,200 Prelates, and one Head, the Pope. They form the greatest body having a single religious faith. The different Protestant denominations number about two hundred million all together. The schismatic Eastern Christians total about 150 millions.

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

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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!!