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Lesson3

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  • 1. NATURE OF THE CHURCH: AS A MYSTERY
  • 2. Let us read the Message of God’s Love:
    • God commissioned me to preach among you His Word in its fullness, that mystery hidden from ages and generations past but now revealed to his holy ones. God has willed to make known to them the glory beyond price which this mystery brings to the Gentiles– the Mystery of Christ in you, your hope of glory. (Col 1: 25-26
  • 3. The Nature of Church as Mystery
    • Church’s nature and essence is a mystery.
    • It derives its mystery from the Trinitarian origin.
    • She manifests the Blessed Trinity through both her nature and mission.
  • 4. Why the Church is a Mystery?
  • 5.
    • To say that the Church is a mystery is to say that its nature can never be grasped by the power of reason alone.
  • 6. MYSTERY
    • In Christian faith, it is something so full of reality that there is always more to know and understand.
    • “ The Church is a mystery, a mystic reality, steeped in the presence of God…” (Pope Paul VI, Second Vatican Council on Sept.29,1963 )
  • 7.
    • A reality we can never fully grasp and never able to fully understand due to the limitation of our human intelligence.
    • Nature of the Church: to be always open to new and greater exploration.
  • 8.
    • In Greek, mysterion ; in Latin, mysterium ; and in Pilipino, hiwaga .
    • Mystery is to see beyond the physical.
    • -A reality in which “we live and move and have our being.”
    • Paul wished his community: “May He enlighten the eyes of your heart so that you can see…”(Eph 1:18)
  • 9. The Church as Mystery
    • First: Father’s plan of salvation as it comes to concrete realization in the person of Christ.
    • “ The Son of God became human like us, in him dwells the fullness of God”
  • 10.
    • Second: Ongoing life of the Church in the Spirit of the Risen Christ
    • Mystery refers to the divine/spiritual aspects of the Church.
  • 11.
    • Mystery also refers to the union of God with man, which began in Christ, now continues through the Church.
    • The Church is rightly considered as the continuation of the Incarnation of Christ.
    • It is basically a “mystery of communion”.
  • 12.
    • The Church is a mystery because it holds apparent ‘opposites’ together.
    • She is one but comprises of both human and divine, both divine and holy, both visible and changeable, both invisible and permanent, both earthly and heavenly.
    • The nature of the Church is an expression of Christ.
  • 13.
    • The Church is both part of the world and tempted by sin, and apart from the world and shaped by grace.
    • This tension is created as the Church tries to make god visible and relevant to the secular world.
  • 14.
    • The Church as a mystery balances the human and the spiritual aspects of the Church. Since part of the nature of the Church is spiritual, it is through the eyes of faith that we can see the hand of God accomplishing things in the Church, that which could not be done by humans alone.
  • 15. The Mystery of the Church as Witnessed in History
  • 16.
    • We can see the hand of God in the history of the Church itself.
    • The hidden presence of God in the Church, her having both human and divine elements, her being sinful and holy, her changeable and permanent aspects – all these are seen and very in history.
  • 17.
    • History can attest about the steadfast presence of the Spirit of Christ in the Church especially in time of difficulties.
  • 18.
    • The history of the Church show how the Church has survived different forms of sufferings and persecutions; how she stood the test of time in spite of her limitations and weaknesses; and how she sustained and empowered the people to remain steadfast to their faith.
  • 19. Many Christians were being persecuted because
    • They refused to worship Roman Gods
    • They didn’t obey Roman laws because it is in conflict with their religion teachings
    • Christians rejected the Divine status and worshipped the Trinity
    • More Roman citizens abandoned their old faith and became Christians
  • 20. Christians
    • They were blamed for all the misfortunes of Rome specifically; the flood, epidemics, etc.
    • Christians who refused to abandon their faith were killed and tortured. They served as an entertainment for the Roman soldiers.
    • First apostle to be martyred: JAMES (the brother of John)
  • 21. First Christian Persecution: under Emperor Nero, “The Great Fire of Rome”
    • The Christians were blamed for the fire that destroyed a part of Rome
    • In spite of the many persecutions, Christianity spread throughout the world which developed into the “ Christian Church ”
  • 22.  
  • 23. Church’s nature both human and divine
    • Her humanness is subject in imperfection.
    • Human frailty: Sin, suffering, illness and death.
  • 24. The Church is subject to the condition laws on human life on Earth
    • Knowing the nature of the church leads to understanding her limitation.
    • Through the Church we learn the most about Jesus.
    • The Church is the connection with the Christ-event.
    • Church is the link on our experience of the event to those who will come after us.
    • The Church is the Bride of Christ, but while on Earth is not and will never be Christ’s perfect Bride
  • 25. REALITY OF HUMAN FRAILTY MAKES US REALIZE AND RECOGNIZE THE NEED FOR HEALING AND ONGOING CONVERSION .
    • “ Repent!”
    • Interior repentance is a radical of reorientation of our whole life
    • A return to God, a turning away from evil
  • 26.