Did you go to Mass today? What season of the Liturgical Year are we in? What was the theme of the Mass? What was the Gospel about? What was the homily about?
It signifies and actually brings about death to sin and entry into the life of the Most Holy Trinity . You have “put on Christ (Gal 3:27).
Beautiful prayer by Father : You have become a new creation and have clothed yourself in Christ. Clothed in white garment, bring it unstained to the judgment seat of our Lord Jesus Christ so that you may have everlasting life.
Next week will have session on this. A People sent – church on a mission
so we need the food and drink of the Holy Eucharist to stay alive in His grace.
Referring to the baptized as "new born babes", the apostle Peter writes: "Come to him, to that living stone, rejected by men but in God's sight chosen and precious; and like living stones be yourselves built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ ... you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light" (1 Pt 2:4-5, 9).
This period lasts from Easter Sunday until the completion of the Easter season – 50 days on Pentecost Sunday and completes the initiation process. You are now called neophytes (new light) . You reflect on what you have just gone through ad look to the future as to how you can share in the mission of Christ who came to bring salvation to the whole world. This is the period of time that reminds the whole church that life in Christ constantly calls us to grow and to look for new ways to live the life of grace, personally and together as community. Christian believers in the first century described this phase of continuing spiritual instruction that followed the rites of initiation –what next? What is this new life for? Mystagogy, traditionally and historically a period of great catechesis in the Church, the neophytes gathered together for eucharist on Sunday donning the white garment of the believer. Seeing with the eyes of the heart. Emphasis on the Eucharist- strong encouragement to participate in the Eucharist.
The imagery of the vine is a very powerful one - The prophets in the Old Testament used the image of the vine to describe the chosen people. Israel is God's vine, the Lord's own work, the joy of his heart: "I have planted you a choice vine" (Jer 2:21); "Your mother was like a vine in a vineyard transplanted by the water, fruitful and full of branches by reason of abundant water" (Ez 19:10); Jesus himself once again takes up the symbol of the vine and uses it to illustrate various aspects of the Kingdom of God: "A man planted a vineyard, and set a hedge around it, and dug a pit for the winepress, and built a tower and let it out to tenants and went into another country" (Mk 12:1; cf. Mt 21:28 ff.). John the Evangelist invites us to go further and leads us to discover the mystery of the vine: it is the figure and symbol not only of the People of God, but of Jesus himself. He is the vine and we, his disciples, are the branches. He is the "true vine", to which the branches are engrafted to have life. The Second Vatican Council, making reference to the various biblical images that help to reveal the mystery of the Church, proposes again the image of the vine and the branches: "Christ is the true vine who gives life and fruitfulness to the branches, that is, to us. Through the Church we abide in Christ, without whom we can do nothing (Jn 15:1-5)"(12). The Church herself, then, is the vine in the gospel. We the disciples of Christ is called to a completely new way of life. To live this new life, we must stay close to him. Vine – Christ – branches – people of God. (Church)
CONTRACEPTIVES; PRO LIFE –ABORTIONS EUTHANASIA FAMILY PLANNING
A vocation , from the Latin vocare ( verb , to call), is a term for an occupation to which a person is specially drawn or for which they are suited, trained or qualified. Though now often used in secular contexts , the meanings of the term originated in Christianity . The idea of vocation is central to the Christian belief that God has created each person with gifts and talents oriented toward specific purposes and a way of life. In the broader sense, Christian vocation includes the use of one's gifts in their profession, family life, church and civic commitments for the sake of the greater common good.
ENABLE THE ENABLER; WHEN YOU ARE UNABLE -GOD IS ABLE; WHEN YOU ARE ABLE -YOU DISABLE THE ENABLER; BE ABLE TO ENABLE THE ENABLER; DON’T DISABLE THE HOLY SPIRIT DON’T WAIT TILL YOU ARE DISABLED SPIRITUALLY !
The Acts of the Apostles continues down to our own day. God wants to write new chapters, with each of us — and that includes you — playing an important role. The wind is still blowing. The fire of the Holy Spirit still burns. Each of us, however, needs to let the Holy Spirit in to do his work. Each of us has to allow the Holy Spirit to bring about a similar miracle in us.
GROW IN THE SPIRIT – “ Do not neglect the gift that is in you” 1 Timothy 4:14-15 NOT FOR SELF GLORIFICATION
Looking back at our baptism 2013
(newly planted) from Greekneos – New phytos – Planted (a new convert )
• 4 distinct stages :- – Service of the Light – Liturgy of the Word – Liturgy of Baptism – Liturgy of the Eucharist
Blessing of the new fire• The Celebrant blesses the new fire: the celebrant and faithful gather around it and experience the flames dispelling the darkness and lighting up the night.
• Centralsymbolic object of the Vigil because it represents the Risen Lord in His glory.
It is blessed and inserted with the 5 grains of incense now. The Eastercandle is lighted from the new fire.
It is a majestic proclamation of theResurrection of Christ, a dramatic invitationto heaven and earth to join with the Churchin joy and jubilation. It is the rite ofsanctification of light and night, of placeand time, of priest and faithful for thecelebration of the Resurrection of our Lord
The ExsultetThe Easter proclamation has survived nearly 2000 years ofChristian music and stands as one of the finest of liturgicalpoetry. It captures the whole Easter mystery placed withinthe context of the economy of salvation and celebrates the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Liturgy of the Word • Each reading is followed by• 5 Readings and 4 an invitation to pray in Psalms silence, which is followed – 4 from the Old by a special prayer designed for that reading. Testament • These readings help us – 2 from the New meditate on the wonderful Testament works of God for his people including the since the beginning of time. Gospel Reading • The Gloria is sung before the reading of the Epistle of the Romans, and the Alleluia is sung before the Gospel.
Liturgy of Baptism – litany of the saints A prayer in to and in honour of the saints,appealing to them for help and divine protection.
Blessing of waterThe baptismal water is consecrated by a prayer of epiclesis.The Church asks God through his Son the power of the HolySpirit may be sent upon the water, so that those who will bebaptised in it may be “born of water and the spirit”.
Rite of baptismThe copious use of water during baptism is the most expressive outward sign of God’s gift of sanctifying grace in abundance: the water not only signifies the removal of but actually washes away original and all personal sins. Baptism makes the neophyte an adopted child of God and “partaker of the divine nature.”
• The white garment symbolises the purity of a soul cleansed from all sin: the person baptised has “put on Christ”, has risen with Christ.• The Godparents will light their candle from the Paschal candle for the neophytes. It signifies that Christ has enlightened the neophyte. In Him, the baptised are “light of the world”.
Effects of the Sacraments of Christian Initiation - Baptism• Through Baptism we are freed from sin ....• all sin, original sin & personal sin and reborn as children of God; ....• we become members of Christ, ....• an identity “Christian” - sharers in the prophetic, priestly and kingly mission of Christ.• are incorporated into the Church ....• as a baby is born into a family, so is the whole Church our family• and made sharers in her mission....
“The Eucharist is the source and summit of Christian life”. (CCC1324)
The Sacraments of Christian Initiation – Holy Eucharist• Baptism is necessary to obtain a share in the life of God.• The Eucharist is equally necessary to remain spiritually alive.(“..unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you willl have no life in you… for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink.” – John 6: 52, 55)
Holy Eucharist• “Anyone who desires to receive Christ in Eucharistic communion must be in the state of grace. Anyone aware of having sinned mortally must not receive communion without having received absolution in the sacrament of Penance.” CCC 1415(“..Examine yourselves, and only then eat of the bread and drink of the cup.” – 1 Cor 11:28)
To summarise …The sacraments of Christian initiation - Baptism,Confirmation, and the Eucharist - lay thefoundations of every Christian life. "The sharingin the divine nature given to men through thegrace of Christ bears a certain likeness to theorigin, development, and nourishing of naturallife. the faithful are born anew by Baptism,strengthened by the sacrament of Confirmation,and receive in the Eucharist the food of eternallife. - CCC 1212
Sharing• Recall the night of your baptism.• What was your experience like?• What lingers in your memory?• How did you feel?• What touched you? Engaged you? Disengaged you?• What did you hear, smell, see, taste?
Mystagogia: an ancient Greek word meaning"education in the sacred mysteries". It describes the life of a Christian believer after baptism and the firstinitiation rites - that is, the growth of the mind and heart in the ancient Christian faith.
The Fourth Phase: The Period of MystagogiaThe period of mystagogia is a time for: living a sacramental life living out the gospel way of life becoming more involved in the parish
Living out the faithRemain in me, as Iremain in you. Justas a branch cannotbear fruit on its ownunless it remains onthe vine, so neithercan you unless youremain in me. – John15:4
"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." Hosea 4:6
If we say, "We are without sin," we deceiveourselves, and the truth is not in us.1 JOHN 1: 8If we say, "We have not sinned," we makehim a liar, and his word is not in us.1 JOHN 1 :10All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sinwhich is not mortal. 1 John 5:17
GROWTH IN THE SPIRIT (VERTICAL DIMENSION)• SACRAMENT;• STUDY;• SERVICE;• SUPPORT GROUP & COMMUNITY;• SOLITUDE & PRAYER.• MASS• RECONCILIATION
What is sacramental living?Living out of a normal Catholic spiritual life; a life within the Church in which the Christian fulfills his/her vocation. (“vocare”– Latin – to call)
SACRAMENTAL LIVINGDo not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God- what is good, acceptable and perfect. – Rom 12:2
The point of all the sacraments is to make us holy, to make us radiatewith Gods own life, and to bring usto heaven. That is the great mission of the Holy Spirit. 39
God’s ultimate plan for us – that we may:...attain to the whole measure of thefullness of Christ (Eph. 4:13)"Our greatest wish and prayer is that you will become mature Christians." 2 Cor 13:9…press on to maturity (Heb 6:1) 40
The CharismaticGifts empowers the "Doing“ to build the ChurchThe SanctifyingGifts roots the "Being“ to bear fruits 41
“At the end of our lives, we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made orhow many great things we have done.We will be judged by ‘I was hungry andyou gave me to eat. I was naked and youclothed me. I was homeless and you tookme in.’” 43
"If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels,but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal." 1 Corinthians 13:1 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing 1 Corinthians 13:2
“ Charisms are therefore graces bestowed by the Holy Spirit on certain members of the faithful toprepare them to contributeto the common good of the Church.” Pope John Paul IIAddress to participants in theSecond International Conferenceof Ecclesial Movements, 2 March 1987, LOsservatore Romano 45English edition, 16 March 1987,