Church as Mystery
Jesus invited all people to share in God's life together with Him. He gave us the gift of God's Holy Spirit. The Church is made up of all the people who share in God's life through the Holy Spirit, the People of God.
Remember in Baptism, original sin is washed away and we are filled with God's Holy Spirit. We begin to share in God's life, because His Spirit lives in us. And all who share in the Spirit are members in the Church.
Jesus chose 12 friends to be the APOSTLES, They would start the Church. The 12 Apostles lived with Jesus, and learned how to share in God's life. Then Jesus told them to go out into the whole world to baptize all the people.
On PENTECOST the Holy Spirit came down on the Apostles like tongues of fire. The Apostles went outside and talked with the people, and many of them were baptized that day. This happened 50 days after Easter. Pentecost is the birthday of the Church.
God shares His life and His love with all the people in the Church through the 7 Holy Mysteries...
Baptism, Chrismation, Penance, Holy Communion, Marriage, Holy Orders & Anointing of the Sick Jesus made Saint Peter the Head of the Church. He was the first POPE.
Jesus said to Peter, "You are Rock, and on this Rock I will build my church..."
To let you feel God's love by the forgiveness of your sins, Jesus told all the Apostles; "If you forgive people's sins, they are forgiven them..."
This was the beginning of The Holy Mystery of Penance Only God can forgive sins. But God gave the Apostles the power to speak for Him. The Apostles passed this power to the priests in the Church. Today, the priest continues the work of Jesus' Apostles.
The priest forgives your sins in God's Name.
The priest acts and speaks in Jesus' place. In this way God is with the Church in the Holy Mysteries through the priest. The people in the Church share in God's life, because the priest brings them God in the Holy Mysteries.
In the Church today...
The Pope - Is head of the Whole Church
The Patriarch - Is head of the Maronite Church
Cardinals - Help the Pope run the Church
Bishops - Are the Apostles, each is in charge of part of the Church called an Eparchy or Diocese
Priests - Act in place of Jesus in each parish church
Laity - Are all the children of God in the Church
Jesus sent the Apostles all over the world to tell all the people about God's love for them, and the forgiveness of their sins by His cross. Maronites see the Cross of Jesus as a giant compass sending the Apostles out into the Four Corners of the world to preach the Good News and Baptize in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit... They went North, South, East and West.
Connect the Dots to find Jesus' Cross.
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