Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of March 4, 2002
Apostles' Creed offers comfort
By FR. JOHN SPICER
"He will come again to judge the living and the dead." When will this end-time judgment take place? Mark tells us, "But about that day or hour no one knows." That's the answer, indeed the only answer. All other answers can only be speculation.
True, today's world is becoming one as never before in world history. And what is happening is happening more quickly than ever. That is something to consider.
However, we really do not know when the end will come. We do know, however, that God is a loving God, not a judgmental one. As John in his Gospel indicated, we ourselves shape our final judgment by the way we live our lives while on earth.
"I believe in the Holy Spirit." The Holy Spirit flows eternally from the mutual love of Father and Son.
When the Son, Jesus, completed his redemptive work on earth he said to the Apostles after his resurrection, "This is what you have heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now" (Acts 11:4-5).
Thus the Spirit is given us so that we might better absorb the example and the teachings of Jesus, thus enabling us to grow in faith and be more fit to shape the world we live in.
"The holy Catholic Church." Though "holy" because of the Holy Spirit in our midst, the Church is also human. And as human it has not always measured up to its calling. But its low times were recognized and corrected.
Thus compared to secular powers, the Catholic Church has been a beacon of light to the nations and a support to all that has been good in the world. For all its members the Church has conserved the apostolic faith down through the ages enabling us to grow in Christ and reach toward the fullness of life which God offers us.
"The communion of saints." In Christ we are sisters and brothers of one another. Indeed through Baptism, we form one body, the body of Christ. Thus in faith we are more closely related to each other than by ties of blood. Surely this truth moves us to deeply respect and love for one another.
"The forgiveness of sins." How comforting it is to know that our sins can be forgiven, enabling us to make new starts. So many of the saints we venerate were once public sinners.
God who made us can and will remake us. God is always at work in doing so especially through the sacraments of Eucharist and Reconciliation. Thanks be to God.
"The resurrection of the body and the life everlasting." What wonderful truths are given expression in these final words of the Apostles Creed!
Our present bodies, subject to so many ills and even to death, will yield through God's love to glorious, immortal bodies.
Could we possibly ask for more, especially when such glory is everlasting? Paul, throughout his letters, often refers to our own resurrection.
For instance, he writes to the Romans, "If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit that dwells in you" (8:10).
Thus we conclude our short look at our most familiar prayers.
(Last of a series)
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