Who is Jesus?

Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, who became human about 2000 years ago and lived in ancient Palestine. Jesus was born to a Jewish mother named Mary, and foster-father named Joseph, lived among the Jewish people, taught them about God, established a body of believers called the Church, and was put to death by crucifixion. Jesus conquered death by rising from the tomb in his own real body, appeared to many hundreds of people, and ascended into heaven. Christians call Jesus Christ the Lord and Saviour, and they believe he is active in their lives today, and desires a relationship with each of us.

Mosaic of Christus Pantocrator (c. 1130)
Fr Robert Baron: “Who is Jesus?”
Bishop Robert Barron: “Priest, Prophet & King”

Who is God?

God is One in Three Persons
The fact that God is a Holy Trinity of Persons is a mystery that we cannot know by reason alone, and was unknown to Israel before the Incarnation of Jesus Christ and the sending of the Holy Spirit.

One of the distinctive marks of Christianity, which sets it apart from other religions, is the belief that God has entered into human history to reveal himself to us, to form a relationship with us, and to call us to share in his own divine Trinitarian life—the life of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Rublev’s icon of the Trinity
Bob Rice “The Trinity Explained in Under 3 Minutes”
Bishop Robert Barron “The Mystery of God”

How Do We Know God?
We know God from the things he has created. First, we look at the things in the world and discover that they are moved, caused, have goodness, beauty, and order, etc., and from this we can come to a knowledge of God as the origin and the end of the universe. Second, the human person has an openness to truth and beauty, a sense of moral goodness, as well as freedom and an inner “voice” of conscience. In these the human person discerns signs of his or her soul that are “seeds of eternity” which have their origin in God (Catechism of the Catholic Church, nn. 31-35).

We can also know God from the Church’s proclamation of the special revelation that God has given of himself throughout human history. This revelation is found in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. The climax of this revelation comes in Jesus Christ: “through His words and deeds, His signs and wonders, but especially through His death and glorious resurrection from the dead and final sending of the Spirit of truth.” This special revelation tells us that “God is with us to free us from the darkness of sin and death, and to raise us up to life eternal” (Vatican II, Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, n. 4).

What is the Gospel?

Jesus Christ is the Gospel, the good news of salvation. The word Gospel comes from the Greek, euangelion, which was translated into Anglo-Saxon English, god-spell, meaning “good news” or “glad tidings.” From euangelion we get the word Evangelist, which is the title given to the writers of the four Gospels in the Christian Scriptures. These Gospel books proclaim the Good News of salvation that Jesus Christ brought about through his life, preaching, works, and particularly in his death and Resurrection. It is in and through Jesus Christ that we are saved from sin, death, and other evils, and offered eternal life, the truth about God and ourselves, and the gifts necessary to live a good life in friendship with God and our neighbour.

The act of faith is our response to the proclamation of the Gospel and the offer of salvation. Through faith we say ‘yes’ to God’s revelation of himself to us and we begin our journey towards him. This initial faith, which itself is a work of the Holy Spirit, leads us to Baptism, which is the gateway to life in the Spirit. “Through baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1213). This is truly good news!

Raphael, The Transfiguration (1518-20)
Fr Dave Pivonka, “The Empty Tomb Changes Everything”
(Redeemed Online) “What is the Gospel?”

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