This lesson is based on the text, Life in Christ: A Catholic Catechism for Adults, by Rev. Gerard Weber and Rev. James Killgallon (Acta Publications, 1995). The question in bold type is followed by a short answer taken from the text. The text in italics is another answer from the RCIA teacher, Jim Collins. Hyperlinks in red will direct you to documents or websites related to the topic. The entire sequence of lessons forms a comprehensive approach to basic RCIA instruction.
Sharing: Christmas & New Year
Song: Sing Lullaby: Sing lullaby! Lullaby baby, now reclining, Sing lullaby! Hush, do not wake the Infant King. Angels are watching, stars are shining over the place where he is lying: Sing lullaby!
Section 12: The Resurrection of Jesus Christ
Did Jesus Christ claim to be God? He was condemned to death for making this claim (Matthew 26:62). He proved it by showing that he had authority to forgive sins (Luke 5:21). He claimed the title for the Almighty, “I am” (John 8:57-58). Yes, especially in the Gospel of St. John. John 17: That they may be one as you are in me and I in You. John 14:8: Show us the Father… See M-1 Jesus is God
Is it not possible that when he said he was the Son of God Jesus was merely claiming to be a prophet sent by God? If that were the case, he would not have been condemned to death. Not when he says the Father and I are one (John 10:30)
Does not Jesus at times speak as if he were inferior to the Father and at other times as if they were equal? Yes, when he says, “The Father is greater than I (John 14:28) Yes, depending on Jesus’ point of view from his divine or human nature; Also, Jesus defers to the Father (speaking of him as Father and doing the Father’s will), as father, even though he is equal to the father.
Did Jesus say that he would rise from the dead? See the sign of Jonah: Mt 12:38-40). Many times. Destroy this temple and II will rebuild it in three days (John 2:19)
What is the story of Jesus’ Resurrection? The women arrived at the tomb and found it empty. Jesus later appeared to Mary Magdalene. An Angel told the women to tell Peter and the other apostles to meet him in Galilee. Jesus appeared to the disciples on the road to Emmaus and to the apostles in the upper room. Easter story.
Did the disciples of Jesus expect that he would rise from the dead? Mary Magdalene thought his body was stolen and that he was a gardener. The disciples on the way to Emmaus didn’t recognize him until the breaking of the bread. The apostles in the upper room at first though he was a ghost until he ate something. Thomas insisted on investigating the wounds himself. Obviously not because they were surprised when we appeared in the upper room (John 20). Also, the demand of Thomas to see Jesus’ wounds (John 20:19)
What did Jesus’ Resurrection teach the disciples? It showed them that he was both the Messiah and God. They fully understood this on Pentecost. That he is God and that all he taught bears the authority of God himself.
How is the Resurrection of Jesus the source of our hope? It shows us that Jesus conquered sin (crucifixion) and death (resurrection) and that he will raise us up on the last day (1 Thess 4:14). If Jesus had merely died on the cross, we would be moved by the sacrificial love of a prophet and outstanding rabbi. His resurrection is proof that he is not merely a prophet, but God, so that we have hope in the promises that he made (our own eternal life).
What happened after the death of Jesus? He brought redemption to those who had died before him. From the creed: he was buried. He descended to the dead (hell, underworld). He arose from the dead. He ascended into heaven, sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty. He appeared to many after his resurrection showing that he was real, not a ghost, and preparing the way for the birth of the Church on Pentecost. He established the sacraments of reconciliation and holy orders. He commissioned the apostles to spread the good news throughout the world and revealed the Trinity (Go therefore…Matthew 28:19). He promised to send the Holy Spirit. He consoled those who had mourned his death.
Did the Resurrection really happen? As Christians we believe that it was a real, historical event. He in his resurrected body was seen by many. The faith of the early Church was based on this fact. No one ever claimed to have the dead body of Jesus. It forms the basis of the Christian faith. If it didn’t happen, martyrs died for nothing. The willingness of the early Christians to die a martyr’s death is a testimony that they believed that Jesus rose from the dead. See Q-4 Resurrection
What is the importance of the Resurrection? (1) It validated all that Jesus said and did; (2) it fulfilled the teaching of the Old Testament; (3) it confirmed the divinity of Jesus; (4) it restored us to God’s grace and made us adopted children of God. 1 Cor 15: 12-20: St. Paul states that his preaching is in vain if the resurrection did not happen. It forms the foundation of our faith in Jesus the Lord.
What was the Ascension of Jesus? It was the last stage of Jesus’ mission on earth. It was the “definitive entrance of Jesus’ humanity into God’s heavenly domain” CCC 665. It was the occasion on which he ascended to heaven to return to the Father and Holy Spirit.
What did Jesus do at the time of the Ascension? He delegated his powers to his apostles and their successors. He commissioned them to teach, sanctify, and rule in his place. He commissioned his disciples: Therefore, as you go, disciple people in all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19)
Did the apostles begin their work immediately after the Ascension of Jesus? They returned to Jerusalem to wait for the Holy Spirit as Jesus had directed them. No. They returned to Jerusalem where they prayerfully waited for the Holy Spirit to come.
Will Christ come again? There will be many signs and wonders before the second coming. There will also be religious deception and the appearance of the anti-Christ followed by a final battle which will shake the foundation of the world. Then Christ will come to judge the living and the dead. (Mt 24:3-44; Rev. 21:1-8) Yes. He promised to do so in Matthew25:25 where he spoke about his second coming to judge everyone. See Second Coming and End Times and Last Judgment and 0-3 Rapture
Section 18: Mary: Mother of Christ and the Church (See Mary)
Why do we refer to Mary as the Mother of God? From her, the Second Divine Person took his human nature. Jesus is God. Mary is his mother. So she is the Mother of God. This was defined at the Council of Ephesus.
Why does Mary merit the title “Mother of the Church”? This title stems from three facts: (1) As mother of Jesus, she is Mother of all people; (2) She completely identified and accepted the offering Jesus made of himself on the cross, thereby cooperating in our redemption; See Mary Coredemptrix (3) all graces Jesus won for us on the cross are distributed through her maternal intercession. See Mary Mediatrix. She became the mother of all people when Jesus said: Woman behold thy son…(John 19:25-27). She was with the Apostles at Pentecost.
What do we mean by the Immaculate Conception? Mary was preserved from original sin from the very first instant of her conception. See Immaculate Conception Mary was conceived without Original Sin.
What is meant by the Assumption of Our Lady? Mary was taken, body and soul, into heaven. After her dormition (actual death or apparent death), Mary was assumed into heaven. The Catholic Church believes that Mary was assumed into heaven. This doctrine doesn’t specify that Mary died. It states that after the completion of her life, she was taken body and soul into heaven just as were Elijah (2 Kings 2: 1-18) and Enoch, son of Cain (Genesis 5: 21-24). This was a long-standing tradition of the Church. The doctrine was defined by Pope Pius XII in 1950: “Mary the immaculate perpetually Virgin Mother of God, after the completion of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into the glory of heaven.”
Why is Mary called “Queen of Heaven and Earth”? Mary as Mother of God joined in Jesus’ act of redemption and sharing in the struggle with his enemies and his eventual victory also shares in his royal dignity as Queen Mother. As the son of Jesus, Christ the King, she is the Queen Mother, who rules with Jesus as Queen of the same realms of which Jesus is the King—heaven and earth. See Mary Queen of Heaven.
What type of prayer is the rosary? It is a repetitive prayer which lends itself to meditation and contemplation.
How many decades are in the rosary? 5 decades short; 15 decades long (150 psalms); 20 decades with luminous mysteries added.
How many mysteries are in the rosary? 20 mysteries
Prayer: Prayer to St. Joseph: O blessed Joseph, happy man whose privilege it was, not only to see and hear that God whom many a king had longed to see, yet saw not, longed to hear, yet heard not; but also to carry him in your arms and kiss him, to clothe him and watch over him. Pray for us, blessed Joseph. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.