The Catechism introduces the seven sacraments that Christ offers the Church: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Reconciliation, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, and Matrimony. The Catechism highlights the fact that the sacraments are “by the Church” because the Church is “Christ’s action at work”, and they are “for the Church” because they “manifest and communicate to men…the mystery of communion with the God who is love.” Fr. Mike focuses on the fact that while ministerial priests administer many of the sacraments, their priesthood is at the service of the baptismal priesthood, into which all of the baptized are ordained. Today’s readings are from Catechism paragraphs 1113-1121.
At the heart of the Liturgy of the Eucharist is the epiclesis, when the priest begs the Holy Spirit to come and transform the bread and wine into the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ. The Catechism explains this mysterious reality, and Fr. Mike reiterates that the Mass is not a repetition of Christ’s once-and-for-all sacrifice, but a re-presentation and celebration of his eternal sacrifice on the Cross. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 1104-1112.
Fr. Mike examines how the Holy Spirit recalls the mystery of Christ. We explore how the Holy Spirit both inspires the Word of God and recalls the Word of God. Fr. Mike emphasizes that it is the Holy Spirit that helps us hear and understand God’s Word. It is the Holy Spirit that helps elicit a response of consent and commitment within us. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 1099-1103.
Together, with Fr. Mike, we continue our examination of the sacramental economy, specifically the Holy Spirit’s work in the liturgy. Fr. Mike emphasizes that what Jesus makes possible, the Holy Spirit makes actual. We are made to live in the life of the risen Christ and that is what the Spirit brings about in us. Fr. Mike concludes with a reflection on the importance of understanding that the Christian Liturgy springs from and fulfills the Jewish Liturgy. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 1091-1098.
We continue our examination of Christ’s acts through the sacraments that he instituted. Fr. Mike emphasizes the importance of understanding that the sacraments are sacred signs that “make present efficaciously the grace they signify.” The sacraments specifically signify the Paschal mystery, Christ’s life, death, and resurrection. We also explore how the Paschal mystery cannot remain in the past. Though it occurred in time, it transcends all time and is made present in all time. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 1084-1090.
Together, we begin Section One on the sacramental economy. Fr. Mike emphasizes that the sacramental economy is both what God has done for us and how we should participate in it. He also emphasizes the blessings we receive from the sacraments through the Father. We conclude with an examination on the dual dimension of the sacramental liturgy, that while we are praising the Father, we are praising the Father with his own gift, his own Son. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 1076-1083.
Together, with Fr. Mike, we begin the section of the Catechism examining the liturgy. We start with an exploration of the questions of “why” the liturgy and “what” the liturgy is. Fr. Mike explains that it is through the liturgy that we are able to encounter the grace that Jesus Christ has won for us. He emphasizes that it is the liturgy that gives us access to God, himself. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 1066-1075.
Congratulations, we have come to the conclusion of Part One of the Catechism! Fr. Mike reviews the last “nugget” section on death and judgment, inviting us to regularly ponder the moment of our own death and judgment before our Lord. We conclude today with an explanation of the meaning of the word “amen” and the significance it has for our belief in God. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 1051-1065.
What will happen to humanity and the entire universe at the end of time? Fr. Mike shares with us the joyous hope of the new heaven and the new earth that awaits us after the Last Judgment. We learn that “at the end of time, the Kingdom of God will come in its fullness,” and all of creation will be redeemed and renewed. There will be no more weeping, mourning, nor pain, for death shall be no more. Fr. Mike invites us to hold on to this hope as we struggle on this side of heaven and await this great promise. Today’s Catechism readings are paragraphs 1042-1050.
We delve into the cosmic event that will take place at the end of time known as the Last Judgment. Fr. Mike explains the difference between the Last Judgment and our particular judgment at the time of our death. We learn that the Last Judgment will reveal the consequences of all our actions and how God’s justice triumphs over all the injustices we’ve committed and suffered. Fr. Mike emphasizes that the message of the Last Judgment is ultimately one of hope and conversion. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 1038-1041.