Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Sits at the Right Hand--Coming Again

He sits at the right hand of God, the Father, almighty and He will come to judge the living and the dead.

Sitting on the left and sitting on  the right are customs familiar to the cultures of the Middle East.  Now I am left handed, so I should take offense--but I promise that I won't!  The left is considered bad, evil and the like.  Even the term for left hand in Latin is sinister.  That term sinister has, indeed, taken on sinister meanings over the centuries.  Those who were not worthy of respect were place to the left of a host, king or other in authority.  The right hand was reserved for the special and worthy person.  Now, who would ever be more worthy of respect and worship than Jesus Christ?  Jesus takes His place at the right hand of God.  Jesus takes his seat of authority.

We are also told in our Creed that Jesus is not yet finished.  He is also in charge of judging the living and the dead.  The power of Jesus reign is before us now.  He is now at the right hand of God the Father ready to judge us.  The glory of God shines forth in this statement and the very divine mercy of God is right before us in that Divine Judge, Jesus Christ.  It was Jesus, himself, who ransomed us from death brought about by sin.  The very death and resurrection that we just professed tells us that!

In returning to the Catholic Church, I gained a deeper understanding and a much deeper awe for this very simple, yet profound Creed.  Yes, in my Protestant days, I studied all about the salvation history of Jesus Christ, but little emphasis was placed on the very simple, yet deep words of the Creed.When I left the Church, I had no idea of how much she really meant to me.  The Church held the Truth all along, but my eyes were quite blind to the riches set before me.  I needed to struggle to come to a meaningful appreciation for our One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church!  The loving and saving power of God is present in every aspect of our holy Church!  And this means that God is truly with us!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Descended and Rose

He descended into hell and on the third day arose again.  Jesus is God, and Jesus descended into the depths of death to preach the Good News of God's very love to the dead.  Who better than to preach the love of God than God?  God, through Jesus Christ holds out the offer of eternal life to those who died without knowing salvation was possible.

Before returning to my Catholic faith, I understood the terms salvation, and I knew intellectually what that meant.  I also took for granted the offer of Jesus Christ to accept the love of God.  Oh, I could preach all about love and the need to love one another, but in my own soul, I had a void.  When I returned to the Catholic Church, the first thing I did was meet with a priest who offered me the fullness of God's love in the form of the sacrament of penance!  Yes, by going to confession I opened up my soul and laid myself out before God.  All that laid dead within me, or was killing me was out in the open.  But more than that, God forgave all of my sins.  That was offered to me by Jesus Christ in his death and descending into the depths of hell...the depths of all that divides our spirits from God.

When Jesus rose again on the third day, Jesus overcame our death to sin and evil.  Jesus restored our lives!  I could not have ever felt that life had Jesus not descended into the depths and offered me forgiveness and wiped my slate clean.  I could never have come to that understanding without coming back to the Catholic Church.  Our Church provides the sacraments for our benefit.  We must not take them for granted.