Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

4/4/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The excerpt is taken from the Jerusalem Catechesis, a series of instructions given by Bishop Cyril of Jerusalem to those who entered the Church at the Easter Vigil.

The Jerusalem Catechesis was one of the first catechisms of the undivided Christian Church. It is an excellent model for anyone involved in teaching during the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). Too often we underestimate the depth of teaching which catechumens or, once initiated, the neophytes, can or should receive. Unfortunately, we do not feed them the solid meat of teaching which this hour requires of all those who will bear the name Christian in the midst of a neo-pagan age. 

We have gone into the tomb with Jesus Christ, and we have been raised

We have gone into the tomb with Jesus Christ, and we have been raised

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

4/4/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Baptism, Jerusalem catechesis, Cyril of Jerusalem, RCIA, Catechism, Easter Vigil, Octave of Easter, Deacon Keith Fournier


SAVANNAH, GA (Catholic Online) - I write from the road. One of the great joys of my life is Morning Prayer. No matter where we are, this morning in a hotel room, we can be joined to the Church throughout the entire world. Next to the Sacred Scirptures, one of the most inspiring sources which fuels my prayer is the Office of Readings contained within the Liturgy of the Hours.

Today, as it has been throughout the Octave of Easter, we are given a passage from the writings of the early Church to reflect upon as we continue to probe the great mysteries we celebrate during this Octave of Easter. The excerpt is taken from the Jerusalem Catechesis, a series of instructions given by Bishop Cyril of Jerusalem to those who entered the Church at the Easter Vigil.

The Jerusalem Catechesis was one of the first catechisms of the undivided Christian Church. It is an excellent model for anyone involved in teaching during the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). Too often we underestimate the depth of teaching which catechumens or, once initiated, the neophytes, can or should receive. Unfortunately, we do not feed them the solid meat of teaching which this hour requires of all those who will bear the name Christian in the midst of a neo-pagan age. 

These twenty four teachings, given sometime around 350 AD, reflect the deep, sacramental understanding of the early Christian Church, the meaning of Baptism- and all the Sacraments - and the beauty of our participation in the life of the Trinity through our participation in the Church, the Body of Christ, of which we are members. The word symbol means much more than we westerners tend to think. It means an actual participation by grace. 

***** 

From the Jerusalem Catecheses: Baptism is a symbol of Christ's passion

You were led down to the font of holy baptism just as Christ was taken down from the cross and placed in the tomb which is before your eyes. Each of you was asked, "Do you believe in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit?"

You made the profession of faith that brings salvation, you were plunged into the water, and three times you rose again. This symbolised the three days Christ spent in the tomb.
 
As our Saviour spent three days and three nights in the depths of the earth, so your first rising from the water represented the first day and your first immersion represented the first night. At night a man cannot see, but in the day he walks in the light.

So when you were immersed in the water it was like night for you and you could not see, but when you rose again it was like coming into broad daylight. In the same instant you died and were born again; the saving water was both your tomb and your mother.
 
Solomon's phrase in another context is very apposite here. He spoke of a time to give birth, and a time to die. For you, however, it was the reverse: a time to die, and a time to be born, although in fact both events took place at the same time and your birth was simultaneous with your death.
 
This is something amazing and unheard of! It was not we who actually died, were buried and rose again. We only did these things symbolically, but we have been saved in actual fact. It is Christ who was crucified, who was buried and who rose again, and all this has been attributed to us.

We share in his sufferings symbolically and gain salvation in reality. What boundless love for men! Christ's undefiled hands were pierced by the nails; he suffered the pain. I experience no pain, no anguish, yet by the share that I have in his sufferings he freely grants me salvation.
 
Let no one imagine that baptism consists only in the forgiveness of sins and in the grace of adoption. Our baptism is not like the baptism of John, which conferred only the forgiveness of sins. We know perfectly well that baptism, besides washing away our sins and bringing us the gift of the Holy Spirit, is a symbol of the sufferings of Christ.

This is why Paul exclaims: Do you not know that when we were baptized into Christ Jesus we were, by that very action, sharing in his death? By baptism we went with him into the tomb.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for June 2015
Universal:
That immigrants and refugees may find welcome and respect in the countries to which they come.
Evangelization: That the personal encounter with Jesus may arouse in many young people the desire to offer their own lives in priesthood or consecrated life.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Living Faith

'Holy Grail' recovered after stolen by burglars Watch

Image of One depiction of the Holy Grail.

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A year after it was stolen, the police finally recovered a wooden relic believed by some to be the Holy Grail. In July 2014, the invaluable medieval relic was stolen during a raid in Weston Under Penyard near Ross-on-Wye in Herefordshire. The Nanteos Cup has now been ... continue reading


Medjugorje Marian apparitions ruled FALSE? Watch

Image of According to the reports, the congregation did acknowledge Medjugorje as a place of prayer and devotion that can be visited by pilgrims for prayer, though without contacting the supposed visionaries or participating in their

By CNA/EWTN News

If reports in Italian media outlets are to be believed, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith met June 24 to discuss the alleged Marian apparitions in Medjugorje, reaching the conclusion that they are inauthentic, but recognizing the site as a place of ... continue reading


'It can even be morally necessary' Pope Francis reacts to family separation and divorce ahead of the 2015 World Meeting of Families Watch

Image of Pope Francis continues to take interesting stances on traditional Catholic values.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Catholic Church's point of view when it comes to troubled families and marriage is continuously under scrutiny. Pope Francis released a statement claiming it may be "morally necessary" for families to separate, creating a change in the tone of the Catholic Church's ... continue reading


New study shows close relationships with God positively affects psychological well-being Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Having the belief that God is intimately involved in an individual's ventures positively affects his/her psychological well-being, according to newly published research. The researchers add that the positive relationship between the two was only observed in Christians, ... continue reading


3 damaging church cultures churchgoers need to look out for Watch

Image of Some churches can grow into a culture that actually hurts members, rather than helping them.

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

After speaking with two seasoned pastors on the topic of church revitalization and growth and reflecting on the conversations with a friend, Ron Edmonson, Senior Pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Lexington, KY. and church planter gathered a few observations on ... continue reading


Infallible? Informal? How binding is the new encyclical on Catholics? Watch

Image of

By Adelaide Mena, CNA/EWTN News

With the release of Pope Francis' encyclical on the environment this week came a wave of controversy over the Pope's statements about climate change, species extinction and other scientific topics. Washington D.C. (CNA) - Alongside the debate came a resounding ... continue reading


FLASHING WARNING LIGHTS: Author's five signs the end of time is near Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Target Israel," a new book tackles and illustrates the role of Israel in the Biblical prophecy. However, the author suggests there are five signs present in modern day that tell us the end is already near. He claims those signs can be seen in the Scriptures, but ... continue reading


Toughest condemnation yet: Arms manufacturers cannot call themselves Christian, Pope Francis says Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Arms manufacturers who call themselves Christians are hypocrites, Pope Francis declared during his trip to Turin. It was yet another politically charged comment the pontiff has made since the release of his encyclical, "Laudato Si." Those who claim to follow ... continue reading


The green encyclical has arrived! Watch

Image of

By Tony Magliano

It's courageous, it's prophetic, it's challenging, it's holistic, it's wonderful: That's what I think of Pope Francis' environmental encyclical "Laudato Si', on Care for Our Common Home." Quoting his patron saint, Francis of Assisi -- who is also the patron saint of ... continue reading


'Everything is done for money'. 'Great powers' did nothing to prevent Holocaust, Pope says in Turin Watch

Image of While in Turin, he told young people he understands how they find it hard to trust the world, lamenting the hypocrisy of those advocating peace while also manufacturing or selling arms.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

With the release of his encyclical - which does not play favorites with various parties exploiting our planet's resources, Pope Francis refused to pull punches in his visit to Turin. While there to honor the Shroud of Turin, the Pope denounced the "great ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Genesis 19:15-29
15 When dawn broke the angels urged Lot on, 'To your ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 26:2-3, 9-10, 11-12
2 Probe me, Yahweh, examine me, Test my heart and my ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 8:23-27
23 Then he got into the boat followed by his ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for June 30th, 2015 Image

First Martyrs of the See of Rome
June 30: The holy men and women are also called the Protomartyrs of ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter