Adult Faith Formation Column for the Sunday Bulletin of St. Michael Parish, Livermore, California

This weekly column is a short meditation on the Bible readings of the Sunday Mass. The meditations are direct quotations from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, papal encyclicals, writings of the Saints, and similar orthodox sources.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Sunday 29 January 2012

"I Will Raise Up For Them A Prophet"

    The word "Christ" comes from the Greek translation of the
Hebrew Messiah, which means "anointed."  It became the name
proper to Jesus only because he accomplished perfectly the divine
mission that "Christ" signifies.  In effect, in Israel those consecrated
to God for a mission that he gave were anointed in his name.  This
was the case for kings, for priests, and, in rare instances, for 

This had to be the case all the more so for the Messiah whom God
would send to inaugurate his kingdom definitively.  It was necessary
that he Messiah be anointed by the Spirit of the Lord at once as king
and priest, and also as prophet.  Jesus fulfilled the messianic hope of
Israel in his threefold office of priest, prophet, and king....

    Jesus' messianic consecration reveals his divine mission, "for the
name 'Christ' implies 'he who anointed,' 'he who was anointed' and 'the
very anointing with which he was anointed.'  He one who anointed is
the Father, the one who was anointed is the Son, and he was anointed
with the Spirit who is the anointing."  His eternal messianic 
consecration was revealed during the time of his earthly life at the moment of his 
baptism by John, when "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and
with power," "that he might be revealed to Israel" as its Messiah.  His
works and words will manifest him as "the Holy One of God."

    Jesus is the Father's Emissary.  From the beginning of his ministry,
he "called to him those whom he desired; .... And he appointed twelve,
whom also he named apostles, to be with him, and to be sent out to 
preach."  From then on, they would also be his emissaries (Greek apostoloi).  In 
them, Christ continues his own mission: "As the Father has sent me, even so I 
send you."  The apostles' ministry is the continuation of his mission; Jesus 
said to the Twelve: "he who receives you receives me."

                        -- Catechism of the Catholic Church
                            paragraphs 436, 438, 858

                    If today you hear his voice,
                        harden not your hearts.

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