"Dear brothers and sisters, this is true for every Christian: faith is first and foremost a personal, intimate encounter with Jesus, it is having an experience of his closeness, his friendship and his love. It is in this way that we learn to know him ever better, to love him and to follow him more and more. May this happen to each one of us!”
- Sacred Scripture: the books which contain the truth of God’s revelation and were composed by human authors inspired by the Holy Spirit (CCC: 105). The Bible contains both the forty-six books of the Old Testament and the twenty –seven books of the New Testament (CCC: 120).
- Old Testament – orally passed down; written examples dated back to more than 1,300 years prior to Christ’s birth
- New Testament – Christ fulfills the prophecies of the Old Testament; footnotes throughout reference related scripture.
- Matthew’s Gospel was written for a community of Jewish Christians who were quite familiar with the Old Testament, so it was important for Matthew to frequently point out the Old Testament prophecies that Jesus fulfilled.
- Mark and Luke were written for largely Gentile communities that did not have the same familiarity with the Old Testament. In Luke 24, Jesus twice is described as explaining the ways he fulfills the Old Testament.
- Then in the Acts of the Apostles, also written by St. Luke, Old Testament texts are often quoted, particularly as the apostles and disciples preach to Jewish people.
– Pope Benedict XVI, General Audience October 21, 2009
What does a relationship with God mean? How do we open ourselves to his closeness, his friendship and his love?
- Reading Sacred Scripture and reflection
- Relationships and interactions with others
Pope Benedict often insists that faith begins with a relationship. Only because one has a living relationship with God in Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit does one desire to know more deeply who Christ is and live more authentically as his disciple. Knowing who Christ is gives birth to doctrine, and living as his disciple requires moral teaching. But without a relationship to Christ, doctrine is just ideas and morality is only rules. Relationships give life. Relationship to Christ leads us to introduce others to him and increase the circle of his friends gathered into his body, the Church.” - Francis Cardinal George, Archbishop of Chicago
- Doctrine – the body of teachings of the Catholic Church. Taught principles and beliefs.
- Scripture is one way that God reveals Himself to us. So rather than approaching this section academically – let’s get into the Bible a bit.