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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Our Vocation as Priest, Prophet, and King

Today talk about the Big Picture of our Catholic faith; Why Did God make us?
That question – Why did God make us, is so basic, so fundamental. I think that sometimes we need to take a step backward and view our situation as a whole. Sometimes we kind of get lost in the details of everyday we have forgotten why we were in the details to begin with, so hopefully this will be a refresher.

I bet a lot of our listeners recited that along with us. I am also thinking that this question and answer is kind of a key to the entirety of our faith.

The question is again  Q. Why did God make you? A. God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in the next.

Know, love, serve God. The first thing that we have to do is know God. We can’t serve or love him without first knowing him. You can’t love what you don’t know and you can’t serve God without first knowing how he wants to be served. This, knowing our faith, has been under attack since the 1960’s when some people began being discouraged from memorizing the faith. We have to get back into that.

Now that we know God, now we can serve him, now we can love him.

These three; know, love, and serve correspond to the different parts of the catechism.

The catechism in its parts tells us what to know about God. The part on the creed tells us what to know about God. It tells us the story of how God saved us from sin to bring us to new life. We are told to love God. How am I to love God? The commandments tell me how to love God and the creatures called humans who are made in his image and likeness. The creed tells me how to know God, the commandments how to love God. The part in the catechism on sacraments and prayer tell me how to serve God. How does he want to be worshipped? He told us how when Jesus gave us the seven sacraments and the Lord’s prayer.

So the catechism itself in its parts tell us how to know, love, and serve God; Through the Creed, commandments, and the sacraments and prayer.

Amen, but because we are fallen and sinful, God had to give us special gifts so that we would have power to know, love and serve him. That is the Theological virtues. The Theological virtues, just mean gifts that come from God that help us get back to him. They are the gifts of faith, hope, and charity. Now you all probably knew about faith, hope, and charity, but might not have known they were called theological virtues. Just know that they come from God and lead us back to God.

These virtues of faith, hope, and charity – help us to do what? They help us to know, love, and serve God. Remember our original question 6. Q. Why did God make you? A. God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in the next. Well, God gave us the gift of faith, that we could know God and believe what he told us in the creed. God gave us the gift of hope, so we could serve him in the sacraments and prayer that lead us to our ultimate hope which is heaven. Finally God gave us the gift of Charity, that we might love him and our neighbor in the commandments.

Now it is Christ who makes all of this possible by his Passion, death, resurrection, and Ascension into heaven. Jesus is the power behind this good news. When we became Christians at our baptism, we were anointed with the Holy Spirit and that is when the gifts of faith, hope, and charity were given to us. And each one of those special gifts sits in our souls in an infinite amount, the question is – how often  will we dip into this storehouse of grace?

Let me tell you what happens when you do activate those gifts, you become like Christ. In fact the word Christ means, one who has been anointed. A Christian, is one who has been anointed like Christ, and we do have that anointing.

Now what happens when, after our baptism when we have been anointed, we dip into that storehouse of faith, and we come to know God in the creed. We begin to profess that faith to others and that makes us prophets. A prophet isn’t mainly one who tells the future, but one who speaks the words of God. When we speak God’s words we are his prophet.

Now when we dip again into that storehouse of Grace in our souls called hope and begin to serve God in the sacraments and in prayer we are being priests. Not in the same way that an ordained man is, but we become priests who mediate in our prayers and sacrifices for our neighbors and the whole world.

Finally we enter into that storehouse of Charity and bring out that love that we have for God and our neighbor, we are being Kings. When we often think of kings we thing of a man who lords it over other men. But that is not the model that Jesus gave us. Our king wears a crown of thorns and is pouring his life out on our behalf. That is our king. We are kings when we bring out that charity on behalf of God and neighbor. Jesus said – No greater love has no man than this, to lay down one’s life for his friends. This is true charity and true kingship.


God  gave us the gift of faith so we could know Him in the creed to live our vocation as a Prophet.

God  gave us the gift of hope so we could serve Him in the sacraments and prayer to live our vocation as a priest.

God  gave us the gift of Charity so we could love Him in the commandments to live our vocation as a King.

These three things find their ultimate fulfillment in the Mass. In the Mass, we profess our faith, celebrate the sacraments and pray, and in that prayer love our neighbors and God.

Then they say GO. GO out into the world and continue to be a prophet, priest, and king just like you were here at Mass.


Anonymous said...

Great reflection on the Baltimore Catechism. Thank you.

I may be confused on what I heard on the radio today...although I have heard this recording before.

I am understanding that from your comment that the question's answers are lumped together. That confused my brain. So I went to my BC and looked it up. This may be a small point, however, I would like to it Q. #3 or #6 that refers to Why God make us? #3A. God made us to show forth his goodness and to share with us His everlasting happiness in heaven.
#4 Q. What must we do to gain happiness of heaven.
#4A. To gain happiness of heaven we must know, love and serve God in this world.

I have #6 Where do we find the chief truths?
Thanks for your insight.

mom of 6 said...

I really enjoyed listening to your reflection, this morning. I usually don't have time to look things up after listening to them, but i wanted to share your reflection with several people, so here i am. This reflection does a tremendous job of "putting it all together." I teach the BC and encourage other parents to do so. This putting it all together helps reassure us that we're on the right path bringing back the BC! Thanks for doing this!

Daniel Egan said...

Anonymous - The one that I am looking at, the question is number 6. Maybe there are different editions. I don't know - continue reading....

Mom of 6, that you for the compliment. 2 Things, I think the BC is a great starting point for both children and adults, to get the "Big Picture", but the ultimate goal is the big catechism, which is FILLED with this connectedness.

I made a cool chart (I think it is cool) of all of this and if you email me I will sent you one as a PDF.

God Bless.

Luis Angel said...

Dan, will you post your commentary about the temptations of Christ? I remember hearing it on the Son Rising Morning Show enjoyed very much how it relates to the temptations of Israel in light of the theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity.

God bless,
Luis Angel

Anonymous said...

God made us to know him love him and serve him? Sounds like the God of Islam to me.

God made us to show forth his goodness - now that sounds like the God Jesus showed us.


Daniel Egan said...

Gerry, While it may sound like Islam to you, it is very Biblical. I have selected verses to show you that knowing, loving, and serving God is pretty important.

John 17:3 3 "And this is eternal life, that they may KNOW Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.

Matthew 22:37-40 37 And He said to him, "'You shall LOVE the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.' 38 "This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 "The second is like it, 'You shall LOVE your neighbor as yourself.' 40 "On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets." (I think 1 Corinthians Chapter 13 says something about love as well)

KJV Joshua 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will SERVE the LORD.

Thanks for the comment, if you have any more let me know.