I BELIEVE IN THE HOLY CATHOLIC CHURCH
The Church is no mere collection of human beings. God himself is in it and gives it living power throughout the centuries .
Jesus Christ told Simon Peter, ‘ you are the rock, and on this rock, I shall build my Church and no powers of hell will prevail over it” Mt,,,, Its beginnings are not with us, but with God, who has called us into being.
The Covenant between God and man was first made with Noah, but the full glory came with Christ and the New Covenant was sealed with His blood. It is because God is in it that the Church, with all its failings and weaknesses , is nonetheless ‘HOLY’.
And because its members are those who love him, whatever their nationalities, or color, it is truly Catholic, which means universal.
Its sacrament of Baptism is practiced when infants are received into the Church, and in some occasions, when men and women dedicate their lives as Christians.
Holy Communion, by which his followers are joined in fellowship with the risen and living Christ and with one another, is part of Christian worship everywhere, and so it has been from the earliest days.
“There is one body and one Spirit, one hope because God has called you, one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in you all”. Ephesians 4. 4-6
And now, brothers, I should like to explain to you about the gifts of the Holy Spirit, They are many and various, but there is one Spirit.
There are different services to do, but the one Lord; different ways of working, but the one God who works out his purpose through all.
Yes, many differences, yet to each man is given some power of the Spirit for the general good.
To one is given by the Spirit the ability to speak with wisdom; to another faith; to another, power to heal or to work miracles; to another, the power to prophesy or to distinguish the work of different spirits; to one to speak in other tongues or to interpret them – all given by the Spirit. All these are due to the working of that one and self same Spirit, sharing them out to every man according to his will”.
Just as the body is one and yet has many members, all part of that same body, so it is with Christ.
By the one Spirit we were all, slaves and free men alike, baptized to from one body, and by that same Spirit we were all nourished. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot says, because I am not the hand, I do not need belong to the body, does that mean that it has no part in the body? If the whole body where an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole hearing, where would the smelling be? But as things are God has made each member part of the body as it has pleased him .
The eye cannot say to the hand, nor the head to the feet, ‘ I do not need you’, but God has so planned the body that there can be no dividing, but that each member should have a care for the others. If one member suffers, all the other members suffer too; and if one member is honored, so are all the other members”.
Now you all together are the Body ; and each of you separately is a member of it. God has given each some special work in the church – first, the apostles, and then those who prophesy; thirdly, teachers, next wonder- workers, healers, helpers, counselors, men who speak many tongues. Is everyone an apostles, a prophet, a teacher? Can all work wonders or heal? Does each speak different tongues or interpret them? Set your heart on the best gifts; but now I will show you the most excellent way of all” I Cor.12, 1, 4-21,24-31.(also 1 cor.13, 1-13).
10. I BELIEVE IN THE COMMUNION OF SAINTS
Wrong doers shall not inherit the Kingdom of God- You know that. And some of you were wrong doers; but you have been washed clean in baptism. You have been made holy by Jesus Christ, and by the Spirit of our God, and all your sins are washed away” 1 cor.6, 9-11.
This cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a sharing in the blood of Christ and his sacrifice? And the bread we break, is it not a sharing in his body? For we who are many are one bread and one body for we all share in the one bread’ 1 cor. 10, 16 -17
11. I BELIEVE IN THE RESURRECTION OF THE BODY
And now, brothers, I declare to you again that gospel which I preached before, which indeed you have received and on which your faith is founded. For I gave you at the first the faith which
I myself received ; how that Christ died for our sins, as the scriptures had foretold; and that he was buried, and on the third day rose from the dead, as the scriptures had foretold; that he was seen by Cephas (Simon Peter) and then by the twelve; after wards he was seen by five hundred(500) disciples together, most of whom are still living, though some of them have fallen asleep; next he appeared also to me, the one born out of the proper time.
For I am the least of the apostles, not indeed worthy to be called an apostle at all, because I persecuted the church of God.
Now if it is preached about Christ that he has been raised from the dead, How is it that some of you are saying that the dead do not rise? If there is no resurrection, then Christ has not risen; and if Christ has not risen, then our preaching has no meaning and your faith is a mere empty nothing,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,.
But now Christ has been raised from the dead, and is the first fruits of those that slept. Since it was through man that death came to be, so it was through man also that the resurrection of the dead came about.
For as through Adam all died, so through Christ shall all be made alive. But each man in order- Christ the first fruits, then those who belong to Christ.
Then the end will come, when he has delivered up the Kingdom to God the Father, after he has put down all rule and authority and power. For he must go on reigning till he has trodden under his feet every one of his enemies. And the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death”
But someone will say, How are the dead raised up? And what will their bodies be like? O foolish man, what you sow has no life in it unless it dies. And what you sow is not what it is going to be: it is nothing but a mere seed, a grain of corn, or wheat perhaps; but God will give it its proper form according to his pleasure., So far we have borne our early form, but what we shall bear will be heavenly.
Now brothers, it is not possible that flesh and blood should inherit the Kingdom of God. Listen, I will make clear the mystery to you; we shall not all sleep of death, but we shall all be changed. In an instant, in the twinkling of an eye, at the sound of the last Trumpet, we shall all be changed.
This mortal body must become immortal. What was written of old will become true; Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death, where is your sting? O Grave, where is your victory?
The sting of death lies in sin, and the power of sin is shown by the law. But thanks be to God, for he has given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” 1 cor. 15, 1-9, 12-26, 35-38, 50-57 .
12. I BELIEVE IN LIFE, EVER LASTING
I am convinced that our suffering in this present life are nothing compared with the glory that is going to be shown in us.
The whole of creation even the world of nature is looking with passionate longing for the children of God to be revealed.
For nature is made to pass and perish, not through its own will but by the will of him who made it thus – yet there is hope for it.
There is hope that nature too will be set free from the slavery of change and decay into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
For we know that all this time everything in creation has been in pain, groining like a woman in her birth pangs. And not only they but we also, who have had a foretaste of the Holy Spirit, cry out in longing for our bodies to be redeemed and to show that we are made true sons of God.,
The Spirit himself helps us in our weakness.
We do not rightly know how to pray, but the Spirit within us pleads for us in prayer with a deep cry of longing that cannot be put into words. And he who searches the hearts of man knows what is in the mind of the Spirit, because his pleading for a God’s chosen is in accordance with God’s own will.
And we know that God turns everything to good for those that love him. If God then is with us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, will he not freely give us all other things as well?
Who dare bring any change against those whom God has chosen? It is God who cleans us, who then can condemn? The one who pleads for us is Christ Jesus, he who was raised from the dead and who now sits at the right hand of God> Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
Shall trouble come between or anguish or persecution or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or the sword?
For we are indeed in peril, as it was written of old.
For thy sake we are killed all day long,
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter”. Psalm 44.v 22
No, in all these things, we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. I am absolutely sure that neither death nor life, neither spiritual beings nor powers, neither things above nor things below, neither present nor future nor any power in creation anywhere shall be able to separate us from the love of God n Christ Jesus our Lord”. AMEN. Rom. 8 18-23, 26-28, 31-39
The author is member of the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace(CCJP) and current chairperson for the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) Kasama outreach team. Author is also recipient of WORLD BANK award in good governance. Email firstname.lastname@example.org