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Christ Is The Answer John Saward Christs life has been documented and studied for many years, in an effort to understand not only his mission but his message. Theologians have tried to uncover the mystery of Christ, so that Christians will engage their faith in the right direction. For many Christians each step of their faith needs direction. John Saward's book Christ Is The Answer is an attempt to step by step explain: What Christ is? , Who he is? , and What he means to man. This book is an introduction to Christ and Christianity based on the teaching of the man Roman Catholics believe to be the Vicar of Christ and the Teacher of All Christians. (Saward, xxvii) To fully understand Christ, is to understand his presence in the Trinity, his relationship with the Virgin Mary, the Church, the Eucharist, and what these all mean to man. Christocentricity is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as the state of having Christ at the Centre. (Saward, 1) Through many swamps of confusion and distractions of daily life, Christ has been and will always be the answer to life.
That answer can easily be forgotten and pushed aside by routines. Even if it is forgotten or lost in the fog, Christs work is still very visible to this day. This is visible through the work of John Paul II. From the very beginning of Pope John Paul IIs Pontificate, he stressed the importance of Christocentricity. The opening words of his first encyclical state the truth upon which all his teaching is built: The Redeemer of man, Jesus Christ is the centre of the universe and of history. (Saward, 11) The Pope did not rest after stating his first encyclical. The Pope set off on a pilgrimage to spread the importance of Christocentricity.
He wanted all his bishops and priests to guard bravely and to expound faithfully the full Christology of the Church and to warn against the passing over in silence of Christs divinity. (Saward, 13) Without a solid foundation and backbone of truth concerning Christs message, bishops and clergy will not have the correct tools to lead Christs people to salvation. The Popes goal was to show Christians how to be servants of the Lord. This brings humility and opens eyes to the Glory of God. The more people listen to this and structure their lives around it, the more they are going to open the eyes of those people around them.
People begin to live their lives accordingly and others will seek out the truth and live by example. The Foundation of this message was sent by Pope John Paul II, who is the Vicar of Christ. He takes the place of our Lord here on earth. The Pope takes his place at the head of the Church, just as Peter did when Jesus anointed him the first Pope. The Pope must weigh out society and plug in it to its place in tradition. This is no easy task for a single person to tackle.
Pope John Paul II is inspired and assisted by God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and all the Gospels, and still his position in the Church is still tested. Through all his work it is obvious that Pope John Paul II has been committed to Christ. Not since the patristic age has a Pope devoted himself so single-mindedly to the exposition of the church's Christology. As we have already seen, in Receptor Hominis he links the institution of the Papacy with the Incarnation. (Saward, 17) In taking a direct approach at linking the Papal office with Our Lord made flesh, the Pope is continuing a long succession of tradition. He has kept together the very walls of the Church by caring on Christiological based faith. Within those very walls of faith lies the divine mystery of the Trinity.
In the language of the Bible, He consumes the Sacrifice with the fire of the love uniting Father and Son in the communion of the Trinity. Within the Godhead the Son loves the Father, and the Father loves the Son, in the Spirit. (Saward, 25) By all means Jesus Christ is the son of God, and he obeys the Fathers will as it is his will. Jesus was well aware of his unique relationship with the Father. He showed his Father his love through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirits role was well defined by Pope John Paul II. He brought Hebrews 9. 13 through the eternal Spirit to show in writing the importance of the third person in the trinity.
He reminded the world that Jesus mission was given to him by the Father in the power of the Holy Spirit Through every step of Christs life, from the beginning to the passionate death, Jesus was given the power to continue through the Holy Spirit. According to the Holy Father, Jesus was not abandoned on the cross. It was the Holy Spirit who brought forth Jesus humanity in an attempt to sacrifice himself for all of humanity. The Holy Spirit continues to work even after Jesus Christ has left his earthy life. The Holy Spirit has to see to it that Jesus divine mission continues. When the twelve apostles were gathered and frightened it was the Holy Spirit who came and gave them courage.
The Pope says that the risen Christ gives the disciples the Spirit as it were through the wounds of his Crucifixion. (Saward, 25) John Paul II continued the role of the Holy Spirit as he placed the Spirit in direct responsibility for Marys Virginal Conception of Christ. Pope John Paul IIs encyclical Dominum et Vivificantem restated the act of divine intervention by the Holy Spirit. The Pope concentrates his efforts on showing that soul and body of Mary was blessed by the presence of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit prepared Mary for the presence of God. From her very beginning Mary was Christs mediator. Mary gave Jesus life and in doing so she brought into this world the Son of God, who will redeem all of humanity.
In Mary being the mother of God, she has delivered God made flesh. The son of God is not only God, but having an earthly life has been made flesh. This divine Incarnation was possible through grace established in Mary. It was because she received the Word of God both in her heart and in her body that the Blessed Virgin has a unique role in the mystery of the Word Incarnate and in that of the Mystical Body. She is closely united with the Church, for which she is the model of faith, charity, and the perfect union with Christ. (Saward, 28) When the Pope first stepped through the doors of the Magisterium, he devoted his service to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Popes reign began in 1979 and he has continued to show his complete dedication to Mary.
Marys role in the Incarnation is still very much alive as the Pope brings Jesus to light through Mary and sees Mary through Jesus. It is not correct to say that Jesus could not have became man without Mary, but Mary was indeed guided and prepared by the Holy Spirit. In essence God was made flesh through Mary and the Holy Spirit. God needed Mary as an instrument to deliver Jesus to man, and Mary needed God to establish her importance in that role. In short Jesus is the mediator between God and Mary, and Mary is the mediator between God and man. As Mary gave life to Jesus she became the maternal mediator between Christ the Savior and all of humanity.
She not only took on the role of being Jesus mother but the mother of all man to come. She showed the very essence of motherhood by her endless devotion to her son. She began her role as mediator with the birth of Jesus and continues to this very day. She was with Christ every step of his life and always gave him undying support. Finally, on Calvary, she unites herself with a maternal heart to His Sacrifice, and lovingly consents to the immolation of this Victim which she herself had brought forth. (Saward, 40) Throughout Christs life Mary gave herself to him and his mission. She unselfishly gave herself to Jesus and suffered with an in him.
Mary had a stainless soul, but continued to suffer with Christ for man. Then as Christ stood nailed to the cross, Mary painfully accepted Christs free choice to carry out Gods will. Mary did all this for Christ and for man, as she is one of Gods instruments in guiding humanity towards the goal of Salvation. It is important to see that Marys role grew as Christ grew. With the death and resurrection of Christ, Marys role grew even larger. Now Mary had to be the mediator between God the Father and all of mankind.
When He sends the Holy Spirit upon her and the Apostles at Pete cost, Marys motherhood remains in the Church as maternal mediation: interceding for all her children, the Mother co operates in the saving work of her Son, the Redeemer of the world. (Saward, 40) Pope John Paul II also wanted to include Jesus role as the Savior. He does this by showing how Jesus restored creation by bringing man to God. God created everything and in doing so he created man. Man selfishly turned his back on God, and through the Savior man has been shown the road back to salvation.
Christ gave the world his life and death, and through the Resurrection the savior has brought to life Christianity. Without the Resurrection Christianity would not be the same. The Resurrection confirmed that Jesus mission was one of a Savior. The Pope also pointed out that through Jesus Resurrection, Christs humanity is fully seen. The full body has risen not just the soul. This unites the human person and the Divine being.
Christ instructed Peter to be the foundation of his Church. The Church would be a physical body of Christs work. Through the Holy Spirit the Church provides for the Eucharist, and the Eucharist nourishes the Church. The Church brings to life the gospels and the tradition, as well as the Eucharist. All this is tied together in an effort to bring man to Christs salvation. The whole Church is caught up into the sacrifice of her Lord: the mass is simultaneously both the Sacrifice of Christ and the Sacrifice of the Church, because in the Eucharistic Christ unites the Church with His own redemptive work, making it participate in His offering. (Saward, 70) The very being of the Eucharist is Christianity and the Church is present to bring the people together.
As Mary was called to live her life according to Gods will, man is called to accept the role he has been given. Mary was a witness to all of humanity. Man must try to follow her life in all its graces. This role includes humility and sacrifice.
This generation must see the importance in sacrifice as a key to its salvation. In this role mankind must live Cristocentrically, which would be according to Jesus moral law. God gives man the instruments to live a moral life, but what man must understand is that, Jesus is essentially these morals we live for. It is in the saving Cross of Jesus, in the gift of the Holy Spirit, in the Sacraments which flow from the pierced side of the Redeemer, that believers find the grace and the strength always to keep Gods holy law, even amid the gravest of hardships. (Saward, 96) The Pope continues to pound the importance of Jesus Christ as mans Savior. He stresses that he is the true way to the Father. It is through man living his life in light of Jesus Christ, that Jesus mediates between God and man.
Even so, some of mankind will be asked to live their life exactly as Jesus did, to be a true disciple of Christ and become a Priest. Many people will receive a calling from God to take his place on earth. With this calling to become a Priest, comes a lot of grace. This grace is needed for the sacrificial life one will live.
A Priest is a man called to live a celibate life and do as Jesus did. Just as Mary was called to carry her cross, Priests are called to carry theirs. When the Holy Spirit configures a man to Christ the Priest in ordination, He leads him into a new intimacy of son ship with the Mother of Christ. (Saward, 128) Pope John Paul IIs goal was to enrich Christianity with what he has experienced. Christocentricity is to live a life and have Christ at the center of that life. In Saward's book Christ Is The Answer, he shows exactly how man must strive to reach salvation. Through this he revealed the Divine Trinity and what it means to man.
Saward explained how the Holy Spirit was important not only to Jesus, but that the Holy Spirit intervened in Mary to prepare an Immaculate body for his arrival. Mary rose to the will of Christ as she suffered along side of Christ. Her presence continues as she is the mediator between God and man. So we can continue Christs message God gave man Priests and clergy.
They will now do Gods work on earth, as they bring people together in Church to listen to the gospels and receive Eucharist. From Christs time till the present, we have had the answers that will lead us our Lord. Its a matter of what mankind will do with their free will.
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