Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization

"Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization"

Check out the revised edition of this exciting and unique prayer book, filled with prayers that are sure to nourish the soul as we undertake the New Evangelization.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Collossians 1: A complex summary of the Kerygma

Christ Jesus is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn of all creation.


In the preface of Christmas, we hear that, through the incarnation and birth of Jesus, God made Himself visible so that we might be “caught up in the love of the God we cannot see.”  Jesus is “God with skin on.”  The incarnate Jesus Christ experiences and redeems the totality of our human life.  Jesus lived among us and thus understands all our joys and sorrows.  God is not the watchmaker of the Deists but a deeply personal God, who loves us enough to want to be with us in the most intimate way, and to bear our burdens with us. 

For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth,
the visible and the invisible,
whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers;
all things were created through him and for him.

Creation takes place IN, THROUGH and FOR Jesus Christ.  The Son of God, even before He was incarnate and was given the name Jesus, was involved in the creative action of the Father.  Genesis 1 says that “God spoke and it was made.”  The Word of the Father is the Son of God, the Second Person of the Trinity, who would in the fullness of time take on flesh and become man.  Jesus was there at the beginning.  He was also involved throughout the Old Testament as the Word who spoke through the prophets.  He is the Rock who gave life-giving water to the thirsting Israelites.  The Fathers of the Church even say that the MIND of God takes on flesh in Jesus.  God’s Mind and Word take on a “life of their own,” so to speak, in the Incarnation.  The Son of God becomes flesh and reveals the will of God in a deeply personal way among us. 


The Trinity is unified in every act of creation, redemption and sanctification.  All things were created through the utterance of the Word of God, who is Jesus Christ; in Jesus Christ, that is, with His involvement and intimate participation; and for Jesus Christ, for His sake.  God did not need creation but created the universe in order to share His love.  The Father first and from eternity shares His love with His Son.  Everything that exists is made by God to exist first and foremost for the praise and glory of Jesus Christ.  Jesus is the fullness of who God is and the perfect manifestation of God to us. 


He is before all things,
and in him all things hold together.

This verse reminds us of the prologue of John’s Gospel.  John says that the Word was with God in the beginning and IS God.  Jesus is supreme over the universe.  Everything in the universe depends on Christ to remain in being.  We cannot even breathe without His grace. 


He is the head of the body, the church.

Jesus established the Church and remains its Head.  His headship is manifested through the ministry of the bishops and priests.  Just as creation depends on Christ, so does the life of the Church. 


He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead,
that in all things he himself might be preeminent.

Jesus is the beginning of creation and also of the New Creation.  Through His Passion and Resurrection, Jesus has saved us from sin and opened the way for us to eternal life.  All things have been made new in Christ.  He alone is the savior of the world.  He has done first what we hope to do: rise to eternal life with the Father.  By rising from the dead, Jesus is supreme and preeminent in all things.  There is no other “god” or “messiah” who has died and rose from the dead for our sake.  Jesus deserves our total devotion and obedience because He is the source of eternal life for us.  Jesus is the first to be born from the dead, to rise from the grave, and He shows us the pattern of what we are called to be and to do. 


For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell,
and through him to all things for him,
making peace by the blood of his cross
through him, whether those on earth or those in heaven.


In the New Covenant, Jesus is the center of the universe.  Through Jesus everything is reconciled; through His blood enmity is put to death and harmony is restored; in Him we see the totality of who God is; for His sake everything is reconciled and redeemed so that the entire universe owes all praise and glory to Jesus Christ. 




Jesus is God from the beginning and shares form eternity in the fullness of who God is.  The Father empties Himself in love in begetting the Son, who returns the Father’s love perfectly from eternity.  Their love is fruitful in the Spirit, who proceeds from the shared love of them both. 


Jesus became incarnate in order to make god visible to us.  In Jesus we see the fullness of redemption.  God cannot teach us more about Himself than He already has in Jesus. 


He is the first-born from the dead and provides the path for us to rise from sin and death into eternal blessedness with God.  Jesus became like us that we might become like God.  His paschal mystery is our salvation from sin.  He took pour place, bore our infirmities and suffered the punishment we deserve. 


Jesus is the Head of the Church, which carries on the sanctifying work which He began with the Apostles.  The Spirit guides this work of evangelization. 


Therefore, in everything, Jesus is preeminent.  He is the center of the universe and the center of our lives. 

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