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Welcome to Korea Fr. Cedric Alimbuyong

Welcome to Korea Fr. Cedric Alimbuyong
Fr. Cedric replaces Fr. Dong Marcaida. Have a happy, fruitful and blessed days with us all!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Why Are Sacraments necessary? (Series LXXVI)

In the Gospel according to John, Jesus teaches at length about the greatest of the sacraments, the Eucharist (see 6:22-59). In this discourse, he lays out what we might call the “sacramental principle” that lies at the heart of the Christian faith: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world” (6:51).
“The Word became flesh, / and made his dwelling among us” (Jn 1:14). In Jesus Christ, God - who is Spirit (see Jn 4:24) - came down from heaven and entered into his own creation, this physical universe. He joined to his own divine nature a human nature of soul and body; he took up into himself the matter and energy of this world.
In this “Incarnation” (literally, “becoming flesh”), as Christians call it, God made it possible for the everyday elements of our lives to convey the transforming power of his grace. This is the sacramental principle: God, in his remarkable humility, doesn’t hesitate to make use of bread and wine, oil and water, human hands and human words, even the nuptial act. The Creator doesn’t despise anything he has made (see Wis 11:24); he calls it all good (see Gn 1:31). So it’s not beneath him to come to us in the form of a small, white wafer, and to be consumed by us so that we might become one with him.
Of course, the Eucharist is only one of seven sacraments - seven unique signs instituted by Christ that give to us the grace they signify. The others are Baptism, Reconciliation, Confirmation, Matrimony, Holy Orders, and the Anointing of the Sick (see “Are the Seven Sacraments in the Bible?”). In each of these, Christ himself meets us and ministers to us through the ministry of his body, the Church (see 1 Cor 12:12-13, 27).
Why are sacraments necessary, then? Because we desperately need God’s grace, and He’s chosen to give us certain kinds of grace through the sacraments.

RELATED SCRIPTURE — Texts cited: Gn 1:31; Wis 11:24; Jn 1:14; 4:24; 6:22-59; 1 Cor 12:12-13, 27. General: Mt 5:31-32; 26:26-28; 28:19; Jn 20:23; Acts 6:6; 8:14-19; Jas 5:14-15. CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH — 6; 698; 738-740; 774; 798; 815; 947; 950; 1076; 1084; 1088; 1114-1115; 1118; 1121-1134; 1150; 1210; 1420; 1533-; 2030.

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