SHARING CHRIST'S LOVE

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  1. The Catholic Church and a few other Christian Churches are the only institutions to stand up for life 100% of the time. Jesus is our example in this regard. Jesus always stood for life when He walked the earth. He was against the death penalty (the woman caught in adultery), He lived for the poor, He healed the sick, He forgave the other thief when He was on the Cross, He forgave those who murdered Him, He supported women (which was a counter-cultural move on His part), and He even said that He was 'The Life'. What more can Jesus do to show us the importance of life? Standing up for life, and respecting the quality of life, was at the very core of Jesus’ identity and message. Because we are His followers, it needs to be at the center of our identity. We will go more in depth on these issues in small groups.
     

  2. These teachings have become counter-cultural which sometimes makes it hard to share with others. Because we are baptized in Christ, we must share that knowledge and love with others. Christ has put the ball in our court and the eternal God needs us to share His love with others. If we don't witness Christ to others, it won't be done. Witnessing Christ to others is important because every person is a child of God and is called to experience the love of God (Romans 10:14).
     

  3. The first step in sharing your faith is to keep your actions morally good by following the Church’s teachings.  We are called to be the same person at Church as we are at school, in our family, and at work. People need to see Christ in our actions. Sharing our faith means that if people ask us why we believe what we believe, we give them an answer.  We tell them that it is because of Jesus that we are who we are. Christ calls us to invite others to come to Church with us. If they reject us, don't worry about it: love them the same. Witnessing is done first and foremost by living our actions for God (actions speak louder than words), by living a life rooted in prayer, and by sharing loving words with others (1 Timothy 4:12). Witnessing our faith is not for weak people - it requires courage. It is not an easy activity: It requires trust in God, the willingness to risk, and the willingness to feel uncomfortable through persecution from others (Romans 12:10).
     

  4. The beautiful result of following the Church’s teachings and sharing our faith is a desire to grow in our faith. When we go deeper in our faith we recognize Christ in our lives, His plan for us, and how we should respond to that plan. We need to focus on some of the specific ways that Christ reaches out to us so we can understand Him better. We will do this by looking into the ‘Incarnation’. ‘Incarnation’ is a word that means, ‘to take flesh’. What this has to do with Jesus is that we believe that Jesus, who is God, literally took flesh, became fully human and lived, died and suffered here on earth.
     

  5. This raises a very important principle about our spiritual lives: God works through the physical and the material in order to save us. The physical/material is the means through which God communicates to us. The physical is not unimportant, but God's primary tool of communication and salvation. (This can be contrasted to the angels, who are just spirits. We are spirit-bodies.) What we see on earth (mountains, trees, water, friends, family, etc.) are not simply nice decorations for us human beings, but are instruments that communicate God to us. Ever wonder why God didn't just make us separate individuals, totally removed from others, as if we all had our own islands? God created everything on earth to help us get to heaven and experience His love. Why doesn't God just speak to us directly or plainly? Our life on earth is a testing place, for if we can love God without seeing Him, we will truly know love.
    6. How does God come to us? He comes to us through:
     

  • ​​Christ: He lived and walked on this earth (a proven, historical fact); He also lives now in our hearts.

  • Through the Church, especially her teachings about Christ, the Sacraments and through the priest.

  • Through our friends and family and all the people with whom we interact.

  • Through nature.

  • Through our bodies: Our bodies matter and are important. Their purpose is to help lead us to salvation.  St. Paul calls our bodies the ‘Temple of the Holy Spirit’

    7. The Incarnation wasn't just about the birth of Jesus: The Incarnation has literally become the central and defining point of all history. One task we have as disciples of Jesus is to learn how to recognize Him in everything we see, and to be aware of His saving action in our lives.

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