Time to Begin
After spending 30 years with his holy and Immaculate Mother Mary and taking care of her after His stepfather Joseph's peaceful death, the Son of God knew His time had come to go forth. It was His Own Mother who may well have rushed His fame by beseeching Him to perform His first miracle at the Wedding Feast of Cana. Even though He had not intended to do so, the persuasion of His Mother out of compassion for the bride and groom illustrated something Catholics realize all too well and bemoan the fact Protestants do not for Mary is the answer to reaching Jesus for He cannot say no to His Mother. Possessing the divine nature, Jesus could very well have gone forth and converted all by one miracle and all would be satisfied, but using His second nature as man He was like any man except for the capability of sinning and chose to follow the human path in teaching God's truths by preserving free will, giving man the choice between Christ or chaos. Because of this He employed parables that all might understand at their level of understanding and still have the capability to think for themselves and choose. Why did Christ only spend one tenth of His life in public? That is a question we may never know until the end of time, but we do know that He left us an example that after God, family comes first and it could be the crux of why the world is in the shape it is today because we have abandoned such wisdom, opening the door to His adversary. We'd be wise to reread the Gospels often to truly realize what a treasure has been left to us.
Editor's Note: This series is an effort to return to basics since too often we all make the holy Faith complicated, whereas in reality the truths and traditions of the Catholic Faith are quite simple. God doesn't complicate things, man does. Realizing the fact that, for many generations indoctrinated by conciliar ambiguities, it all seems so confusing, we are introducing this series which is an adaptation of an earlier series titled "Appreciating the Precious Gift of the Faith" in utilizing a combination of the excellent compendium of the late Bishop Morrow's pre-Vatican II Manual of Religion My Catholic Faith and Dom Prosper Gueranger's incomparable The Liturgical Year as well as the out-of-print masterpieces The Catholic Church Alone The One True Church(1902) and the Cabinet of Catholic Information (1903). Through prayer and discussions, we've decided to employ this revised series to simplify the tenets of the Faith for those who continue to wallow in what they think is the 'Catholic Church' out of obedience to a man and his hierarchy who long ago betrayed Christ and His flocks. This then, is an affirmation of the basic truths the Spotless Bride of Christ has always taught and cannot change or evolve as "living documents" for truth is truth. As we say every day in the Act of Faith, "We believe these and all the truths which the holy Catholic Church teaches, because Thou hast revealed them, Who canst neither deceive nor be deceived." If you have been deceived, and the vast majority have been, then realize what you've been indoctrinated with over the past 50 years cannot be from God but from His adversary. Our advice: flee the conciliar confines as well as other man-made religions which do not teach these truths without compromise. Seek out a traditional chapel nearest to you. There is a list of churches you can absolutely trust at Traditional Latin Masses
Our Lord spent the three years of His public life teaching, healing the sick, working miracles to prove His mission and Divinity. One of His most wonderful miracles was the raising of Lazarus. Lazarus had been dead and buried four days. But Jesus went to the sepulchre and ordered the stone closing it to be taken away. Then He cried: "Lazarus, come forth!" And Lazarus came forth from the grave. Because of this miracle, the Pharisees became more envious, and even planned to kill Lazarus, so as to make it appear that Jesus had not raised him from the dead.
Christ began His public life when He was about thirty years old. After spending long years in obscurity and humble toil, Jesus Christ next entered upon a period of activity, going about and teaching publicly. He left His home in Nazareth, and began His public life by an act of great humility: His baptism at the hands of Saint John the Baptist in the river Jordan.
The mother of St. John the Baptist was Saint Elizabeth, cousin of the Blessed Virgin Mary. St. John lived a life of very rigorous penance in the desert, preparing himself for his role of forerunner or precursor of his Savior. About two years before Christ started His public life, John the Baptist went out of the desert, and began to preach penance; he baptized in the Jordan all those who believed in his teachings and wished to begin a new life. St. John the Baptist was the forerunner or precursor of Christ. He spoke to the people of the coming Messias, and pointed Jesus out to them as the "Lamb of God." He was put to death by Herod, because he reproved the ruler for his immoral life.
Jesus came to John to be baptized; immediately afterwards, as Our Lord came out of the river, the Holy Ghost came down upon Him in the form of a dove, and a Voice from Heaven was heard saying: "This is my beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased" (St. Matthew 3:17).
After His baptism, Jesus went into the desert, where He fasted forty days and forty nights. This teaches us to look upon baptism as a call to penance, and to prepare for all kinds of activity by mortification and prayer. The forty days of Lent are intended to commemorate the forty days' fast of Our Lord. Lent, of course, lasts from Ash Wednesday till the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday evening.
After Our Lord's long fast, the devil was permitted to tempt Him. Christ rebuked the devil, and angels came to minister to Him. From this temptation of Our Lord we know that a temptation is not sinful. As long as we resist the devil, we are pleasing to God, however strong may be the temptation that assails us. "God is faithful and will not permit you to be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also give you a way out that you may be able to bear it"(1 Corinthians 10:13).
Christ's public life lasted about three years, during which He went about preaching, teaching, and doing good. Upon His return from His forty-day fast in the desert, Jesus called His first disciples. In a few days He performed His first miracle, changing water into wine at a marriage-feast in Cana, at the request of His Mother, although, as He told her, His time had not yet come.
Among the outsdanding works of Jesus during the first year of His active life were: He drove sellers out of the Temple, saying they made it a "den of thieves". He cured the ruler's son, Peter's mother-in-law, the paralytic at the pool, the daughter of Jairus. He calmed the tempest.
Jesus began the second year of His public life by an act of utmost significance: He chose from many that followed Him, "the Twelve," His twelve Apostles, Himself calling them Apostles. In the Sermon on the Mount He summarized His teachings; it is the law of love taking the place of the law of fear. During the second year of His mission, Christ performed many miracles, among which were: the cure of the centurion's servant, of the widow's son at Naim; the first multiplication of the loaves; He walked on the water, and bade Peter walk on it, too. He forgave Mary Magdalen, and sent the Apostles on their mission. He began teaching in the form of parables, comparing what He wanted to teach with common things. Among His parables of this period were: the sower, the tares and wheat, the mustard seed, the pearl of great price.
In His third year of teaching, Jesus went to Galilee and Phoenicia, because in Judea where He had been teaching, the Pharisees for envy and jealousy sought to kill Him. In Phoenicia He gave in to the entreaties of a Gentile, a Canaanite, who perserved in asking Him to cure her daughter. In Galilee Jesus cured a deaf-and-dumb man, using signs that the Church has adopted in its baptismal ceremonies; he performed the miracle of the second multiplication of the loaves. On Mount Tabor He was transfigured in the presence of Peter, James and John. Among other cures were those of the ten lepers, and the man blind from birth. He promised the primacy over all to Peter, paid the tribute to Caesar, forgave the woman caught in adultery, sent out His seventy-two disciples on a mission, called the rich young man, instructed Mary and Martha, and was the guest of Zacheus. He told the parables of the unmerciful servant, the Good Samaritan, the lost sheep, the lost groat, the greater supper, the unjust steward, the prodigal son, Dives and Lazarus, the Pharisee and the publican, the laborers in the vineyard.
Finally, at the end of His public life, Jesus raised Lazarus from the deadf. By this time the envy of the Pharisees was so great that they determined to bring about the death of Jesus; Judas came as a ready tool. Magdalen anointed Our Lord, as He said, for His burial. He entered Jerusalem in triumph riding on an ass, with children waving palms and singing. He told the parable of the husbandmen and the heir, to show the Pharisees that He knew of their designs against Him. And last of all, He ate the Last Supper with His apostles, there instituting the Holy Eucharist.
Christ's aim in His public life was to teach what God requires all to believe and practice, so that all may enter the kingdom of Heaven. For this purpose He gathered some seventy-two disciples, and from them chose twelve Apostles, to whom He gave special instruction and training in the New Covenant for the Old Covenant had run its course, having fulfilled all that was foretold. By these numerous followers, Jesus chose first among them Simon Peter so that Christ might establish His Church, which was to carry on His work after His death to assure that what He had openly and publicly taught would be perpetuated for all time.
He spoke to large crowds, sometimes numbering four or five thousand people, as when He multiplied the loaves and fishes. Christ taught in the simplest manner, so that all might understand without difficulty. He used plain, homely words. He often used signs and parables, and illustrated His meaning by examples from nature and common life.
In the doctrines He taught, a leading idea is: "Seek first the kingdom of God." He taught a new rule of faith, and gave new commandments. He taught the precept of love, even for our enemies. He revealed certain mysteries: such as those of the Blessed Trinity, of His own divinity, of the Last Judgment. He instituted the seven sacraments. He also left us the Eight Beatitudes in His famous Sermon on the Mount and which we shall focus on in the next installment.
Previously: Step Twenty-four: The Hidden Life of Christ
Catholicism Made Simple