Sacraments

For ease of reading, the many scripture verses have been grouped together. . . also to invite Bible reading, historical research, and group discussion.

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Matrimony

By Frederick Pogorzelski
A covenant or partnership of life between a man and a woman, which is ordered to the well-being of the spouses and to the procreation and upbringing of children. When validly contracted between two baptized people, Marriage is a sacrament. The Marriage covenant and celebration is an exchange of persons witnessed by a priest or deacon and sealed by the Holy Spirit. The Church minister at the celebration receives the mutual consent of the spouses in the name of the Church and gives the blessing of the Church. Against the Law of Moses, Jesus reestablished the original indissolubility of Marriage as God instituted ( Deut 24:1 )
( Gen 1:26-28; 2:18-25; 3:12-21 ) ( 1 Cor 7:1-16,39 ) ( Mt 19:4-12 ) ( Mk 10:1-12 ).
The Christian Home or Domestic Church. The presence of Jesus at the wedding feast of Cana is seen by the Church as a confirmation of the goodness of Marriage. Also as part of Gods plan in the economy of salvation, God had a nuptial covenant between Himself and His people Israel, preparing the way for the new and everlasting covenant and “the wedding feast of the Lamb”. The sacrament of Matrimony signifies the union of Christ and the Church the Church being the family of God. Children are a blessing from God and the fruits of conjugal love. The Christian home or “domestic church” is the place where children are welcomed, receive the faith, human virtues, and Christian charity ( Rev 19:7-9 ) ( Jn 2:1-11 ) ( Isa 62:1-5 ) ( Gal 5:13-14; 6:2 ) ( Eph 5:21-33 ) ( 1 Jn 4:8,16 ) ( Acts 11:14; 16:31; 18:8 ) ( Lk 16:18 ) ( Rom 7:2-3 ). The Holy Spirit will continue to be present and to help strengthen us on our faith journey, sanctifying the lives of people from birth to death. Entering into Marriage, a man and woman receive grace. The sacrament of Marriage is the normative route God provided for us His creatures for we are not orphans left desolate ( Jn 14:15-18 ) ( Heb 13:1-6 ).

Confirmation

By Frederick Pogorzelski
Holy Confirmation is one of the three sacraments of Christian initiation and is the reception of the gift of the Holy Spirit in order to make Christians strong and perfect soldiers of Jesus Christ ( Acts 2:2; 8:15; 10:44,47; 19:1 ). It is Gods love being poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us ( Rom 5:5; 8:4-16 ) ( Gal 4:4-7 ). This sacrament was instituted by Jesus when he promised to send another Counselor ( Jn 14:16 ) who will teach the disciples everything ( Jn 14:26 ), who will bear witness to Jesus and enable them to bear witness ( Jn 15:26 ) and who will empower the disciples to speak for he will tell them what to say ( Jn 16:13 ). As the two Apostles Peter and John communicated the Holy Spirit with a laying on of hands confirming disciples recently baptized by Philip, so we also mature in faith and are strengthened to witnesses boldly to Christ’s resurrection and its redemptive powers ( Eph 6:18-20 ) ( Acts 1:8; 8:14-17 ). Grace, a Supernatural Gift Strengthens us as Soldiers of Jesus Christ. In a World of Spiritual Warfare Through the outward sign of Holy Confirmation we receive the inward gift of grace and in some sense participate in divine nature ( Acts 19:6 ) ( Col 3:10 ). This grace strengthens us in service to the Christian faith as we journey in a world in which there is spiritual warfare ( Eph 6:10-18 ). Confirmation produces in the soul an indelible spiritual mark or character; sanctifying us, and unites us to Christ and to his church; the mystical Body of Christ. Confirmation is the second step on our stairway to Heaven. It is the normative route God provides for us His creatures for we are not orphans left desolate. He will come to us ( Jn 14:18 ).

Hopefully, on our last day, we will be able to say as Saint Paul says, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” ( 2 Tim 4:7 ) ( Mt 10:22; 24:13 ).

Eucharist

By Frederick Pogorzelski
Holy Communion, receiving the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist, is one of the three sacraments of Christian initiation. It was explicitly instituted by Christ ( Mt 26:26-29 ) ( Mk 14:22-25 ). The Eucharist, or thanksgiving offering, is rich in symbolic themes of Christian teachings. Saint Paul says, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lords death until he comes”. It also symbolizes Christian unity as a common meal by members of the Church ( Acts 2:46-47 ) ( 1 Cor 10:17; 11:17-33; 12:27 ). Saint Luke includes Passover Supper and Institution Traditions and memorial reenactment ( Lk 22:15-20 ). The rite existed from the very beginning of the Church( Acts 2:42 ). The Eucharist has themes of the Christian Passover in which the Lamb is consumed sacramentally as a covenant sacrifice. Saint John shows the sacrament as a principal of eternal life and atonement made for the salvation of the world ( Jn 6:27-71 ). Jesus, as the bond of the new covenant through His death, is the victim of the covenant sacrifice ( 1 Cor 10:14-22; 11:23-29 ). The Old Testament foreshadowed that Jesus would offer a true sacrifice to God as bread and wine after the order of Melchizedek ( Gen 14:18 ) ( Ps 110:4 ) ( Heb 7:1-28 ). “In every place and time let there be offered to me a clean sacrifice. For I am a great king, says the Lord, and my name is wonderful among the gentiles” ( Mal 1:11 ).
The Real Presence of Christ In the Eucharist. When we share the bread and wine, Jesus unites us with himself in his offering of himself to God, our Father. We offer ourselves to God, along with Jesus at Mass, as a “living sacrifice”… “so we, though many, are one body in Christ” ( Rom 12:1-5 ). When we receive the Eucharist, Jesus gives himself to us in the food of life; his Body and Blood, to help us grow in goodness and love, and be more like him. We receive the gift of grace. We join Jesus in praising our Father at Mass. We celebrate the memorial of his sacrifice, and we celebrate, too, Jesus alive and mysterious, really present among us ( 1 Cor 5:7 ) ( Heb 9:14; 9:24-28 ).

Baptism

By Frederick Pogorzelski

Holy Baptism is the first sacrament we receive and is one of the three sacraments of Christian initiation. It was explicitly instituted by Christ and is the means, by which we become adopted children of the family of God ( Mt 28:19 ) ( Jn 3:5) ( Acts 2:38 ). Baptism is like a first kiss from God. It produces in the soul an indelible spiritual mark or character; sanctifying us, and unites us to Christ and to his church; the mystical body of Christ ( Gal 3:27 ) ( 1 Cor 6:11; 12:13 ). Baptism is an outward sign of inward grace that frees us from the stain of original sin. A New Birth on our Spiritual Journey Towards Supernatural Life Baptism, a new birth of water and the Spirit, removes the barrier of original sin ( Jn 19:34 ) ( Rom 6:3-4 ) ( 1 Pet 1:23 ). It opens the door to Heaven with a bond of Fatherly love. The Christian faithful are saved by the water of Baptism and by holding fast to their faith, as one family of God inside th Church; just as Noah and his family were saved from the flood by staying inside the ark ( 1 Peter 3:18-22 ). The ark being a type of Church and the flood being baptismal waters; the Church will prevail. We are saved in the Church and we have our Lords word
“that the gates of the netherworld will not prevail against it” ( Mt 16:18 ). We look hopefully forward, towards an eternal family reunion, as divine sons and daughters of the Father. Baptism is the first step on our stairway to Heaven. It is the normative route God provided for us His creatures for we are not orphans left desolate. He will come to us ( Jn 14:18 ). Baptism is a loving gift of grace from the heart of the Father on our spiritual journey towards supernatural life. Supernatural life, our hope; is a divine life and love to be shared with Him, and Mary our mother, and all the members of the family of God, forever ( 1 Cor 2:7-9 ) ( 2 Pet 1:3-11 ) ( Rom 8:18-19 ).

Anointing

By Frederick Pogorzelski
The sacrament of anointing of the sick can be a sacrament of healing at both the physical and spiritual level. It is administered to a baptized person by a priest through prayer and the anointing of the body with oil. The baptized person being sick, or in danger of death, because of illness or old age. It may be Christ’s final offer of forgiveness, in which the sinner can be reconciled to God ( Lk 4:40 ) ( Jas 5:13-16 ) ( Mt 10:8 ) ( Acts 9:33-34; 14:3 ). The effects on the sick person of the celebration of this sacrament are a strengthening and a conferring of grace; a closer uniting with the passion and suffering of Christ; helping with the sanctification of the people of God; and preparation for the final journey before entering the fathers house ( Jn 6:54 ). Jesus showed great love, as he was dying on the cross: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” ( Lk 23:34 ).
Pulled into the Loving Arms of Christ. By anointing a dying person who has a lifetime of sins, he may yet be healed, or forgiven of his sins before death. His life on a spiritual level might be described like a tree falling into the darkness of the abyss; and then right at the brink of the abyss, the lifelong sinner is snapped back, pulled into the loving arms of Christ, forgiven, and saved ( Jn 11:25 ).
A person, though, should not plan a sinful lifestyle and a presumption of Gods mercy. That is, he should not live the lifestyle he chooses in willful disobedience of Gods laws with a plan to get around to reconciliation, healing, and forgiveness at the hour of his death. Such deliberate planning, in order that a person might live the lifestyle he or she chooses, would be like playing with fire, for God cannot be mocked ( Gal 6:7 ) ( Jn 4:23-24; 16:13-15 ) ( Lk 9:23 ) ( 1 Jn 5:16-17 ) ( Mt 5:26; 7:13-14; 12:36-37 ) ( 1 Cor 3:15 ) ( Rev 21:27 ) ( Heb 12:14-15 ) ( Phil 2:12 ).

Anointing of the sick is one of the seven sacraments and the normative route God provided for us His creatures for we are not orphans left desolate. He will come to us ( Jn 14:15-18 ) ( Heb 13:1-6 ).

Holy Orders

By Frederick Pogorzelski
Holy Orders is the sacrament of Apostolic Ministry, by which the mission entrusted by Christ to his apostles continues to be exercised and passed on in the Church through the laying on of hands ( Titus 1:5-9 ) ( Acts 1:8-26; 2:4; 6:1-7; 13:1-3; 14:22-23; 20:28 ) ( 2 Tim 1:6-7 ) ( Mt 16:18-19 ) ( Jn 10:36; 20:22-23; 21:17 ) ( 1 Tim 3:1-13; 4:14; 5:22 ). Through Baptism, all the faithful share in the priesthood of Christ. Through Apostolic Succession, ordination is conferred by the Bishop, who himself is under authority of the Pope, the successor of Saint Peter. Church authority alone has the responsibility and the right to call someone to receive the sacrament of Holy Orders. Ordained ministers receive a sacred power for the service of the faithful. Ordained ministry is exercised in three degrees: deacons, presbyters, and bishops. The sacrament of Holy Orders produces in the soul an indelible spiritual mark or character ( Mt 8:4; 19:12 ) ( 1 Cor 7:32 ) ( Eph 4:11 ) ( Mk 3:14-19; 10:45 ) ( Lk 6:12-16; 22:27 ) ( 1 Cor 12:27-31 ). Through the outward sign of the sacrament of Holy Orders, a person receives the inward gift of grace and in some sense participates in divine nature. The ordained person now serves in the name and in the person of Christ the Head in the midst of the community ( 1 Tim 2:5 ) ( Rev 1:6; 5:9-10; 20:6 ) ( 1 Pet 2:5-9; 5:1-4 ) ( Jn 21:15-17 ) ( Mk 10:43-45 ) ( Eph 2:20 ) ( 1 Cor 4:1-21 ).
The Priesthood is prefigured in the Old Testament as God chose one of the twelve tribes of Israel, that of Levi, and set it apart for liturgical service. However, it could not bring about salvation or sanctification, which only Christ would do ( Gen 14:18 ) ( Ex 19:6; 29:1-30 ) ( Isa 61:6 ) ( Num 1:48-53; 11:24-25 ) ( Heb 4:12-16; 5:1-10; 6:20; 7:5-27; 8:1-7; 10:1-14 ) ( Josh 13:33 ) ( Lev 8:1-36 ) ( Mal 2:7-9 ) ( 2 Tim 2:2 ).
The sacrament of Holy Orders is one of the normative routes God provided for us His creatures for we are not orphans left desolate. He will come to us ( Jn 14:15-18 ) ( Heb 13:1-6 ).

Reconciliation

By Frederick Pogorzelski
Reconciliation is a sacramental celebration and reunion of a sinner with both God and the Church( Rev 22:14,15 ) ( Lk 15:9,19,32 ) ( 1 Cor 12:26 ). It continues Baptisms work of conversion and forgiveness. Christ, in His mercy and great love, gave us this sacrament, which liberates us from sin and guilt and strengthens us with grace. Sinners, who are estranged because of their evil deeds, can reconcile by being contrite and by having a conversion of the heart towards God, which may include some external penance such as prayer, fasting, or almsgiving ( Col 1:21,22 ) ( Lk 7:44-50; 17:14; 19:9,10 ) ( Heb 9:14,15 ). Only God forgives sins through the “once for all” sacrifice of Christ ( Mk 2:5-12 ) ( Heb 7:27, 9:26 ) ( 1 Pet 1:18,19 ) ( Jn 12:32 ) ( Acts 4:12 ) ( 1 Tim 2:5 ) ( Titus 2:11-14 ). Christ instituted the sacrament of Reconciliation when he sent his apostles and gave them the keys to the kingdom of Heaven. Christ said, “…if you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained” ( 2 Cor 4:1-6; 5:11-21 ) ( Isa 22:22 ) ( Mt 16:18,19; 18:15-20 ) ( Jn 20:21-23 ) ( Gen 2:7 ).
Through Apostolic Succession and Holy Orders, the priest continues the mission of the apostles, forgiving all sins “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” ( Mt 28:16-20 ) ( Acts 6:6; 13:3; 14:23 ) ( 2 Tim 1:6 ) ( Jas 5:16-18 ) ( 1 Jn 1:5-10 ). After the redeeming “once for all” sacrifice of Christ has been applied, and the sinner has received the prayer of absolution by the priest, the sinner must now do what is possible to repair and remedy the harm and disorder the sin caused. This is called penance ( 1 Jn 2:1,2 ) ( Rom 3:25,26; 5:1-11; 8:16,17 ) ( Lk 3:8 ). Grace, or divine love, reseals the bond of love between man and God. Christ will continue to be present and to heal us on our faith journey, sanctifying the lives of people from birth to death. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is the normative route God provided for us His creatures for we are not orphans left desolate ( Jn 14:18 ).

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Christ Came to Serve not to be Served.

CHRIST, is from the Greek translation of the Hebrew “Messiah,” which means “anointed.” It became
the name proper to Jesus because he accomplished perfectly the divine mission of priest, prophet, and King, signified by his anointing as Messiah, “Christ”
CCC 436ff

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