Hey we get to read The Nicene Creed AND The Apostles’ Creed today!!
Yes, they are different
They are the introduction to this new section we are going into
Section 2: The Creed
We are still in Part One: The Profession of Faith
The Creed is Section 2, The Profession of the Christian Faith
The Creed is divided into THREE MAIN AREAS
CHAPTER 1: GOD, THE FATHER
CHAPTER 2: GOD, THE SON
CHAPTER 3: GOD, THE HOLY SPIRIT
If you have the Ascension Edition of the Catechism you can see that Chapter 1: God, the Father is from Paragraphs 185-421
A BIG CHUNK OF CHANGE!!
Of course, Fr. Mike has been reading ahead to brush up on what we are going to talk about
We will get to DIVE DEEPLY into the IDENTITY of God, the Father in a few days
We will do that again with God, the Son
And also with God, the Holy Spirit
Fr. Mike gets pretty excited about these sorts of things (Or haven’t you noticed? 😉)
We will also talk about a couple different words you need to listen for in Paragraphs 185-192
The first is CREED which means CREDO, which means I BELIEVE
That’s why we call them CREEDS
The first words are typically I BELIEVE or WE BELIEVE
Also, the word SYMBOL
Have you ever stopped to wonder what the word SYMBOL means?
Well, the Greek word SYMBOLON means HALF OF A BROKEN OBJECT
Like a seal that was broken, kind of like those “friendship necklaces” that said “friends forever” (I have NO IDEA what Fr. Mike is talking about! I mean, I remember SLAP BRACELETS!! 😉)
You would keep half the necklace
Your best friend would keep the other half of the necklace
So that’s kind of the idea of the SYMBOLON
So the idea we have SYMBOLS OF FAITH is because we recognize that what we PROFESS is IN US
THAT IS REALLY INCREDIBLE!!
THAT IS REALLY BEAUTIFUL!!
It is a sign of recognition and communion between believers as well
It essentially is the “best friends forever” broken necklace
We can walk up to any other Catholic Christian and say, “Wait a second! You believe what I believe! Why? How do we know this? Because we share the same CREED!”
We are also going to look at the term ARTICLE
Yes we know what ARTICLE means
We will learn that ARTICLE means ARTICULATE
OH THAT MAKES SENSE!!
THESE ARTICLES…ARTICULATE…WHAT WE BELIEVE!!
We will begin LOOKING AT…
We will begin EXAMINING…
We will begin WADING INTO…
Not just The Creed itself…
WHO The Creed is talking about
Today and tomorrow we are talking about the REALITY of creeds
WHERE do they come from?
WHY do we need them?
So let's say a prayer right now.!!
Yesterday was MCNUGGET DAY
Today is GET THE WHOLE CHICKEN DAY!!
We recited BOTH creeds
The Apostles’ Creed
The Nicene Creed
The Apostles’ Creed is the ESSENTIAL CREED that can be traced back to the Apostles
It is SHORTER than the Nicene Creed
It DOES NOT CONTRADICT the Nicene Creed
The Nicene Creed DOES NOT CONTRADICT the Apostles’ Creed
It is an EXPANSION of the Apostles’ Creed
WHY did it get expanded?
Paragraph 192 says, “Through the centuries many professions or symbols of faith have been articulated in response to the needs of the different eras…”
The Apostles’ Creed sums up what Christians believed FROM THE BEGINNING
But now as we get to 325 AD and The Council of Nicaea
It was convened in response to this challenge…
How do we REALLY understand Jesus being divine?
We will DIVE DEEPLY into this over the next couple of weeks
In the Apostles’ Creed it says, “...Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord…”
“...who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary…”
So that’s what we know
Jesus is the SON OF GOD
Jesus is OUR LORD
Jesus was CONCEIVED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT
Jesus was BORN OF THE VIRGIN MARY
But people said, “What does it mean that Jesus is the Son of God? Does it mean that He is part God and part human like Hercules?”
So in 325 AD The Council of Nicaea comes together in response to this challenge
The Creed gets EXPANDED
The Nicene Creed says, “I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father; through him all things were made…”
You can see that they were making it VERY VERY CLEAR what we believe as CHRISTIANS
When we say Jesus is the SON OF GOD
We mean Jesus is CO-EQUAL with the FATHER
We mean Jesus is CO-ETERNAL with the FATHER
When we get to the Holy Spirit, it’s the same thing
The Nicene Creed is the shorthand way of saying it
It’s actually The Nicene Constantinopolitan Creed (Whew!! Try saying THAT three times fast, eh? 😉)
Because this all was articulated in both 325 AD at The Council of Nicaea and in 381 AD in The Council of Constantinople
That’s a little explanation on the difference between the two creeds
Why do we keep expanding them? 🤔
BECAUSE THEY KEEP BEING CHALLENGED!!
What do we REALLY MEAN?
What do we REALLY BELIEVE?
That is what the HEART OF THE CREED IS
What do we ULTIMATELY, IN THE SIMPLEST FORM, BELIEVE?
Paragraph 186 says, “...early on, the Church also wanted to gather the essential elements of its faith into organic and articulated summaries…”
Have you heard of Theology of the Body?
It was presented to the world by St. John Paul II
There are conferences and retreats put on for students and adults
People are BLOWN AWAY by it
People are REALLY MOVED
They learn a lot
Their hearts get touched
Then they go home and rave about Theology of the Body
People say, “What is it?”
Then they find that they CAN’T ARTICULATE IT
There is no SIMPLE FORM or CONCISE WAY of capturing what is the HEART OF THE TEACHING of Theology of the Body
They LOVE what they heard
How do they convey that in a SIMPLE CONCISE ACCURATE CLEAR WAY?
THE CREEDS HELP US DO THAT!!
Because we could say, “I LOVE CHRISTIANITY!! I LOVE THE CATHOLIC CHURCH!!”
Ok, so what do you believe?
“OH WOW THERE IS A TON!!”
And THAT is why we have these CREEDS
This is a SUMMARY of the ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF THE FAITH
Not that other parts aren’t important
We have distilled this down to the MOST CONCENTRATED FORM
That is what these creeds are
Paragraph 185 says, “Whoever says ‘I believe’ says ‘I pledge myself to what we believe.’ Communion in faith needs a common language of faith, normative for all and uniting all in the same confession of faith.”
Fr. Mike LOVES symbolon
Symbols of faith is great
A couple of days ago we talked about how we don’t believe in the WORDS THEMSELVES
We believe in the REALITY that they represent
We don’t believe in the Creed itself
We believe in the REALITIES that the Creed represents
The symbolon is such a GREAT IMAGE
Fr. Mike recently re-learned this
Here is this BROKEN SEAL that you would hold up to all other believers
They would say, “Yeah, I believe that too!”
We can be so moved by the reality of the MARTYRS
There are people RIGHT NOW IN THIS WORLD who are suffering for the fact that they are Christians
There have been more martyrs in the 20th Century than in ALL OTHER PREVIOUS CENTURIES COMBINED 🤯 🤯 🤯
Martyrdom is NOT a thing of the PAST
Martyrdom is a thing of the PRESENT
There are many people in the world right now who are suffering
Because they believe EXACTLY WHAT YOU AND I BELIEVE
For most of us who get to listen to this we get to say, “Yeah I believe that!”
“I want to live that!”
“I want to pursue the Lord God with my whole heart, mind, soul, and strength!”
“I want to love the Lord God with everything!”
There are people who believe EXACTLY WHAT YOU AND I BELIEVE!!
Because of that, they are now being PERSECUTED
Because of that, they are now being TORTURED
They are in the midst of INCREDIBLE INJUSTICE
The only difference between them and us is THEIR SITUATION
The only difference between them and us is THE PEOPLE AROUND THEM
Because they believe EXACTLY WHAT WE BELIEVE
We can hold up that SYMBOLON to them and it would MATCH WITH OURS
SO WE NEED TO PRAY FOR THEM!!
The Creed is divided up into THREE PARTS
Paragraph 190 says, “And so the Creed is divided into three parts: ‘the first part speaks of the fist divine Person and the wonderful work of creation…’”
God the Father is the Creator!!
“...the next speaks of the second divine Person and the mystery of his redemption of men…”
Jesus Christ redeems us!!
“...the final part speaks of the third divine Person, the origin and source of our sanctification…”
The Holy Spirit!!
We will hear this later on that what Jesus the Redeemer, the second person of the Trinity, made POSSIBLE, the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, makes ACTUAL
So we get to PROFESS THIS FAITH
Tomorrow we get to dive into MORE things in both Creeds
The day after tomorrow we are going to dive into I BELIEVE IN GOD THE FATHER
Fr. Mike is praying FOR YOU!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike and for each other!!
I cannot WAIT to see you tomorrow!!