The Legion of Mary Bible Study
23 May 2014
Opening Prayer: In honor of The Blessed Mother during the month of May we will pray the Rosary
Theme: “Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts”
Scripture: Six Sunday of Easter - Acts 8: 5-17; Psalm 66; 1Peter 3:15-18; John 14: 15-21
1Peter 3: 15: “sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope.”
How do we baptized Christians sanctify Christ as Lord in our hearts?
We sanctify Christ as Lord in our hearts by having faith in Christ Jesus who is Lord.
A. Christ as Lord is to proclaim that Jesus is God.
In the Old Testament God was called Lord. Jesus Christ is the anointed one. We must believe in our hearts that Christ Jesus is the anointed one, the Incarnate Word of God, the Son of God.
Catechism of the Catholic Church’s definition of faith: Both a gift of God and a human act by which the believer gives personal adherence to God who invites his response, and freely assents to the whole truth that God has revealed. It is this revelation of God which the Church proposes for our belief, and which we profess in the creed, celebrated in the sacraments, live by right conduct that fulfills the twofold commandment of charity (as specified in the ten commandments), and respond to in our prayer of faith. Faith is both a theological virtue given by God as grace, and an obligation which flows from the first commandment of God.
1. A gift of God: The gift is the grace of the baptism of The Holy Spirit: “While meeting with them, he enjoined them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for ‘the promise of the Father about which you have heard me speak; for John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit (Acts 1: 4-5).”
The Holy Spirit is called the Paraclete (Advocate) and Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit is at work with the Father and the Son from the beginning to the completion of the divine plan for our salvation (CCC 685; 152; 243).
2. A human act: The believer gives personal adherence to God who invites his response
3. A human response: freely assents to the whole truth that God has revealed. Jesus is the Revelation of the Father in the Holy Spirit. Jesus is God.
4. God’s Revelation: it is this revelation of God which the Church proposes for our belief, that fulfills the twofold commandment of charity (as specified by the ten comments) and respond to in our prayer of faith.
A Theological virtue: (CCC 1813) – The theological virtues are the foundation of Christian moral activity; they animate it and give it its special character. They inform and give life to all the moral virtues. They are infused by God into the souls of the faithful to make them capable of acting as his children and of meriting eternal life. They are the pledge of the presence and action of the Holy Spirit in the faculties of the human being. There are three theological virtues: faith, hope, and charity (1 Cor 13:13).
5. Obligation which flows from the first commandment of God. (CCC 2084): God makes himself known by recalling his all-powerful, loving, and liberating action in the history of the one he addresses; ‘I brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.’ The first word contains the first commandment of the Law: ‘You shall fear the Lord your God; you shall serve him… You shall not go after other gods.’ God’s first call and just demand is that man accepts him and worship him.
1Peter 3:16-17: 16“but do it with gentleness and reverence, keeping your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who defame your good conduct in Christ may themselves be put to shame. 17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that be the will of God, than for doing evil.”
How can we be ready to evangize or proclaim the Gospel of Jesus the Christ?
1. When questioned or accused, Christians should readily witness to the truth and proclaim their faith (Mark 13: 19-11), (Matthew 10:16-21)
2. The best witness is an honest life which refutes defamation and libel by its evident goodness.
3. The sufferings are real, but St. Peter in the name of Jesus the Christ calls all Christians to suffer for their good deeds, like Jesus and not for their sins.