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80 • Part I. The Creed: The Faith Professed

earth and permanently in heaven. We enter this Kingdom through faith

in Christ, baptismal initiation into the Church, and life in communion

with all her members.

The words of Jesus, expressed in his parables, the Sermon on the

Mount, his dialogues, and the Last Supper discourse are calls to holiness

through accepting his Kingdom and salvation. Jesus did not abolish the

Law of Sinai, but rather fulfilled it (cf. Mt 5:17-19) with such perfec-

tion (cf. Jn 8:46) that he revealed its ultimate meaning (cf. Mt 5:23) and

redeemed the transgressions against it (cf. Heb 9:15). The miracles and

other deeds of Jesus are acts of compassion and signs of the Kingdom

and salvation.

In the mystery of the Transfiguration, we gain a foretaste of the

Kingdom. A hymn of the Byzantine liturgy spells it out for us:

You were transfigured on a mountain. Your disciples contem-

plated your glory, Christ God, so that when they saw you cruci-

fied, they would understand that your passion was freely willed.

They would announce to the world that you are truly the splen-

dor of the Father. (


for the Feast of the Transfiguration,

Byzantine tradition)

Above all it is in the Paschal Mystery, which is the saving Passion,

death, and Resurrection of Jesus, that we participate most profoundly in

the mystery of Christ. Here is the heart of the Kingdom and salvation to

which we are called. In Christ, we die to self and sin. We rise to partici-

pate in his divine life through the Resurrection. This is made possible for

us through the Sacraments.

Our access to the Gospels is made possible by doing faith-filled read-

ing of the sacred texts, by listening to them in the Church’s liturgy, and

by witnessing their meaning in our lives and in the lives of others. We

can benefit greatly from the number of available Scripture commentaries

and Bible study groups that are sponsored by local parishes.