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178 • Part II. The Sacraments: The Faith Celebrated

• Sacred images nourish faith in the mystery of Christ. Through images

of Christ we are moved to adore him and his saving works. In images

of Mary and the saints we venerate the persons represented.

• Sunday and its vigil celebrate Christ’s Resurrection, and it is the day

that the faithful are obliged to attend Mass, rest from work, and

engage in charitable works.

• In the course of the Liturgical Year, the Church unfolds the mys-

tery of Christ’s Incarnation, public ministry, death and Resurrection,

Ascension, sending of the Holy Spirit, and the Church’s expectation

of his second coming.

• The feasts and memorials of the Mother of God and the saints call

us to praise God for what he has accomplished in them and to imi-

tate their virtues.

• The faithful who pray the Liturgy of the Hours are united with

Christ in giving glory to the Father and imploring the gifts of the

Holy Spirit for the world.

• Our parish churches are places where the faithful gather for public

worship and personal prayer. These holy places are images of the

heavenly kingdom to which we journey.

• “The diverse liturgical traditions or rites, legitimately recognized,

manifest the catholicity of the Church, because they signify and

communicate the same mystery of Christ” (CCC, no. 1208).


For two thousand years, Christian time has been measured by

the memory of that “first day of the week” (Mk 16:2, 9; Lk

24:1; Jn 20:1), when the Risen Christ gave the Apostles the gift

of peace and of the Spirit (cf. Jn 20:19-23). The truth of Christ’s

Resurrection is the original fact upon which Christian faith is

based (cf. 1 Cor 15:14), an event set at the center of the mys-

tery of time, prefiguring the last day when Christ will return in

glory. We do not know what the new millennium has in store

for us, but we are certain that it is safe in the hands of Christ,

the “King of kings and Lord of lords” (Rev 19:16); and pre-

cisely by celebrating his Passover not just once a year but every