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A New Look at the Creed View Comments
By Greg Friedman, OFM

The new English translation of the Mass, introduced last Advent, invites Catholics to take a second look at the Nicene Creed. Phrases such as “consubstantial with the Father” and “incarnate of the Virgin Mary” replace more familiar words we’ve been using for decades.

Early in Christianity our creed was born in fierce debates about what we believe. The ancient words invite our “Amen” to this faith forged by the early Church. It’s like a handshake across the centuries — “a sign of recognition and communion between believers” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 188).

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Greg Friedman, OFM, became a Franciscan in 1968 and was ordained in 1976. He has written and produced resources for faith formation, served in pastoral ministry and hosted a national Catholic radio program. He is author of five books, includingAdvent With the Saintsand Lent With the Saints, published by Franciscan Media.

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Martha: Martha, Mary and their brother Lazarus were evidently close friends of Jesus. He came to their home simply as a welcomed guest, rather than as one celebrating the conversion of a sinner like Zacchaeus or one unceremoniously received by a suspicious Pharisee. The sisters feel free to call on Jesus at their brother’s death, even though a return to Judea at that time seems almost certain death. 
<p>No doubt Martha was an active sort of person. On one occasion (see Luke 10:38-42) she prepares the meal for Jesus and possibly his fellow guests and forthrightly states the obvious: All hands should pitch in to help with the dinner. </p><p>Yet, as biblical scholar Father John McKenzie points out, she need not be rated as an “unrecollected activist.” The evangelist is emphasizing what our Lord said on several occasions about the primacy of the spiritual: “...[D]o not worry about your life, what you will eat [or drink], or about your body, what you will wear…. But seek first the kingdom [of God] and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:25b, 33a); “One does not live by bread alone” (Luke 4:4b); “Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness…” (Matthew 5:6a). </p><p>Martha’s great glory is her simple and strong statement of faith in Jesus after her brother’s death. “Jesus told her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?’ She said to him, ‘Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world’” (John 11:25-27).</p> American Catholic Blog One of the difficulties we may have when our lives become unmanageable is that we find dealing with other people to be difficult and we may even struggle to maintain a relationship with God. Caring people especially can find themselves carrying unnecessary crosses as they become lost in the maze of trying to meet everyone’s crazy expectations—including their own!

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