Each Sunday, we recite the Creed at Mass. The new English translation, introduced last year, caused many Catholics to take a second look at the Creed, as familiar words were replaced by more complex phrases such as "consubstantial with the Father" and "incarnate by the Holy Spirit."
The words of the Nicene Creed, which express our Catholic faith, come to us from Christians who lived in the distant past. That Creed was born in fierce debates about what we should believe. I like to think of it as a kind of "handshake" across the centuries! The ancient words invite us to say "Amen" to the faith forged by early believers, many of whom gave their lives for these words.Here on ACR during this Easter season, we're taking a closer look at the words of the Creed.
When I pray the words of the Creed at Sunday Mass, I'm comforted to be with others who profess the same faith. I can't say the same when I'm meeting people on the street or at the mall. We live in a secular age. The media bends over backwards not to endorse belief in a power that controls "things visible and invisible."
Catholics offer the world something which is seems to be missing. I say "seems," for there's something curious which happens in our secular world. Have you noticed how often, when a disaster strikes, how people spontaneously ask about God's role in the tragedy? Even when they express doubts about a loving Creator, in the face of an earthquake or tsunami, their words betray a hunger for God.
Ancient peoples, living in a world as puzzling as ours, also were hungry to believe. They, too, tried to make sense of natural disasters, changing seasons, and mysterious diseases that could devastate a whole tribe. Into such a world came the revelation to ancient Israel. Abraham and his nomadic tribe came to know God One, loving, and willing to accompany them on their life-journeys. Theirs was a personal God, a God who invites people into relationship.
Each Sunday our Creed reminds us of those ancient hungers. It also assures us that, like Abraham, we've been invited into a relationship with God. Our God, creator, all-powerful, eternal, is nevertheless personal and loving. We know this, because of what our Creed professes about Jesus Christ, "the Only Begotten Son of God."
Join us all through the Easter Season, as we continue to explore the meaning behind the words of our Profession of Faith at Mass.