Discipleship Habit #3: Attend Mass Often - Week 18: Nicene Creed: Our Profession of Faith
Lord Jesus, You are good, for You are a faithful God. By offering us the sacrifice of Your Body and Blood, You lovingly give us Your grace and invite us into deep relationship. Forgive us for the times that we’ve failed to recognize that You desire to be truly present with us and in us through the Eucharist. In Your Scripture you tell us of the first Eucharist, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.” (Luke 22:15) Thank You for giving Yourself to us in the Eucharist so freely and so completely. Help us to know that You eagerly await us at every Mass. Lord, inspire us to grow in intimate union with You be receiving You in the Eucharist often. Jesus we trust in You. We make this prayer in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Reflection: The Creed (Excerpts from A Biblical Walkthrough the Mass by Edward Sri)
In this “anything goes” cultural milieu, the Creed grounds us in reality and reminds us that our beliefs and choices do matter. Progressing from creation to the redemptive work of Christ to the sanctifying mission of the Church today, the Creed presumes a narrative framework to human history. In other words, the Creed assumes that there is a plot to life, and that we are here for a reason. It proclaims that the universe is not here by random chance, but was brought into existence by the one true God, “the Maker of heaven and earth,” and is moving in a certain direction according to God’s plan. The Creed also presumes that this divine plan was fully revealed in God’s Son, the “One Lord Jesus Christ” who “became man” to show us the pathway to happiness and eternal life.
The Creed also notes how Jesus came “For us men and for our salvation” and to bring “forgiveness of sins”. This admission that we needed to be saved and forgiven tells us that something went terribly wrong with our situation before the coming of Christ. It points to the original rebellion against God by Satan and his minions and to how they led Adam and Eve in the garden and the rest of the human family to participate in this rebellion by falling into sin. Thus, the story of the Creed implicitly tells of an intense conflict that has been raging since the beginning of time.
Thus, the Creed reminds us that our little lives are caught up into this much larger story. And we each have a significant role to play in this drama. The question is: “How will I play my part?” The Creed will not let us persist in the modern relativistic myth that says there is no right or wrong choices or that it doesn’t matter what we believe or what we do with our lives. The Creed reminds us that at the end of our lives we will stand before the Lord Jesus Christ Who “will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead.”
So, the Creed will not let us be lukewarm bystanders in this cosmic struggle. It challenges us to pick what side of the conflict we will fight for. Will we follow the prince of this world who wants us to think there is no right or wrong? Or will we follow the King of heaven and earth Who leads us to happiness in His everlasting kingdom? When we profess our faith at Mass in the Creed, we publicly stand before the whole congregation and Almighty God and plant the flag with Jesus. We solemnly declare that we will strive not to live like the rest of the world, but to give our wholehearted allegiance to the Lord: “I believe in one God…”
The Nicene Creed
I believe in one God, the Father almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible.
I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father; through Him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation He came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary and became man.
For our sake He was crucified under Pontius Pilate, He suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and His kingdom will have no end.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life, Who proceeds from the Father and the Son, Who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, Who has spoken through the prophets.
I believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.
I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.
In what ways is the Christian view of the world as summed up in the Creed different from the way our world lives today?
In what way do your beliefs and choices shape our world today?
In what way does the Creed challenge you? Affirm you? Console you?
Lord, I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof,
but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.
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