OC 03/17 Episode 076 Catechism 0571-0576

Catechism 0571-0576

Article 4


571 The Paschal mystery of Christ’s cross and Resurrection stands at the centre of the Good News that the apostles, and the Church following them, are to proclaim to the world. God’s saving plan was accomplished “once for all” [313] by the redemptive death of his Son Jesus Christ.

572 The Church remains faithful to the interpretation of “all the Scriptures” that Jesus gave both before and after his Passover: “Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” [314] Jesus’ sufferings took their historical, concrete form from the fact that he was “rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes”, who handed “him to the Gentiles to be mocked and scourged and crucified”. [315]

573 Faith can therefore try to examine the circumstances of Jesus’ death, faithfully handed on by the Gospels [316] and illuminated by other historical sources, the better to understand the meaning of the Redemption.
313 Heb 9:26.
314 Lk 24:26-27, 44-45.
315 Mk 8:31; Mt 20:19.
316 Cf. DV 19.


574 From the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry, certain Pharisees and partisans of Herod together with priests and scribes agreed together to destroy him. [317] Because of certain acts of his expelling demons, forgiving sins, healing on the sabbath day, his novel interpretation of the precepts of the Law regarding purity, and his familiarity with tax collectors and public sinners [318]–some ill-intentioned persons suspected Jesus of demonic possession. [319] He is accused of blasphemy and false prophecy, religious crimes which the Law punished with death by stoning. [320]

575 Many of Jesus’ deeds and words constituted a “sign of contradiction”, [321] but more so for the religious authorities in Jerusalem, whom the Gospel according to John often calls simply “the Jews”, [322] than for the ordinary People of God. [323] To be sure, Christ’s relations with the Pharisees were not exclusively polemical. Some Pharisees warn him of the danger he was courting; [324] Jesus praises some of them, like the scribe of Mark 12:34, and dines several times at their homes. [325] Jesus endorses some of the teachings imparted by this religious elite of God’s people: the resurrection of the dead, [326] certain forms of piety (almsgiving, fasting and prayer), [327] The custom of addressing God as Father, and the centrality of the commandment to love God and neighbour. [328]

576 In the eyes of many in Israel, Jesus seems to be acting against essential institutions of the Chosen People: – submission to the whole of the Law in its written commandments and, for the Pharisees, in the interpretation of oral tradition; – the centrality of the Temple at Jerusalem as the holy place where God’s presence dwells in a special way; – faith in the one God whose glory no man can share.

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