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Congregation for the Clergy
General Directory for Catechesis

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    • CHAPTER I Norms and criteria for presenting the Gospel message in catechesis
        • The trinitarian christocentricity of the Gospel message
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The trinitarian christocentricity of the Gospel message

99. The Word of God, incarnate in Jesus of Nazareth, Son of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is the Word of the Father who speaks to the world through his Spirit. Jesus constantly refers to the Father, of whom he knows he is the Only Son, and to the Holy Spirit, by whom he knows he is anointed. He is ?the Way' that leads to the innermost mystery of God. (318) The christocentricity of catechesis, in order of its internal dynamic, leads to confession of faith in God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

It is essentially a trinitarian christocentricity. Christians, at Baptism, are configured to Christ, "One of the Trinity", (319) and constituted "sons in the Son", in communion with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Their faith is, therefore, radically Trinitarian. "The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life". (320)

100. The trinitarian christocentricity of the Gospel message leads catechesis to attend amongst others, to the following points.

– The internal structure of catechesis: every mode of presentation must always be christocentric-trinitarian: "Through Christ to the Father in the Holy Spirit". (321) "If catechesis lacks these three elements or neglects their close relationship, the Christian message can certainly lose its proper character". (322)

Following the pedagogy of Jesus in revelation of the Father, of himself as the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, catechesis shows the most intimate life of God, starting with his salvific works for the good of humanity. (323) The works of God reveal who he is and the mystery of his inner Being throws light on all of his works. It is analogous with human relationships: people reveal themselves by their actions and, the more deeply we know them, the better we understand what they do. (324)

– The presentation of the innermost being of God, revealed by Jesus, the mystery of being one in essence and three in Person, has vital implications for the lives of human beings. To confess belief in one God means, that "man should not submit his personal freedom in an absolute manner to any earthly power". (325) It also implies that humanity, made in the image and likeness of God who is a "communion of persons", is called to be a fraternal society, comprised of sons and daughters of the same Father, and equal in personal dignity. (326) The human and social implications of the Christian concept of God are immense. The Church, in professing her faith in the Trinity and by proclaiming it to the world, understands herself as "a people gathered together in the unity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit". (327)

318) Cf. Jn 14:6.

319) The term 'one of the Trinity' was used by the Fifth Ecumenical Council (Constantinople 533): cf. Constantinopolitanum II, Session VIII, can. 4, Dz 424. It is also used in CCC 468.

320) CCC 234; cf. CCC 2157.

321) DCG (1971) 41; cfr. Eph 2:18.

322) Cf. DCG (1971) 41.

323) Cf. CCC 258, 236 and 259.

324) Cf. CCC 236.

325) CCC 450.

326) Cf. CCC 1878; CCC 1702. SRS uses the term model of unity when referring to this question. CCC 2845 calls the communion of the Blessed Trinity "the source and criterion of truth in every relationship".

327) The term comes from St Cyprian "De orat. dom.", 23; PL, 4:553; LG 4b.

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