To receive Jesus is to have
everything; to give him is to give the greatest gift of all. – Pope Francis
A quick overview of Jesus’ entire doctrine based on the structure of his Church’s “Catechism of the Catholic Church”
You can download the one-page easily multipliable leaflet (EML) here.
Synthesis: What is the Good News that Jesus revealed?
God loves us and he made us for one purpose: to live God’s life of love and supreme joy. God the Son became man, Jesus, to save us from sin and make us holy children of God in union with Jesus.
Basis: Why do Catholics believe this to be true?
God helps us to believe, and God is Truth and Good who cannot deceive us. Faith is also reasonable: it is a historic fact that Jesus lived, worked awe-inspiring miracles, bravely claimed to be the one God, and after the Romans killed him, he was seen alive by 500. He built his Church on the head of his 12 Apostles, Peter, to whom Jesus gave the powers of a King’s chief minister and teacher. Peter passed on his powers to his successors, the Popes. Jesus committed his presence to his Church, so it can transmit his doctrine in its oral and scriptural Tradition. Jesus told it, “He who hears you hears me.”
CREED: We believe in God’s love
There is one God, the Creator. He is a loving, almighty Father who created everything from nothing and sustains it in existence. He created the angels, pure spirits, and also the material universe of 180 billion galaxies. He created humans who are both spirit and matter. As incarnate spirits made in the image of God who is love, we have intelligence and free will, live in a family and work, and are called to love. In an excess of love, God gave us “sanctifying grace”, a share in his divine life! The grace in one man is greater than the whole created universe!
Tempted by a sinful angel, the devil, the first humans, Adam and Eve, disobeyed God. From then on, the intelligence and free will of all their descendants became disordered and were weakened. Worst of all, we lost sanctifying grace, our share in God’s life. All babies are born in this state of lack of grace, called original sin. Since we are unable to create grace and save ourselves, our God who is faithful and provident, sought to bring us back to himself gradually, by stages. In the end, God himself came as a man, Jesus.
Jesus is God the Son, our Savior. His name means “God saves.” He was born of the Virgin Mary, lived in a family and “did all things well” as a worker, obeying God and authorities. After rejecting the devil’s lure to greed, self-glory and self-interest, he started preaching: “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand!” As Christ, the Anointed One, he saves us as our King (Way) who guides our wills with his laws; as Prophet (Truth), who forms our intelligence to know God and his plan; and as Priest (Life) who gives us back his life of grace.
Jesus faced opposition, was tortured by the Romans and killed. He freely offered his death as the one sacrifice that glorifies God, saving us by acting as the New Adam who is always obedient to the Father and who gives each of us total-self-giving love: “Greater love than this no one has, than he who lays down his life for his friend.”
After he rose on a Sunday, and ascended to heaven, Jesus sent us a Gift, God the Holy Spirit, the third person in the Triune God, to give life to the Church, his Body, granting it all the truth and means to sanctify men. Each man will die, and Jesus will judge his love. He who loves Jesus will be with him in the eternal joy of heaven; those who need to be purified will pass through purgatory. He who chooses to reject him will suffer in hell. At the end of time, Jesus will return, raise all the dead to life and, revealing the utmost consequences of our actions, will judge all men, Then Jesus will bring about the new heavens and a new earth, and God who is Love will be all in all.
SACRAMENTS: We celebrate and receive Jesus’ life of love
To gives us sanctifying grace, his own divine life, Jesus acts in the liturgy, a celebration of worship, which revolves around the seven sacraments. A sacrament is an effective sign of grace. In Baptism, the first sacrament, Jesus acts through his priest who pours water to bring about the removal of original sin by giving us Jesus’ life. Thus, we are made another Christ, Christ himself! “Christ lives in me.”
The life of Jesus, the Son of God, grows in us through Jesus’ other sacraments: Confirmation (to strengthen us), Matrimony (to make family life holy), Holy Orders (to ordain priests through whom Jesus gives us the sacraments), and Anointing of the Sick (to sanctify the dying). Due our radical need of God, as poor in spirit, it is important to often receive (1) Jesus’ mercy in Penance to restore grace lost by mortal sin, and to heal the soul; and (2) the Eucharist, which “makes present” Christ’s death and resurrection, the very center of his life, and thus also of a Christian’s life. Our daily desires revolve around the Bread, our sole satisfier: Jesus who is madly in love with us.
MORALITY: We live Jesus’ life of love
A Christian lives with the dignity of a child of God who is loved by our Father God and loves him back. As shown by Jesus, love means willing the good of the other and total self-giving. With our freedom, we have the power to act or not to act, and are responsible for our actions. By repeatedly choosing to do good shown by our conscience and allowing Jesus to love us through his law and grace, we grow in virtue and freedom. If we choose evil in sin, and offend God, we truly say sorry to him: he celebrates our return and fills us with joy.
We live by Jesus’ values, the Beatitudes and his two greatest commandments: love God with all our heart, mind, strength and soul, and to love our others as ourselves for God. We adore, trust and hope in him, try to know as much as we can about him; cherish his name; and rest in God, offering Mass on Sundays (1st-3rd commandments). We love our family (4th), respect everyone’s dignity (5th), reverence sexuality in chastity (6th-9th), practice justice (7th-10th), and live in the truth (8th). We are responsible for the brotherhood of all men, working for the common good and for social justice. We are merciful to the poor, those in need, in whom we meet Jesus.
APOSTOLATE: We live Jesus’ life of love by saving men
As another Christ, we are one with his sole mission of saving all men by obeying God in our daily lives. It is our duty to be king, prophet and priest for the people around us. We serve, and take initiative to manage the world based on Jesus’ values; we evangelize, spread Jesus’ truths, and make disciples; and we pray, offering the sacrifice of doing all our duties excellently in union with Jesus’ Eucharist.
PRAYER: We live Jesus’ life of love by dialogue with God
Following Jesus’ example and command “pray always”, a Christian lives continually in God’s presence, speaks with Jesus as a friend and offers his daily work and activity for God’s glory. We allot time daily to be with God: to meditate on God’s Word and his Church’s teaching, and to contemplate Jesus with a loving gaze. We say “I love you, thank you, I’m sorry and help us more.” We say the Our Father as God’s children, and go to Mary who brings us Jesus.