God And The Redemption
( Originally Published 1922 )
God promised a Redeemer to Adam and Eve after they had fallen into sin. He promised to send His own divine Son to redeem the world from the power of the devil. The prophets foretold that our Saviour would be born of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the town of Bethlehem. God sent the Angel Gabriel to tell the Blessed Virgin that she was to be the mother of our divine Redeemer. Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, was born in a stable at Bethlehem. He had come to redeem the world from the devil and to save all men.
You told me the last time, children, about Adam and Eve. Perhaps you would like to talk about them again. Tell me how they lived and what God intended to do for them. Tell me how they happened to fall into sin. Tell me also how that sin came down to us. What, then, is original sin? Where were the souls of the just who died after that? What promise did God make to Adam and Eve after they fell into sin ? Why did God take pity on us ? Why did He love us so much ?
What kind of people believed that God would keep His promise? Why did the good people have hope then? How could people be saved after Adam and Eve's sin? What happened to those good people when they died? Why did they have to wait in limbo ? Where can you read about God's promise to Adam and Eve? In what part of the Bible can you read this? What person of the Blessed Trinity did God promise to send to free the world from sin? What gave the people hope after Adam and Eve fell into sin? To whom did God first make this promise? What promise did God make to Abraham later? If you would pass from Abraham to Isaac and to Jacob and so on from father to son, you would finally come to the family to which our Lord's blessed mother belonged. You can read about this in the first chapter of St. Matthew's Gospel. There you can see that our Lord was a descendant from Abraham. God told the prophets many things about our Lord.
How did Abraham know that our Lord would be born of his people? From whom was the Blessed Virgin Mary descended? The prophet Isaias foretold that the Blessed Virgin was to be our Lord's mother. How did the prophet Isaias know that the Blessed Virgin was to be our Lord's mother? You know that the Book of Isaias is a part of the Bible. It is a book of the Old Testament. The prophet Micheas foretold that our Lord would be born in Bethlehem. Who told the prophet Micheas this? The Book of Micheas is also a part of the Bible. Who sent the Angel Gabriel from heaven? To whom did the Angel Gabriel come? What did the Angel Gabriel say to the Blessed Virgin Mary? When do you say those words? Let me hear you say the Hail Mary.
Where did the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph live when the Angel Gabriel came ? In what kind of house did they live ? What did the Angel Gabriel tell the Blessed Virgin about our Lord? When did the Blessed Virgin learn that she was to be our Lord's mother? What did the angel say our Lord's name was to be? What does the name Jesus mean? In what month did the Angel Gabriel appear to the Blessed Virgin? On about what day did he come? What do we call that day now? Yes ; it is the feast of the Annunciation. It is the day on which the Angel Gabriel told the Blessed Virgin that she was to be our Lord's mother. It is not a Holy Day, but good people like to go to Mass on that day. You can read about the Angel Gabriel in the Gospel of St. Luke, Ch. 2.
Why does the priest wear white vestments on the feast of the Annunciation? On what day is the feast of the Annunciation? What did the Angel Gabriel tell the Blessed Virgin on that day ? What happened the next December after the Angel Gabriel told the Blessed Virgin that she was to be our Lord's mother? Tell me now about our Lord's birth. Tell me the kind of place in which He was born. Tell me about the shepherds. Who told the shepherds that our Saviour had been born? Who sent the angels to the shepherds ? What did the shepherds do when the angels told them? What did they do when they found the Blessed Infant? Why did they adore Him?
How long had our Lord been God? How long will our Lord be God? Why did our Lord become a little baby? Whom did He come to save from hell? Why do we call our Lord our Saviour? Who were with the Blessed Infant when the shepherds came? What would you have done if you had been with them? How long would you have wanted to stay there? What do you think the Blessed Virgin would have said to you? Why would you have asked her to let you hold the little Jesus in your arms ? When can you take our Lord in your breast ? How often can you receive our Lord in Holy Communion? What form did our Lord have in Bethlehem? What form has our Lord in the Holy Eucharist? How does our Lord take the form of bread and wine?
On what day was our Lord born? On what day of the year is Christmas? Whose birth-day is Christmas? Why does everybody try to be happy on Christmas ? What is the best Christmas gift you can receive? Why is Holy Communion the best gift you can receive? How do people try to show their love for one another on Christmas? How many people does our Lord love?
Where did they take our Lord when He was eight days old? Why did they take our Lord to the Temple? How old was our Lord when He was circumcised? What day of the year is the feast of the Circumcision? Why do we all have to go to Mass on New Year's Day?
When did they give our Lord His name? How did the Blessed Virgin know what name to give Him? What do you do when you hear the name of Jesus? Why do you lift the hat or bow the head? Who do you think was the first ever to call our Lord Jesus? What is the color of the vestments which the priest wears on Christmas and New Year's ? What color is used on all the feasts of our Lord?
I am sure you know the story of the three kings or wise men. They came from a great distance and brought precious gifts to the blessed child Jesus. They were guided by a star to the stable. They were called Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthasar. We celebrate their feast on the 6th of January. It is called the feast of the Epiphany. It is not a Holy Day, but many people like to go to Mass on that day. Now what could you tell anybody about the three kings? What were they called? How did they find the stable in which our Lord was? When do we celebrate the feast of the three kings ? What is the color of the vestments used on the feast of the Epiphany ? Tell me about the blessing of the three kings.
Of course you have seen the Christmas crib. Tell me what you have seen in the crib. Tell me why we have the Christmas crib in our churches. Of what do you think when you pray before the crib ? What do those figures make you think about? You will be surprised to know, children, that a part of our Lord's true crib is still kept in Rome. It is in one of the most beautiful churches in the world, the Church of St. Mary Major. Pieces of the true crib were brought from Bethlehem to Rome many hundreds of years ago. Now, what could you tell anybody about our Lord's time crib ? What would you do now if you were in Rome ?
On Christmas Day the priest says three Masses. Do you know why Christ's birthday is called Christmas? It is the day of Christ's Mass. That means that the Masses said on that day are in honor of Christ's birth. Why did our Lord come down from heaven? From what sin did our Lord come to redeem us? From whom does original sin come? How long had the world waited for our Lord to come? How could good people be saved during those four thousand years ? What are the four weeks before Christmas called? Advent means the coming. During those four weeks we prepare for the coming of our Lord at Christmas. That is why we fast and do penance during Advent. On the Sundays of Advent the priest wears purple vestments. They are a sign of penance. Advent is to remind us of the four thousand years that the people waited for the coming of Christ. Now, if anybody asked you what Advent means, what would you say ? Why do we fast and do penance during Advent ? Why does the priest wear purple vestments in Advent?
Why did our Lord come to save us from hell?
Why does God want us with Him in heaven forever? Whose children are we all? Who had led God's children away from Him? Whom did God send to lead His children back to Him? What person of the Blessed Trinity is our Lord? What can our Lord do? What does our Lord know? In what are the three divine persons equal?
In whose power were the people when our Lord came? Why did God want to free the people from the power of the devil? What put the people in the power of the devil? What sin did Adam and Eve commit? Who made Adam and Eve disobey God? Whom did Adam and Eve obey when they fell into sin? Whom do people obey when they commit sin?
Why does God love us so much? To whom do we belong? Why did God make us? Just see how much God loves us. He sent His own divine Son to lead us back to Him. We were all like children who were lost. So our Lord came to help us find the way to our true home and to lead us back to our Heavenly Father.
Why do you think our Lord was born so poor? What did He want to teach us by being so poor ? Why does God want us not to love the things of this world? For what are we preparing in this world? Who is our Lord's mother? How do you know our Lord was truly man? When did our Lord become one of us? What kind of body did our Lord have? How big was our Lord when He was born? How did our Lord become a big man? Where did our Lord live when He was a boy? Here it would be impressive to compare Him with boys in the class. What do you think 'our Lord did when He was just as big as you?
You know St. Elizabeth was the Blessed Virgin's cousin. She was St. John the Baptist's mother. St. John was our Lord's second cousin. He was just about six months older than our Lord. They say they used to play together when they were little. St. John was sent by God to prepare the people to receive our Lord. He was a very holy man and is called the precursor or the forerunner of our Lord.
What would you like to have done if you had lived in Nazareth when our Lord was a little boy? What do you think the child Jesus did when His mother told Him to do something? Whom did the boy Jesus help at work? What person of the Blessed Trinity was the boy Jesus? With whom was He equal? How long had He been God? How long has He been man? In what part of the Bible can you read about our Lord?
Why did our Lord have to eat and drink? Why did our Lord have to sleep? How do you know that our Lord was really human? How do you know that our Lord was really God, too? You know our Lord worked many miracles after He grew up. He cured many people of their diseases and He raised many people to life. By whose power did our Lord work miracles? How could our Lord cure people and raise the dead to life? Who gave us our life?
How many persons are there in one God? Which one of these persons was born in Bethlehem? What Church teaches us all about our Lord? Who sent the Catholic Church to teach us? How do we know that our Lord is both God and man? Why are you happy to believe that our Lord is both God and man? Why do you love to believe all that the Catholic Church teaches?
How do you show your love for our Lord? How did our Lord show His love for us? Why did our Lord become man? Why is He called our Saviour? From what did He come to save us? From whose power did He come to redeem us? Why is our Lord called our Redeemer?