Continuing with the exploration and reflection through a series of articles written in a conversational language about Catholicism, about God, about Jesus, about the Church and many other faith related topics. Here we present:
Question 27 – When did Christianity begin?
Christianity* only really started after the death of the cross and the resurrection* of Jesus*. Not when Mary* became pregnant or on Christmas*, when she gave birth to her baby. Not even at the time when Jesus chose twelve collaborators and later placed Peter* at their head. Everything indicated that the enthusiastic movement that arose around Jesus had been completely shattered by his terrible death. His followers chose to hide. Everything seemed to have failed.
No one had expected or dared to hope for Jesus’ resurrection. It is, right up today, seen by Christians as God’s confirmation that Jesus was right. The resurrection proves that his life is not a tragic failure. In no way did God abandon Jesus, quite the contrary. The new encounters between the disciples and the risen Jesus form the beginning of the Church*.
Of course, the time that Jesus travelled around with his disciples was very important for the emergence of Christianity. His words and deeds from that period teach us a lot about him and about God. Death on the cross proved that he wanted to give his life for his message of love and hope, but it was only through the resurrection that this became really clear.
However, the Christian faith only came out of the starting blocks after Pentecost*. Then the first followers of Jesus received the Holy Spirit*. The first testimonies show that there was still a lot of fear among the first Christians. They preferred to keep their message indoors. At a certain moment this fear turned into faithful trust and enthusiasm. From that moment on, the first Christians came out to share the Good News of Jesus with everyone.
– What do you consider to be the foundations of your faith?
– Have there been times of crisis in your life of faith?
Feel free to leave your thoughts, reflections or comments below.
Watch this space! Coming up: Question 28 – Can you be a Christian on your own?
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If you wish to learn more about this resource follow this link “52 Questions and Answers about faith”
About the author:
Nikolaas Sintobin, SJ, joined the Society of Jesus in 1989, following a short career as a lawyer. He was trained as a Jesuit in Brussels, Paris, and Santiago de Chile. Today he is a spiritual director who is keenly interested in online ministry and discovering new ways to help people find God.
This text is republished with the permission of Messenger Publications, Ireland. To buy a hard copy of the book click here.