The Time of Fulfillment

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Simplified

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John - Elijah in the Power of the Spirit (717-720)

When Mary visited Elizabeth, John was "filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother's womb" (Lk 1:15, 41). John completed the Spirit's work of forming "a people prepared for the Lord" (Lk 1:17).

Jesus called him "more than a prophet" (Lk 7:26). John prefigured the Holy Spirit as "a voice" who bore "witness to the light" (Jn 1:7). John actually saw the Spirit descend on Jesus and he could bear witness that Jesus is "the Lamb of God" (Jn 1:33-36). Through John, the Spirit could begin his work of restoring man.

Mary - The Spirit's Masterpiece (721-723)

Mary is the masterwork of the joint mission of the Son and the Spirit. She was a worthy dwelling place where the Son and Spirit could dwell among men. She is the "Seat of Wisdom." In her, the Spirit's wonders began to be manifest.

She was "full of grace" so she could carry Jesus "in whom the fullness of the deity dwells bodily" (Col 2:9). Conceived without sin, she was capable of welcoming this inexpressible gift of the Almighty. In Mary, the Spirit fulfilled the Father's plan, making her virginity uniquely fruitful in the birth of the Son.

The Spirit Uniting Others in Mary (724-726)

Jesus was made known first to the shepherds (representing the poor) and to the Magi (representing the Gentiles). Through Mary, the Spirit brought others into communion with Christ (Simeon and Anna, the bride and groom at Cana, and the first disciples).

Through the Spirit, Mary became the Woman, the new Eve (mother of the living), the mother of the "whole Christ" (represented by John at the cross). At Pentecost (the dawn of the end time) she was with the disciples when the Spirit inaugurated the Church.

Jesus - Anointed by the Spirit (727)

The entire mission of the Son and the Spirit is contained in this - that the Son is anointed with the Spirit from the first moment of his conception. Although Christ's whole work is a joint mission of Son and Spirit, we focus here on Jesus' promise of his sending of the Spirit.

Revealing the Spirit (728-729)

Jesus alluded often to the Spirit. He spoke of the Spirit to Nicodemus (Jn 3:5-8), to the Samaritan woman (Jn 3:5-8), and to his disciples, concerning their prayer and concerning their witnessing (Lk 11:13, Mt 10:19-20). At the hour of his death, Jesus promised that the Spirit would be given by the Father (in answer to Jesus' prayer) and by Jesus (at the side of the Father).

The Spirit would come and teach us everything. He would remind us of Jesus' teachings and help us to bear witness to Jesus. The Spirit would also prove that the world is wrong about sin, righteousness, and judgment.

Giving the Spirit (730)

Immediately after his Resurrection, Jesus gave the Holy Spirit to his apostles by breathing on them (Jn 20:22). At this moment, the mission of Christ and the Spirit became the mission of the Church. "As the Father has sent me, even so I send you" (Jn 20:21).

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