Tag Archives: Nicene Creed

Sunday Devotional: ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God’

Matthew 16:13-20

Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi and
he asked his disciples,
“Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah,
still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Simon Peter said in reply,
“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus said to him in reply,
“Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah.
For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.
And so I say to you, you are Peter,
and upon this rock I will build my church,
and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.
I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven.
Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven;
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
Then he strictly ordered his disciples
to tell no one that he was the Christ.

The Nicene Creed

I believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.

I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father;
through Him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
He came down from heaven,
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.
For our sake He was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
He suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead
and His kingdom will have no end.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.

I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins
and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

The Greatest Commandment of all is to love God, with your whole heart, your whole soul, your whole mind, and with all your strength.

May the peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you,

~Eowyn

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St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra (Fourth Century)

st-nicholas

Today, the Universal Church celebrates the Feast of St. Nicholas, from whom Santa Claus evolved.  It is so wonderful and noteworthy that many of the feasts and holidays we celebrate originated from the Church.  St. Nicholas is highly honored throughout the world, with many churches dedicated in memory to his holiness and his effective advocacy.

Nicholas was born at Patara in Lycia, a province of Asia Minor.  Nicholas’ parents were well off and they died when he was a young man, leaving him many assets.  Nicholas filled with generosity and goodness, with empathy thinking about his fellow brothers and sisters, devoted himself to works of charity and the needy he found in his community.  For example, a citizen of Patara, with three daughters, lost all of his money.  Because of this circumstance of poverty, the three ladies could not find husbands, wherein they were destined to become prostitutes.  Nicholas discovered their horrible upcoming fate.  He then took a bag of gold and under cover in the dark, threw the money into the window of this citizen’s home.  Therefore, the oldest lady now had a dowry and she was soon married.  Nicholas did the same act of charity for the other two ladies in the household.  However, the father was “on the watch” and he recognized Nicholas as his benefactor.  He expressed to Nicholas how happy he was and thankful he was for his love and gratitude to help his family.

At the beginning of the fourth century, Nicholas went to the city of Myra, the capital of Patara in Lycia.  It so happened that the Catholic clergy in this episcopal see were electing a new bishop and it happened that the clergy chose Nicholas; obviously, his reputation preceded him.

“As he was the chief priest of the Christians of this town and preached the truths of faith with a holy liberty, Nicholas was seized by the magistrates, tortured, then chained and thrown into prison with many other Christians.  But when the great and religious Constantine, chosen by God, assumed the imperial diadem of the Romans, the prisoners were released from their bonds and with them the illustrious Nicholas, who when he was set at liberty returned to Myra.”

Nicholas continued on with his works of charity, taking strong measures against paganism, setting prisoners falsely accused and innocent free and taking care of his people in Myra.  It is believed that he was present at the Council of Nicea which arose the Nicene Creed that we say today.  Additionally, Nicholas condemned one of the heresies of his time, Arianism, which denied the divinity of Jesus and the Holy Trinity.  St. Methodius states that “thanks to the teaching of St. Nicholas the metropolies of Myra alone was untouched by the filth of the Arian heresy.”

St. Nicholas died and was buried in Myra.  St. Nicholas is honored as the patron saint of sailors and children.  As to sailors, it is said that during his lifetime, he appeared to storm-tossed mariners who asked for his assistance wherein they were brought safely to port.  As to children, he is particularly associated with the giving of gifts at Christmas time.  With St. Andrew, he is patron of Russia, Greece, Apulia, Sicily and Lorraine.

Let us during this Christmas Season remember this dear saint, be generous to others, giving our love with joy and happiness, always remembering the true meaning of Christmas (Christ’s Mass), the birth of Our Dear Saviour, Jesus Christ, coming into the world through the Blessed Virgin, God Incarnate, and being protected and cared for by the wonderful St. Joseph.  LOVE was born to the world.  Come Lord Jesus, Come!

Joan

Sources:

  • Lives of the Saints, Edited by Michael Walsh.
  • One Hundred Saints, Fulfinch Press, AOL Time Warner Book Group.