Thursday, November 3, 2011

Mass Changes: Part IV

V. The Creed
There are lots of changes in the Creed. Most of them are revisions that are closer to the original Latin text.  Furthermore, with the changes, comes an opportunity to discover and enter into the great mysteries of our Faith.

From “We believe” to “I believe”. The word in Latin is Credo, which is in the singular, meaning “my faith” and in this sense, “I believe”. Our faith is a personal response to the invitation from the Father to us to enter into a relationship with Him. Remember, faith is a response, and when I respond to God, I enter into a relationship with them. Therefore, I, personally believe that which God has revealed to me through His Son, Jesus Christ.

From “all that is seen and unseen” to “all things visible and invisible”.  He has created all things, those things that can be seen by human eyes and those things that can’t be, like angels. The word seen can denote a certain proximity or distance that would render an object ‘un-see-able’. The new translation means that there are certain things that can be seen, but are ‘invisible’ to the human eye- like angels.

“From Only Son of the Father” to “the Only Begotten Son of God”: this adverb/verb connection reinforces our faith that Jesus did not merely materialize as the Son of God, but that he was intentionally begotten; his presence has always been part of the divine plan.

From “eternally begotten of the Father” to “Born of the Father before all ages”. The reference here is to John’s Gospel, chapter 1.  The Word has been with the Father since the beginning of all time. The language is more precise and sets up the next point…

From “One in Being with the Father“ to “Consubstantial”. This is a theological term that is pregnant with meaning and nuance. The word describes the relationship between the Father and the Son and it means, in Greek, “having the same substance.” We don’t use it for anything other than describing the nature of Jesus Christ- he in unlike anything or anyone else.  In John’s Gospel, Jesus describes himself: “The Father and I are one” (Jn 10:30). The great mystery of the Incarnation is intimately and inextricably tied to the very mystery that is the nature of the Triune God.

Was Incarnate of the Virgin Mary”; or read another way he was “given flesh by the Virgin Mary”.  The previous translation makes it sound like the Word became flesh when Jesus was born. This is not our faith. Jesus was not only born by the power of the Holy Spirit, he was conceived in that way too. The revised translation makes it clearer that Jesus did not become a human when we born, he was incarnate, a human, in the womb, and in that event he became man.

From ‘suffered and died’ to “Suffered death”. The change here is intended to remind us that it is the death of Christ that sets into motion the Resurrection. It makes it clearer: he suffered death so that he might rise from the dead. It is His death, not limited to his suffering, that sets into motion the final stages of God’s plan of Redemption for his people.  

From ‘in fulfillment of the Scriptures’ to “In accordance with Scripture”. The change here is to reinforce the reality that the Resurrection fulfills Old Testament prophecies. Moreover, it professes that the New Testament proclaims the Resurrection that was foretold in the Old Testament. Both the New and Old Testaments work in tandem and form a unified whole.

From ‘worshipped’ to “adored”. This is a better translation of the Latin.

From ‘We believe’ to “I Confess”. In Latin the word ‘confess’ means not just intellectual assent, but a heart-felt conviction. The word is closer to the intended meaning: it is from this confession of Faith that springs our Hope.

From 'We look forward' to “I look forward to the resurrection”.  Not only is it a clearer translation of the Latin  but it also carries with it a confidence in God and in his promises on a personal level: God has made these promises to me!

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