CCC 326 The Scriptural expression “heaven and earth” means all that exists, creation in its entirety. It also indicates the bond, deep within creation, that both unites heaven and earth and distinguishes the one from the other: “the earth” is the world of men, while “heaven” or “the heavens” can designate both the firmament and God’s own “place” – “our Father in heaven” and consequently the “heaven” too which is eschatological glory. Finally, “heaven” refers to the saints and the “place” of the spiritual creatures, the angels, who surround God.1
CCC 782 The People of God is marked by characteristics that clearly distinguish it from all other religious, ethnic, political, or cultural groups found in history:
– It is the People of God: God is not the property of any one people. But he acquired a people for himself from those who previously were not a people: “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation.”2
– One becomes a member of this people not by a physical birth, but by being “born anew,” a birth “of water and the Spirit,”3 that is, by faith in Christ, and Baptism.
– This People has for its Head Jesus the Christ (the anointed, the Messiah). Because the same anointing, the Holy Spirit, flows from the head into the body, this is “the messianic people.”
– “The status of this people is that of the dignity and freedom of the sons of God, in whose hearts the Holy Spirit dwells as in a temple.”
– “Its law is the new commandment to love as Christ loved us.”4 This is the “new” law of the Holy Spirit.5
– Its mission is to be salt of the earth and light of the world.6 This people is “a most sure seed of unity, hope, and salvation for the whole human race.”
-Its destiny, finally, “is the Kingdom of God which has been begun by God himself on earth and which must be further extended until it has been brought to perfection by him at the end of time.”7
CCC 1243 The white garment symbolizes that the person baptized has “put on Christ,”8 has risen with Christ. The candle, lit from the Easter candle, signifies that Christ has enlightened the neophyte. In him the baptized are “the light of the world.”9
The newly baptized is now, in the only Son, a child of God entitled to say the prayer of the children of God: “Our Father.”
CCC 2821 This petition is taken up and granted in the prayer of Jesus which is present and effective in the Eucharist; it bears its fruit in new life in keeping with the Beatitudes.10
1 Pss 115:16; 19:2; Mt 5:16.
2 1 Pet 2:9.
3 Jn 3:3-5.
4 Cf. Jn 13 34
5 Rom 8:2; Gal 5:25.
6 Cf. Mt 5:13-16.
7 LG 9 # 2.
8 Gal 3:27.
9 Mt 5:14; cf. Phil 2:15.
10 Cf. Jn 17:17-20; Mt 5:13-16; 6:24; 7:12-13.