CCC 436 The word “Christ” comes from the Greek translation of the Hebrew Messiah, which means “anointed”. It became the name proper to Jesus only because he accomplished perfectly the divine mission that “Christ” signifies. In effect, in Israel those consecrated to God for a mission that he gave were anointed in his name. This was the case for kings, for priests and, in rare instances, for prophets.1 This had to be the case all the more so for the Messiah whom God would send to inaugurate his kingdom definitively.2 It was necessary that the Messiah be anointed by the Spirit of the Lord at once as king and priest, and also as prophet.3 Jesus fulfilled the messianic hope of Israel in his threefold office of priest, prophet and king.
CCC 536 The baptism of Jesus is on his part the acceptance and inauguration of his mission as God’s suffering Servant. He allows himself to be numbered among sinners; he is already “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world”.4 Already he is anticipating the “baptism” of his bloody death.5 Already he is coming to “fulfil all righteousness”, that is, he is submitting himself entirely to his Father’s will: out of love he consents to this baptism of death for the remission of our sins.6 The Father’s voice responds to the Son’s acceptance, proclaiming his entire delight in his Son.7 The Spirit whom Jesus possessed in fullness from his conception comes to “rest on him”.8 Jesus will be the source of the Spirit for all mankind. At his baptism “the heavens were opened”9 – the heavens that Adam’s sin had closed – and the waters were sanctified by the descent of Jesus and the Spirit, a prelude to the new creation.
CCC 672 Before his Ascension Christ affirmed that the hour had not yet come for the glorious establishment of the messianic kingdom awaited by Israel10 which, according to the prophets, was to bring all men the definitive order of justice, love and peace.11 According to the Lord, the present time is the time of the Spirit and of witness, but also a time still marked by “distress” and the trial of evil which does not spare the Church12 and ushers in the struggles of the last days. It is a time of waiting and watching.13
CCC 712 The characteristics of the awaited Messiah begin to appear in the “Book of Emmanuel” (“Isaiah said this when he saw his glory,”14 speaking of Christ), especially in the first two verses of Isaiah 11:
There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch shall grow out of his roots.
And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him,
the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the spirit of counsel and might,
the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.15
CCC 1286 In the Old Testament the prophets announced that the Spirit of the Lord would rest on the hoped-for Messiah for his saving mission.16 The descent of the Holy Spirit on Jesus at his baptism by John was the sign that this was he who was to come, the Messiah, the Son of God.17 He was conceived of the Holy Spirit; his whole life and his whole mission are carried out in total communion with the Holy Spirit whom the Father gives him “without measure.”18
CCC 1831 The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. They belong in their fullness to Christ, Son of David.19 They complete and perfect the virtues of those who receive them. They make the faithful docile in readily obeying divine inspirations.
Let your good spirit lead me on a level path.20
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. .. If children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ.21
1 Cf. Ex 29:7; Lev 8:12; 1 Sam 9:16; 10:1; 16:1, 12-13; I Kings 1:39; 19:16.
2 Cf. Ps 2:2; Acts 4:26-27.
3 Cf. Is 11:2; 61:1; Zech 4:14; 6:13; Lk 4:16-21.
4 Jn 1:29; cf. Is 53:12.
5 Cf. Mk 10:38; Lk 12:50.
6 Mt 3:15; cf. 26:39.
7 Cf. Lk 3:22; Is 42:1.
8 Jn 1:32-33; cf. Is 11:2.
9 Mt 3:16.
10 Cf. Acts 1:6-7.
11 Cf. Is 11:1-9.
12 Cf. Acts 1:8; I Cor 7:26; Eph 5:16; I Pt 4:17.
13 Cf. Mt 25:1, 13; Mk 13:33-37; I Jn 2:18; 4:3; I Tim 4:1.
14 Jn 12:41; cf. Isa 6-12.
15 Isa 11:1-2.
16 Cf. Isa 11:2; 61:1; Lk 4:16-22.
17 Cf. Mt 3:13-17; Jn 1:33-34.
18 Jn 3:34.
19 Cf. Isa 11:1-2.
20 PS 143:10.
21 Rom 8:14, 17.