Jesus longs to be with us in every moment of our lives, from the instant He welcomes us as His children until He calls us to our home with Him in heaven. It is His desire that we are never alone. He wants us to experience His presence in every situation, and to know that He is walking with us giving us strength, mercy, and grace in the joys, the sorrows, and the temptations that are a part of our lives every day. That is why Our Lord instituted the seven sacraments as both an outward sign and a true encounter with Him. Every time we receive a sacrament Jesus is there to meet us. He gives us His very own strength and the special grace of the specific sacrament to help us to live out the lives to which we are called in Him. It is in the sacraments that Jesus heals, comforts, forgives, strengthens, and feeds us with His very self.
SACRAMENTS OF INITIATION:
We first encounter Jesus in the sacrament of Baptism. In Baptism we become the sons and daughters of God our Father and the brothers and sisters of Jesus. We are cleansed of the original sin of our human parents, who disobeyed God, thereby brought sin and death into the world.
In the sacrament of Holy Eucharist, we encounter Jesus in the most perfect gift He has given us, the gift of Himself which feeds and nourishes us throughout our journey on earth. The Eucharist is the source and the summit of our Catholic faith. Everything in our faith points to the Eucharist, wherein we receive the true Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity.
Confirmation is the third sacrament of initiation. It can be said to be the sacrament of maturity, as we confirm the faith and the gifts which we received at Baptism. Jesus promised the Apostles that He would send an advocate to guide them. He promised that He would send the Holy Spirit. In the sacrament of Confirmation, we encounter Jesus as He sends the Holy Spirit upon us in power.
SACRAMENTS OF HEALING:
In the sacrament of Reconciliation, we encounter Jesus in our sinfulness and brokenness. When we find ourselves to be apart from the Lord because of our sins, it is Jesus, in His great love for us, who calls us to Himself and forgives our sins. This sacrament reconciles us with God, with the Body of Christ, which is the Church, and with each other.
Anointing of the Sick
In the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick, we encounter Jesus in our physical and mental pain. This sacrament reminds us that Jesus is with us to comfort us, to strengthen us, and to heal us. The Anointing of the Sick was once known as the sacrament of Extreme Unction, reserved for those who were close to death. The sacrament still contains the beautiful liturgy and rituals for those who are close to death, including a final Communion known as Viaticum.
SACRAMENTS OF COMMUNITY:
In the sacrament of Matrimony, we encounter Jesus as He reveals and deepens for us the mystery of both God’s love for His people and His own love for His Church. Matrimony is a covenant bond that mirrors the Old Testament Covenant of God and His people. Just as God has always been faithful to His covenant, the sacramental marriage bond is one of commitment and fidelity.
Holy Orders is the sacrament by which our deacons, priests, and bishops are ordained. We encounter Jesus in His promise to be with us always until the end of time. Jesus has given us the ordained ministry to administrate the sacraments which He instituted. It is the principal job of our priests to offer the sacrifice of the mass and to confer the sacraments of the Church on the people.