Once a young energetic catechist Johnson by name, went to visit his Catechism Students. As he was going through the village he saw some children playing with cards. He went to them and sat beside them. The children became little upset and nervous not knowing what their catechism teacher would say to them. “Do you all like to play with these playing cards”? They just murmured in their mouth, “yes”. Johnson smiled towards them and said, “Do you know that there is our catechism hidden in these playing cards”? The children replied, “No”. So, the children became curious to know the hidden catechism in the playing cards. Johnson too was excited to quench their curiosity, to witness Christ and to proclaim the good news to the children. Then Johnson began to unveil them the catechism hidden in the playing Cards.
When we look at Ace, it tells us there is one ‘GOD’ and no other. This is the first commandment given by God to the people of Israel, the chosen people of God and to us (the new Israel) through Moses on Mount Sinai (Exodus 20, 2). When we proclaim our faith we say, “I believe in God” and this God is one in nature, substance and essence. This one God whom we believe is a living God, Creator and protector, Merciful and gracious, truth and love, omnipotent and omniscient, etc. Jesus Himself affirms that God is one Lord, whom we must love (Mk 12, 29-30). He is ‘Our Father’ and we are His children. This ‘God’ and ‘Father’ is revealed to us by His Son our Lord Jesus Christ. That’s why our basic catechism teaches us this greatest truth of our Christian faith, that there is one God.
The “2” of playing card symbolizes the two parts of the Bible, the OLD TESTAMENT and the NEW TESTAMENT. The Old Testament contains 46 books. The whole Old Testament is divided into four parts – Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible), History, wisdom and Poetry and Prophecy. The salvation history began during the time of creation of the world and it continues till today. God reveals Himself through creation. The Old Testament speaks of the promises and covenant made by God with His people. God’s love for His creation was without limitation but in fullness. The highest form of love God showed towards us by sending his holy son in this sinful world to redeem us from the slavery of sin (John 3, 16) this we find in the NEW TESTAMENT. The New Testament is the fulfillment of the Old Testament promises. The New Testament is all about Jesus Christ, His life, mission, teaching, healing and building up of the kingdom of God on earth. The New Testament contains 27 books. It consists of Four Gospels, Acts of the Apostles, Pauline and other letters, catholic letter and the Book of Revelation. The climax of the New Testament is the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
-To be continued…
-Fr. Leslie Gomes