•                             The feast of the Tabernaclewas being celebrated inJerusalem. So, many from far and wide came to attend the feast. “On the last day of the festival, thegreat day, while Jesus wasstanding there, he cried out, 'Let any one who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in medrink'. As the Scripture has said,'Out of the believers' heart shallflow rivers of living water.' Now he said this about the Spirit, whichbelievers in him were to receive" (Jn. 7:37-39).

    The sacraments are the saving signs that give us the Holy Spirit.

                            The Christian life enables us to experience and share the Trinitarian God introduced to usby Jesus. This is made possible through the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is everactive in the Church, the spirit transfers the divine life to us and channels out the fountain of divine grace through the different ministries, especially the sacraments.

    Jesus, the Basic Sacrament

                               Since the incarnated Jesus reveals the invisibleFather to us, he is t he sacrament of the Father. Jesus,through his human personality, sacred verses and activities grants us invisible graces, and sanctifies us. Thus, he remains the. basic sacrament.

    The Church, the Sacrament of Jesus

                   Just as Jesus is the basic sacrament, the Church ishis sacrament. Jesus is, now, working through theChurch. It is the Church who grants us the fruits of salvation served by Jesus. We meet and experience Jesus through the Church.Thus, the Church remains as the sacrament of Jesus by giving us Jesus, the sanctifier.

                   ACTIVITY - 1

    Remember andthe important ideas about thesigns and symbols basedn the second chapter of this
    book. Find out also theimportance of these signsand symbols inthe sacraments. Prepare
    a report on this and presentt in the class.write down

    Sacraments, the Signs that Give Divine Life

                             The sacraments are the visible signs instituted byJesus to sanctify and empower us with the invisible divine life, viz, graceThey make us participate in thesalvation, granted by Christ. They are actually unlimited power emanating , from the body of Christ, eternal  source of life (Catechism of the Catholic Church-1116).The whole liturgical life of the Church orbits around the Holy Eucharist and the sacraments (1113). The seven sacraments touch all the phases, especially the supremely important moments of theChristian life. They impart birth, growth and freedom from sickness to the Christian's life of faith (Jas. 1:21) 

    Sacraments, the Redemptive Signs

                                    Jesus, the son of God, redeemed mankind from the bondage of sin and granted salvation through his incarnation, passion, death on the cross and resurrection The resurrected Jesus invites all of us for this salvation by being present in the Church  He grants this salvation, by importing divine life to all his faithful. His life-giving redemptive presence is, experienced by us today through the sacraments.

    Sacraments, the Sanctifying Rituals

                   As the word meaning, in Syriac, signifies, every sacrament sanctifies us; because Jesus who sanctifies us by forgiving our sins is celebrating them. Besides, every one sacrament leads to salvation obtained by Jesus through his death and resurrection. Thisexperience of the remission of sins and salvation is our participation in the sanctity of  God. He showers on us, through thesacraments, the Holy Spirit and fills us withgrace granting forgiveness of our sins. Thus thesacraments sanctify the different phases of our life and nurture us with divine grace.

    Sacraments, the Channels of Divine Grace

                              Jesus said to the Samaritan  woman:The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life” (Jn. 4:14). Jesus said in an other context : Out of the believers' heart shall flow rivers of living water” (Jn 7:38). The springs of the sacraments flow into us from Jesus, the source.

                            Grace is an experience of divine love revealed through Jesus. Grace is the salvation secured by Jesus through his own self-negation. We are saved through his grace.Grace isa favour, the free and undeserved help that God gives us to respond, to his call to become children of God (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1996; Jn. 1:12, Rom. 8:14). Grace, a free gift of God is given through the sacraments.

    The Sacraments and Faith

                                 Faith is a must to receive the grace coming through Jesus. The sacraments are mere customs for the unbelievers. To unfold the divine mysteries of salvation to mankind, God uses the signs of the sacraments in the Church. Man proclaims his faith, through signs, in the Church. For example, the spring of grace flows into a person, and the person proclaims his faith and dedication through the holy baptism  Thus, the sacraments serve as the common platforms where God's free gift and man's faith merge and unite. 

    The Place of the Sacraments in Christian life

                    The sacraments extend the experience of salvation in the most important phases ofman's life. We are born as children of God and become members / organs of his body theChurch through baptism. Through the anointing, we are filled with the power of the HolySpirit and rooted in faith. We grow being nourished spiritually by the Holy Eucharist. Webecome reconciled with God and man, once the sacrament of reconciliation liberates usfrom debts and sins. Spiritual and bodily health and comfort are received through thesacrament of the anointing of the sick. The sacrament of the holy orders identifies a personin a special way .The sacrament of matrimony invites us to dedicate ourselves in love andincorporate with God in creation. The sacraments nourish a person with grace right from his birth down to death.


    The Presence of Jesus in the Sacraments

                       The real presence of Jesus is in every sacrament.Jesus, who is present in sacraments, sanctifies usthrough the sacraments and leads us to the experience of salvation. The Second Vatican Council teaches that,  To execute such majestic mission, Jesus is constantlypresent in his Church, especially in the liturgy… Hewho offered himself on the Cross, through the priestlyministry, renders the same service now. In a specialway, he is present in the form of the Holy Eucharist. Inthe sacraments, he is present with his own power. So,Jesus himself is administering baptism through the celebrant." (Liturgy 7). The Church teaches that it isultimately Christ who acts and effects salvation throughthe ordained minister (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1584). The multitude of prayers, used in the sacraments of the East Syrian Church clarifiesthat Jesus himself acts through them. For example, note the prayer of absolution of sins in the sacrament of reconciliation “With the grace of Christ, the sanctifier of repentant sinners, you are absolved of your sins,” “Christ who told his disciples that their prayer laying hands on the sick would heal them, may grant you healing”- thus goes the prayer in the sacrament of anointing the sick.

     Let us try to understand the divine love of Jesus who pours forth invisible grace uponus by being present in the sacraments; and let us receive the sacraments worthily and grow in the mercy of Jesus.

    LET US


    (Jn. 15 : 1 - 10)

    A Verse to Remember

    "I am the vine, you are the branches”
    (Jn. 15:5)

    Let us Pray

    O' Jesus, who showers upon us graces abundantly
    through the sacraments, please help us receive the sacraments
    worthily and flourish in holiness.

    My Resolution

    I will receive the sacraments and maintain personal relationship
    with Jesus present in them.

    Teachings of the Fathers of the Church

    It is proved that the sacraments of the Church are very ancient. We should
    Understand that they are very powerful. Since they shower grace profusely,
    the Church persuades her children and neighbours to receive them.