Catholics believe that the loving presence of God has been communicated to the world in an extraordinary and definitive way through the person of Jesus Christ. He lived over 2,000 years ago in Palestine and taught about the Godís love and plan for each and every person.
Jesus was a Jew who lived in Nazareth before he began preaching a bold message that the Kingdom of God had come upon the earth. People experienced him as a person of extraordinary love, bringing healing, hope and forgiveness of sins to those he encountered. So great was his impact on the Jewish people of his day, that the religious and political leaders of his time felt threatened and had him put to death by crucifixion.
His death devastated his small group of followers, but after three days, Jesus appeared to them, having been raised from the dead. They experienced his living presence in a whole new way. Their lives were transformed.
They came to recognise Jesus as the Son of God, the 'Christ', God-with-us. While Jesus had said many times that he and the Father were one, it was not untill after they experienced him as their risen Lord that they finally understood that God had been revealed to them in the person of Jesus.
These followers of Jesus, came to be known as Christians, since they went about proclaiming that the Jesus whom they knew and loved, whom they had seen crucified and whom they met after he had risen from the dead was not only the one 'anointed by God' (Greek - Christos) to lead human beings to fullness of life, but was indeed the Son of God.