Saturday, December 27, 2008

Jesus and the Falling and Rising of Many in Israel

Luke 2:22-40

22When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord
23(as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord”),
24and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”

25Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him.
26It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.
27Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law,
28Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying,
29“Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word;
30for my eyes have seen your salvation,
31which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
32a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”
33And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him.
34Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, “This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed
35so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
36There was also a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage,
37then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped there with fasting and prayer night and day.
38At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.
39When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth.
40The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Redemption is through Jesus Christ, not Science

Galileo vs. Pope Benedict XVI or university minority suspends free speech

In the pope’s wonderfully written encyclical on hope Spe-salvi

16…In order to find an answer to this we must take a look at the foundations of the modern age. These appear with particular clarity in the thought of Francis Bacon. That a new era emerged—through the discovery of America and the new technical achievements that had made this development possible—is undeniable. But what is the basis of this new era? It is the new correlation of experiment and method that enables man to arrive at an interpretation of nature in conformity with its laws and thus finally to achieve “the triumph of art over nature” (victoria cursus artis super naturam)[14]. The novelty—according to Bacon’s vision—lies in a new correlation between science and praxis. This is also given a theological application: the new correlation between science and praxis would mean that the dominion over creation —given to man by God and lost through original sin—would be reestablished[15].17. Anyone who reads and reflects on these statements attentively will recognize that a disturbing step has been taken: up to that time, the recovery of what man had lost through the expulsion from Paradise was expected from faith in Jesus Christ: herein lay “redemption”. Now, this “redemption”, the restoration of the lost “Paradise” is no longer expected from faith, but from the newly discovered link between science and praxis. It is not that faith is simply denied; rather it is displaced onto another level—that of purely private and other-worldly affairs—and at the same time it becomes somehow irrelevant for the world. This programmatic vision has determined the trajectory of modern times and it also shapes the present-day crisis of faith which is essentially a crisis of Christian hope. Thus hope too, in Bacon, acquires a new form. Now it is called: faith in progress. For Bacon, it is clear that the recent spate of discoveries and inventions is just the beginning; through the interplay of science and praxis, totally new discoveries will follow, a totally new world will emerge, the kingdom of man[16]. He even put forward a vision of foreseeable inventions—including the aeroplane and the submarine. As the ideology of progress developed further, joy at visible advances in human potential remained a continuing confirmation of faith in progress as such.

18. At the same time, two categories become increasingly central to the idea of progress: reason and freedom. Progress is primarily associated with the growing dominion of reason, and this reason is obviously considered to be a force of good and a force for good. Progress is the overcoming of all forms of dependency—it is progress towards perfect freedom. Likewise freedom is seen purely as a promise, in which man becomes more and more fully himself. In both concepts—freedom and reason—there is a political aspect. The kingdom of reason, in fact, is expected as the new condition of the human race once it has attained total freedom. The political conditions of such a kingdom of reason and freedom, however, appear at first sight somewhat ill defined. Reason and freedom seem to guarantee by themselves, by virtue of their intrinsic goodness, a new and perfect human community. The two key concepts of “reason” and “freedom”, however, were tacitly interpreted as being in conflict with the shackles of faith and of the Church as well as those of the political structures of the period. Both concepts therefore contain a revolutionary potential of enormous explosive force.

This I believe is the pope point which the university doesn’t seem to grasp. Science will never achieve redemption. Most scientist would be repelled to think that society has placed them on such a path, but the secular world and in particular the political sphere has handed that task to it. The pope simply desires to lift that burden from it’s shoulder which it is incapable of lifting. Christ is the only one who has redeemed mankind and the fruit of that task will not be fully realized until the end of time. ...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Jesus: "fairest of the people"

Psalm 45-A (44-A)

My heart overflows with noble words. To the king I must speak the song I have made, my tongue as nimble as the pen of a scribe.
You are the fairest of the people on earth and graciousness is poured upon your lips, because God has blest you for evermore.
O mighty one, gird your sword upon your thigh; in splendor and state, ride on in triumph for the cause of truth and goodness and right.
Take aim with your bow in your dread right hand. Your arrows are sharp, peoples fall beneath you. The foes of the king fall down and lose heart.
Your throne, O God, shall endure for ever. A scepter of justice is the scepter of your kingdom, Your love is for justice, your hatred for evil.
Therefore God, your God, has anointed youwith the oil of gladness above other kings; your robes are fragrant with aloes and myrrh.
From the ivory palace you are greeted with music. The daughters of kings are among your loved ones. On your right stands the queen in gold of Ophir.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Kingship of Christ

We celebrate the feast of Christ the King and ask ourselves what kind of kingship Jesus exercises over us. America has no history of kings who have lived within its borders, but we citizens of the United States are subject to authority chosen through an election process.

How does Jesus rule? A dialogue about His kingship took place at a time when His power seemed to have reached its lowest ebb. Bound by the Jewish council of priests, elders, and scribes, He has been delivered to Pilate who asked Him, “Are you king of the Jews? His answer, “You have said so” ( Mk 15:2). In the subsequent interchange between Jesus and his accusers, Pilate will not let go of his ironic assignment of kingship to this criminal brought before him. The soldiers guarding Jesus mock Him. “ All hail! King of the Jews,” (Mk 15:18) they shout as they spit upon Him and kneel in comic posture at His feet. Here is our King subject to insult, made the butt of jokes, taunted with laughter and derision.
Have we experienced the scorn of others and felt ourselves disdained and ridiculed? At such times, we turn to our King in His darkest hours and realize how deeply human judgment can cut. In Jesus’ case, He was wholly innocent. We may deserve the blame imputed to us or we may be the objects of unfair reproach. In either case, we find in Jesus the One Who lifts our hearts and understands what it is to be subject to human disdain.
When Jesus was hanging on the cross, the inscription of the charge against him read “The King of the Jews” (Mk 15:26). Here is royalty where all sovereignty seems to have been wiped away. He is nailed to a wooden throne. And yet in these three hours on Calvary, sin is overcome and humankind is redeemed. Our King fulfills His mission through a crucifixion leading to His resurrection. Death is conquered. A new kingdom is inaugurated, but not one based on the policies most people would expect.
During His public life, Jesus had employed many images to explain the reign of God. He did not use spectacles of glory and splendor. When He spoke of the kingdom He came to inaugurate, He likened it to the most ordinary things that were part of daily existence at his time: the planting of a mustard seed, yeast a woman took and kneaded into measures of flour, a dragnet cast into the sea, a treasure hidden in a field.
Hiddenness seems to have been a special quality of His kingdom. “The last shall be first and the first shall be last” (Mt 20:16). Looking at the crowds who followed Him, he chose a little child to embody what His Good News is all about. “It is to such as these that the Kingdom of God belongs” (Mk 10:13). The category for admission is not according to human estimation. Jesus for His contemporaries and for our secular society today is a Man of paradox. He affirmed clearly that His reign contradicts worldly values (Jn 18:36).
Jesus declared, “ I must announce the good news of the reign of God, because that is why I was sent” (Lk 4:43). Fame and wealth do not open the doors of Christ’s kingdom but neither are the prosperous barred from entry if they are humble of heart and poor in spirit. Eternal riches can be ours already if we let go of pride and self-centeredness. The laws of Jesus kingdom are all rooted in love and the willingness to share. We look around us to see those who are in need and when we can, we offer a portion of what has been given to us—material or spiritual. It could be just a word of encouragement. We take time--a precious commodity in our American culture—to assist someone who needs a helping hand. We see Christ in others and hear His voice in their pleading. “Blest are your eyes because they see and blest are your ears because they hear” (Mt 13:16).
St. Paul tells us that we have been ”rescued from the power of darkness and brought into the kingdom of God’s beloved Son” Col 1:12-13). Jesus seeks now to establish His throne within our innermost being. We find Him there in prayer. In that interior stillness, He speaks to us. “To you the mystery of the reign of God has been confided” (Mk 4:11).
We ask Christ our King to increase our understanding of this mystery and to help us bring others to the treasures that faith in Him unlocks.
Sister Margaret Dorgan, DCM
Taken from:
"He must reign until He has put all things under his feet".
1 Corinthians 15
1Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
5And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
6After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
7After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
8And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
9For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
10But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
11Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.
12Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?
13But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:
14And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
15Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.
16For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:
17And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
18Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.
19If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
20But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
21For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
22For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
23But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.
24Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
25For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
26The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
27For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.
28And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
29Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?
30And why stand we in jeopardy every hour?
31I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.
32If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die.
33Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
34Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.
35But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?
36Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:
37And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain:
38But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.
39All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.
40There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.
41There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.
42So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
43It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
44It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
45And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
46Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
47The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven.
48As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.
49And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
50Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
51Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
55O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
56The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
57But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Did Christ Have Faith?

The title immediately suggests a second question; viz: What does the Church teach us that enables us to know the answer?
There is, of course, a third question: What does it matter?

Let us begin with question one: What does the Church teach us that enables us to know the answer? Bearing in mind the fact that the Church’s teaching comes to us both through her Scripture and through her Tradition we can, I believe, find the answer to this and our title question.
What is faith? The book of Hebrews, Ch. 11 Verse 1, provides us with a succinct definition:
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (R.S.V.).
I have highlighted the last phrase as being pivotal to what follows. Clearly, the inability to see ‘things’ is germane to the condition of one who has faith. We know that the saints in heaven do not have faith because they do see these same ‘things’. Equally, it can be said that if Christ’s knowledge precluded ‘things not seen’, then He could not have had faith. We now turn to that other arm of the Church’s teaching office; viz., ‘Tradition’, to discover if there were or were not ‘things not seen’ by Him.
The ‘Catechism of the Catholic Church’ provides us with clear teaching in regard to the knowledge of Christ. The formulation of this teaching in The Catechism is the culmination of the age-old traditional belief of the Church as attested to by the early Fathers, as refined by St. Thomas and as taught by the Popes of the last century. The first of these Popes was St. Pius X who, in association with his encyclical letter, ‘Pascendi’, in which he dealt with the errors of ‘Modernism’, issued a ‘Syllabus of errors’ which contained condemnation of propositions that opposed the substance of the truth of the matter as taught in the ‘Catechism’. ( See Syllabus Propositions 32 and 34 ).
Next we have Pope Pius X1, in his encyclical, “Miserentissimus Redemptor’, stating that Christ had knowledge :
“... of sins to come yet clearly foreseen … and our reparation, likewise clearly foreseen”.
In his encyclical letter, ‘Mystici Corporis’, Pope Pius X11 teaches:
“But the knowledge and love of our Divine Redeemer, of which we were the object from the first moment of His Incarnation, exceed all that human intellect can hope to grasp. For hardly was He conceived in the womb of the Mother of God, when He began to enjoy the beatific vision, and in that vision all the members of His Mystical Body were continually and unceasingly present to Him and He embraced them with His redeeming love. . . .In the crib, on the Cross, in the unending glory of the Father, Christ has all the members of the Church present before Him in a much clearer and more loving manner than that of a mother who clasps her child to her breast, or than that with which a man knows and loves himself.”
Clearly, the Holy Spirit, in speaking through His Popes, was preparing us for the Catechism’s magisterial formulation re the knowledge of Christ. Lest we might be tempted to underestimate the power and validity of the ‘Catechism’ as the voice of Christ to His people it is well to note the Holy Father’s introductory words:
“ The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which . . . I today order by virtue of my Apostolic Authority, is a statement of the Church’s faith and of Catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition, and the Church’s Magisterium. I declare it to be a sure norm for teaching the faith..” ( Par. 3. Emphasis mine).
Let us now see what ‘The Catechism’ says concerning Christ’s knowledge. For this we turn to #s 472, 473, 474.
Paragraph 472 deals with the fact of Christ having true human knowledge, so that He could “increase in wisdom and in stature..”.
Paragraph 473 states:
“ But at the same time, this truly human knowledge of God’s Son expressed the divine life of his person. “The human nature of God’s Son, not by itself but by its union with the Word, knew and showed forth in itself everything that pertains to God.” Such is first of all the case with the intimate and immediate knowledge that the Son of God made man has of the Father. The Son in his human knowledge also showed the divine penetration he had into the secret thoughts of human hearts.” ( Heavy type – mine).
Paragraph 474 states:
By its union to the divine wisdom in the person of the Word incarnate, Christ enjoyed in his human knowledge the fullness of understanding of the eternal plans he had come to reveal. . . “
In the light of this clear teaching it is quite untenable to claim that, in the context of Hebrews 11: 1, there were ‘things not seen’ by Christ. No knowledge of anything ‘that pertains to God’ and no understanding ‘of the eternal plans He had come to reveal’ were precluded from his human intellect. But, as the same text tells us, faith’s very essence is ‘the conviction of things not seen’. These Catechism quotes make very clear that this ‘conviction’ was impossible to the Word made flesh. We must conclude, therefore, that Christ himself teaches us, through his Church, that He could not and, consequently, did not have faith.
It is important to note that #474 also teaches us that, not only did Christ have the fullness of understanding of God’s eternal plans in his human intellect but that these very eternal plans were the substance of what He had come to reveal.
To attribute faith to Christ in the light of the above would obviously be a contradiction. Here those memorable words of Pope Pius X11 in his encyclical letter, ‘Humani Generis’, have cogent force:
“The mind of man, when it is engaged in a sincere search for truths, will never light on one which contradicts the truths already ascertained. The Christian will weigh the latest fancy carefully, making sure that he does not lose hold of the Truth already in his possession, or contaminate it in any way with great danger and perhaps great loss to the faith itself.”
The third question in my first paragraph: What does it matter? is essentially answered by the above papal teaching. But not entirely. In fact the full answer concerns the relevance of this doctrinal matter to our Congregation.
Most Brothers would be aware that there has been, in recent years, an acceptance amongst us of the proposition that Christ did have faith. That is my reason for writing this article. The proposition, signalled by the phrase, ‘the faith vision of Jesus’, has appeared in official Congregational documents. Needless to say, a false understanding of the person of Christ can only lead to further falsehood, most especially if elements of Congregational inspiration and direction find their genesis in this very proposition.
A Christ having faith must be one who is uncertain, one who, seeking to know what he is ignorant of, is in danger of being reduced to the status of an idealist who hopes he is right. What a stark contrast is this depiction of this Messiah with the true Christ of the Gospels who “teaches as one having authority”, who says, “I and the Father are one”, and who is the One whom Hebrews 12:2 identifies as “auctorem fidei et confirmatorem Jesum” – ‘Jesus, the origin and crown of faith’. This is the Christ who came ‘to reveal’ the Trinity’s eternal plans for us.
For one who believes that Christ had faith, is there not a real danger that a door has been opened to the temptation of losing confidence in our divine Master’s teaching and, consequently, of losing confidence in his Church?
I would, therefore, see it as a matter of urgency that we Brothers examine our understanding of Christ in relation to this matter of faith.
Brother Jim Ward.

3 O'Clock Prayer to the Divine Mercy
You expired Jesus, but the source of life gushed forth for souls and the ocean of mercy opened up for the whole world. O Fountain of Life, unfathomable Divine Mercy, envelop the whole world and empty Yourself out upon us.
O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fountain of mercy for us, I trust in You.
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, Have mercy on us and on the whole world. (3 times)
JESUS, King of mercy, I trust in You! AMEN

Sunday, July 13, 2008

On the Consciousness of Jesus Christ

AN IGNORANT JESUS? Article by Fr. William Most

taken from:

Was Jesus confused? Did He know He was Messiah? Or divine? Did He know much about the afterlife? Did He have at least one superstition? Did He have only the mentality of a Jew of the first third of the first century?–Wild as it may seem, some prominent scholars charge Him on all the above counts, and more too.
But: What does the Church teach on these things? Pope Pius XII, in his great Encyclical on the “Mystical Body,” on June 29, 1943, rejected all such charges. He taught: “By that blessed vision which He enjoyed when just received in the womb of the Mother of God, He has all the members of the Mystical Body continuously and perpetually present to Himself.” In other words: His human souls saw the vision of God at once, and in it all knowledge is at hand.
In another Encyclical, “Sempiternus Rex,” in 1951, the same Pope complained many were not accepting his teaching.
Then in still another Encyclical, “Haurietis aquas,” in 1956, he clearly repeated his earlier teaching.
Further, on July 24, 1966, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under Pope Paul VI, complained many were still not accepting. Clearly, the repeated teaching shows the Church means to make this definite and definitive, namely, that the human soul of Jesus, from the first instant, saw the vision of God, in which all knowledge is accessible. (The objectors do not really mean that a divine HE was ignorant – they mean His human mind did not register some things).
The stubbornness of those who reject is remarkable.
For on two counts this teaching rates as infallible: 1)The repetition, as we said, shows the intention to make a thing definitive. So it is infallible. 2) Pius XII, in his “Humani Generis” of 1950 told us that if the Popes in their official journal deliberately take a position on something then being debated in theology, it is removed from debate, and comes under the promise of Christ Lk. 10:16): “He who hears you, hears me.”
Of course, a promise of Christ cannot fail. The modern trouble on Christ’s human knowledge was sparked by a book, by P. Galtier, “L’unité du Christ,” which appeared in 1939 – followed soon, in 1943, by the Encyclical of Pius XII, and then by still more texts, as we said. So this teaching is infallible, on two counts. Really, even without the help of the official texts, we should be able to see for ourselves that the human mind of Jesus not only happened to have that vision, but could not lack it. We see it in the following way. For any soul to reach that vision (which happens to others in heaven), two things are needed: 1) the power of the soul to see needs to be elevated by grace. Of course that was true in Jesus; 2) The divinity should join itself directly to the human mind, without even an image in between, so that the mind may see God. Now in an ordinary case, if we put together human body and human soul, that is automatically a human person. That did not happen in the case of Jesus – His human mind, and whole humanity, was assumed, taken over, by the Second Person of the Holy Trinity. Therefore His human mind was joined to the divinity, even more closely than happens in the case of an ordinary soul – for when an ordinary soul receives that vision, it remains a separate person. But in Jesus, there was only one Person, the Divine Person. So His human soul could not possibly have lacked this vision. In other souls, this vision causes complete blessedness. In Jesus, there was in a way blessedness, but only on the highest point of His soul, as it were. On the other hand, the vision revealed to Him, in merciless detail, everything He would have to suffer in His Passion. If one of us foresees something dreadful coming, he can take refuge in the thought: Maybe it won’t happen; maybe it won’t be that bad. But the vision in Jesus could be called merciless: it showed Him with distressing clarity and absolute infallibility what was to come.
To live a life under such a vision was dreadfully painful. When we have a long-running trouble, as it were, it wears the skin thin. In Him it did something like that. Yes, His divinity could have protected Him from that. But He had resolved, when He “emptied Himself” (Phil. 2:7) not to use His power for His own comfort, only for the sick. So an unprotected humanity would be in unending apprehension. Twice He let us see inside Himself In Lk. 12:50: “I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how am I straitened until it be accomplished”. That is: I have to be plunged in the deep waters of suffering. I am in a tight spot, cannot get comfortable until I get it over with.
Again, about a week before His death, He was speaking to a crowd in Jerusalem, and decided to let us see inside again (John 12:27): “Now my heart is troubled. What shall I say? Father, save me from this hour!”After that, in Gethsemani, the nightmare that had been pursuing Him caught up. He could not scream and find it only a dream: it was there in all its hideous reality. The interior tension ruptured the small blood vessels near the sweat glands, resulting in literally a sweat of blood, medically known as hematidrosis. He even, as St. Mark’s Gospel reports (14:33), felt fear. The fact He knew He would rise on the third day could not keep the nails from hurting. Again, His divine power could have rescued Him from suffering. But He had resolved not to use that for His own sake. So again, an unprotected humanity could not help shrinking back in horror. Instead of charging Him with such ignorance, we should be immeasurably grateful that He was willing to go through such a life, such a death. We owe Him reparation too for the charges of ignorance.
There are objections: In Lk. 2:42 we read that He advanced in wisdom and age. So was He deficient in wisdom before? No, the Fathers of the Church, after St. Athanasius, point out there is a difference between actual growth in wisdom, and growth in manifestation of it, how much He showed. He measured it out in accord with each point of age.Again, in Mark 13:32 He Himself said He did not know the day of the end. Pope St. Gregory the Great solves this problem by saying that He knew the day in His humanity, but not from His humanity. That is, in our terms, the information did register on His human mind, even though His humanity was not the source of that information.When His Mother, on finding Him in the temple, did not understand, it was not that she did not know who He was. It was that she did not understand this strange departure form His usual compliant way of acting. Actually, as soon as the Archangel at the Annunciation told her He would reign over the house of Jacob forever, she knew at once He was the Messiah – any ordinary Jew would grasp that, for only the Messiah would reign forever. Then all the prophecies about the Messiah would come to her mind as she pondered in her heart, including the dread chapter 53 of Isaiah, about the lamb led to the slaughter, along with Psalm 22, saying,. “They have pierced my hands and my feet.” So she too must have suffered all along, together with Him.
So we owe reparation, make-up, to her together with Him.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Jesus Christ as the New Adam

Taken from



Faithful to Sacred Scripture and refuting erroneous and reductive interpretations, the First Council of Nicaea solemnly defined its faith in: “Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only begotten generated from the Father, that is, from the being of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, one in being with the Father, through whom all things were made, those in heaven and those on earth. For us men and for our salvation, he came down and became incarnate, was made man, suffered, and rose again on the third day. He ascended to the heavens and shall come again to judge the living and the dead”.28 Following the teachings of the Fathers of the Church, the Council of Chalcedon also professed: “the one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in divinity and perfect in humanity, the same truly God and truly man..., one in being with the Father according to the divinity and one in being with us according to the humanity..., begotten of the Father before the ages according to the divinity and, in these last days, for us and our salvation, of Mary, the Virgin Mother of God, according to the humanity”.29
For this reason, the Second Vatican Council states that Christ “the new Adam...‘image of the invisible God' (Col 1:15) is himself the perfect man who has restored that likeness to God in the children of Adam which had been disfigured since the first sin... As an innocent lamb he merited life for us by his blood which he freely shed. In him God reconciled us to himself and to one another, freeing us from the bondage of the devil and of sin, so that each one of us could say with the apostle: the Son of God ‘loved me and gave himself up for me' (Gal 2:20)”.30
In this regard, John Paul II has explicitly declared: “To introduce any sort of separation between the Word and Jesus Christ is contrary to the Christian faith... Jesus is the Incarnate Word — a single and indivisible person... Christ is none other than Jesus of Nazareth; he is the Word of God made man for the salvation of all... In the process of discovering and appreciating the manifold gifts — especially the spiritual treasures — that God has bestowed on every people, we cannot separate those gifts from Jesus Christ, who is at the centre of God's plan of salvation”.31
It is likewise contrary to the Catholic faith to introduce a separation between the salvific action of the Word as such and that of the Word made man. With the incarnation, all the salvific actions of the Word of God are always done in unity with the human nature that he has assumed for the salvation of all people. The one subject which operates in the two natures, human and divine, is the single person of the Word.32
Therefore, the theory which would attribute, after the incarnation as well, a salvific activity to the Logos as such in his divinity, exercised “in addition to” or “beyond” the humanity of Christ, is not compatible with the Catholic faith.33
11. Similarly, the doctrine of faith regarding the unicity of the salvific economy willed by the One and Triune God must be firmly believed, at the source and centre of which is the mystery of the incarnation of the Word, mediator of divine grace on the level of creation and redemption (cf. Col 1:15-20), he who recapitulates all things (cf. Eph 1:10), he “whom God has made our wisdom, our righteousness, and sanctification and redemption” (1 Cor 1:30). In fact, the mystery of Christ has its own intrinsic unity, which extends from the eternal choice in God to the parousia: “he [the Father] chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love” (Eph 1:4); “In Christ we are heirs, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will” (Eph 1:11); “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers; those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified” (Rom 8:29-30).
The Church's Magisterium, faithful to divine revelation, reasserts that Jesus Christ is the mediator and the universal redeemer: “The Word of God, through whom all things were made, was made flesh, so that as perfect man he could save all men and sum up all things in himself. The he whom the Father raised from the dead, exalted and placed at his right hand, constituting him judge of the living and the dead”.34 This salvific mediation implies also the unicity of the redemptive sacrifice of Christ, eternal high priest (cf. Heb 6:20; 9:11; 10:12-14).


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Jesus Christ as the Lord of History

Revelation 22:12 'And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last'.

Jesus said to them, 'I watched Satan fall like lightning from heaven' (Luke 10:18).

John 8:58 Jesus says, 'before Abraham was, I Am'.