Our Lord Jesus Christ
From the March AD 1995
Our Lady of the Rosary
Our Sacred Faith - Part III
Our series on the sacred aspects of the Catholic Faith
continues with this third installment dealing with our Lord Jesus Christ. We see
again that the Faith is not a celebration of merely human events—it
is grounded in the holiness of Almighty God Himself.
The first three Gospels present an account of our Blessed
Lord's life seen from the common perspective of those writers trying to
establish the historical truth of the coming of the Messias, the Savior of the
human race. They are in fact known as the "synoptic" Gospels, meaning
that they are Gospels seen, as it were, through "the same eye." The
fourth Gospel is somewhat different. John's Gospel sets out immediately to
demonstrate that Jesus Christ is not simply the Messias, but, rather, that He is
the Son of God, the second Person of the Blessed Trinity. The opening words of
the Gospel, the familiar "last Gospel" of the Mass, tell us something
about the sacredness of our Lord, calling Him by His Greek name "Logos"—"Verbum"
in Latin, or "the Word" in English.
Saint John the Evangelist wrote the fourth Gospel at the
request of the bishops of Asia Minor who were contending with the Ebionites and
other heretics who claimed that Jesus Christ had no existence prior to His
conception by the Virgin Mary. Writing for people educated in the tradition of
Greek thought, he referred to the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity as the
"Logos," the name given by Greek philosophers to the creative
principle of the universe.
So that we may not be given the false impression that
Jesus Christ is just another man St. John is inspired to tell us that,
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was
God. Often, even we Catholics lose sight of this reality: Our Lord did not come
into being with His conception in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary, rather,
He existed with God the Father from all eternity. Even to say that He existed
before time began is not quite adequate. Time itself was made through this
Second Person of the Blessed Trinity: "Without Him was made nothing that
was made." If we understand holiness as conformity with the will of God,
how can we imagine anyone more holy than this Person who made everything in
perfect unity with the will of our Creator?
If we are to understand the holiness of our Lord, we must
ask ourselves the reason for His coming into the world and assuming the flesh of
sinful men. Again, St. John gives us the answer: "He was in the world,
and the world was made by Him, yet the world knew Him not." Man had sinned
by a cardinal act of unholiness; he had tried to reject the will of God; he had
tried to make himself into another "god." Our Lord knew that there was
only one way to redeem His favored creation; by restoring man to conformity with
the Divine Will: "to them He gave the power to become the sons of God; to
them that believe in His name; who were born.... not of the will of man,
but of God." Our Lord was born a man, lived His life for us, and died on
the Cross in order to unite our wills with the will of God. In short, He became
man to make us holy, so that we might regain some share in the Sacred.
"The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us: and we
saw His glory, the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father, full of grace
and truth." But, before all ages, the Son of God was begotten by the
Father, the font of all that is Holy.
Humility, Yes. Familiarity, No.
In his Epistle to the Philippians (ii: 5-11),
explains to us that our Lord's act of becoming a man was an act of supreme
humility: "Though He was by nature God, He did not consider being equal to
God a thing to be clung to, but emptied Himself, taking the nature of a slave
and being made like unto men." Just imagine the glory of God, and how great
it must be to admit of such humility. Imagine the degree of conformity of the
will of the Son with the will of the Father, that He would so lower Himself
infinitely below His own proper nature. There is no parallel in our human
existence. If we imagine a king becoming a peasant, or even a man reducing
himself to a stone, we cannot approach the humility of God becoming man—of Creator becoming creature. We cannot imagine a greater sacrifice
of personal will for the will of God—we cannot imagine a greater
degree of holiness.
Unfortunately, modern man tends to mistake this humility
and generosity on the part of our Lord for an invitation to familiarity. All too
often the moderns view our Lord as just "one of the guys," or, at
best, a "Superstar." They take Him for someone who had unique ideas,
but nonetheless, "just a man." The misinformed take the fraternal
charity of Jesus at Cana and our adopted sonship to indicate that we have no
obligations to Him beyond those due to our fellow men. They completely ignore
the fact that out Lord became man to restore to us the sacred character that we
lost with original sin. Our society is "high" with the self admiration
of its rational and technical achievements. It wants a "god" no more
holy than itself. Indeed it finds it convenient to be its own "god."
"I am the Alpha and the
The last book of the Bible, the Apocalypse (called the
Revelation by our Protestant friends), gives us a look forward to the way in
which God intends His kingdom to be organized. It is a vision of the way in
which things will be sorted out as the immutable judgment of God unfolds. In it
man has not lost God's friendship, but is allowed to see His glory all the more
I am the First and the Last, and He who lives; I was
dead, and behold, I am living forevermore; and I have the keys of death and
And it is said of those who stand at the throne of God that :
They do not rest day and night, saying, "Holy,
Holy, Holy, the Lord God almighty...."
And likewise they say of the Son:
Worthy art Thou to take of the scroll and to open its seals; for Thou
wast slain, and hast redeemed us for God with Thy blood.... Worthy is the
Lamb who was slain to receive power and divinity and wisdom and strength and
honor and glory and blessing... Amen.
"And the elders fell down and worshipped Him who lives forever and
Our Sacred Lord
We understand then, that our Lord Jesus Christ is the
Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. Begotten before the beginning of time, He
is our union with the will of God, the most exalted claim of our fallen race to
a share in the Sacred.
Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true man!