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Third Sunday of Advent—12 December A.D. 2010
On the Divinity of Christ

Everyone that shall confess me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven.”

Last week we heard our Lord speak approvingly of John the Baptist. Today, it is John's turn to testify about him in return. He describes him as “He who is to come after me, who has been set above me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to loose.”1 Clearly, he is trying to make a comparison which shows the difference between the very highest, and the very lowest.

This Gospel reminds us, then, of something which is fundamental to our Catholic Faith—the Divinity of Christ. If we are traditional Catholics, we take this Divinity for granted. Yet there are people who call themselves Catholics or Christians, while denying this essential part of the Faith. In actuality, they are Arians, rather than Christians. The Arian heresy developed in Egypt during the fourth century, and spread to much of the Christian world. Essentially, the heresy held that Christ was simply another of God's creatures—perhaps the most excellent creature, but nothing more than a creature, and not God. While the heresy was condemned at the Council of Nicaea and at the Council of Constantinople, and died out eventually, it made a comeback after the Protestant Reformation.2 We have seen its resurgence again in our time, with scripture “scholars” who claim that the real Christ—whom they call “the Christ of History” worked no miracles and was nothing more than a great philosopher. They claim that “the Christ of Faith” is simply an invention of Christians in the years after Christ's death.

However, from many sources, we know that Jesus Christ is God the Son, equal to the Father. It is revealed to us in Sacred Scripture:

In the book of Isaias, we learn that he is to be “Emmanuel,” which means “God with us.”3 The same book speaks of Him as “God the mighty, Father of the world to come,”4 and Jeremias tells us that He would be “The Lord, our just one.”5

Jesus Himself tells us of the relationship he shares with the Father: When asked by the High Priest if He was “the Christ, the Son of the Living God?” He answered, “Thou hast said it . . . hereafter you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power....”6 Even more plainly he tells us (Jn. x) “I and the Father are one.”7 and “. . . the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.”8

He is the “Word,” to which St. John refers at the beginning of his Gospel—the one read at the end of almost every Mass—“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God; and the Word was God. . . And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.”9 And certainly the miracles credited to our Lord in each of the Gospels serve to confirm His statements about Himself, and to demonstrate the power of His Divinity.

Particularly as we approach Christmass time, it might be appropriate to point out that our Lord did not come into existence with His birth at Bethlehem. As St. John tells, “He was in the beginning with God, [and] all things were made through Him, and without Him was made nothing.”10 This means that, through Him, everything in the universe was created; matter, energy, spirit, even time itself. It is hard for us to think of an existence without time. As we try to do it, we use time laden words like “before,” and “until.” But just like the Father, and the Holy Ghost, the Son had no beginning; but always existed in eternity.

We speak of Him as the “only-begotten Son of the Father.” But this “begetting” is not something which took place at a certain point in time. The theologians tell us that it is more like God the Father's eternal knowledge of Himself—sort of a Divine Idea in the mind of God. And, unlike the human mind and human ideas, an Idea in the mind of God is actual, it is real. The theologians also venture that the love of these two Divine Persons for one another is also real and actual; that it gives rise—again, eternally—to the Holy Ghost.

Thus, our Lord existed eternally before He took human flesh to dwell amongst us, some nine months before His birth, after asking and receiving the consent of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We should also recognize that in becoming man, he united the body and soul of human nature with His Divine nature. Thus we can say that the Second Person of the Trinity has two natures; human and divine.

It is important to call the Divinity of Christ to mind frequently. It is the foundation of our Christian Faith. It will serve as an aid to our humility, as it did for John the Baptist. It should serve as an aid to our gratitude, knowing that God condescended to come from on high to adopt our lowly nature; knowing that He comes to be with us at each and every Mass; knowing that He dwells with us wherever the Blessed Sacrament is reserved in our churches and chapels.

Perhaps most importantly, we are called upon to witness to the Divinity of Christ—as much now as when Christians were called during the time of the Arian heresy. And our Lord promises a reward for this witness. He tells us that “Everyone that shall confess me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven.”11



1 Luke iii: 6
John I: 27


3 Isaias vii: 14

4 Isaias ix: 6

5 Jeremias xxiii: 6

6 Matthew xxvi: 63

7 John x:30

8 John x: 38

9 John i: 1-14

10 Ibid.

11 Matthew x: 32
Luke xii: 8


Traditional Catholic Mass, Doctrine, and Moral Teaching—Don’t Do Without Them—Don’t Accept One Without All Three
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