A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Who Christ is

Today’s readings, together with today’s memorial of one of the great ancient theologians of the Church, bring a special focus on the question of who Christ is.

In the Gospel (John 1:19-28), John the Baptist makes it clear from the very beginning that he is NOT the Christ.

In the first reading (1 John 2:22-28) Saint John uses very strong language to make clear that Jesus is the Christ.

Who is the liar?
Whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ.

Whoever denies the Father and the Son,
this is the antichrist.

Anyone who denies the Son
does not have the Father,
but whoever confesses the Son
has the Father as well.

Let what you heard from the beginning
remain in you.
If what you heard from the beginning remains in you,
then you will remain in the Son
and in the Father.

Saint Gregory Nazianzen, whose memory we celebrate today (together with his brother Saint Basil the Great) was a powerful voice in reaffirming this truth, especially in the full reality of the divine and human natures in Christ as well as in the unity of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

These are critical truths, with deep meaning for our daily lives and for the salvation of the world.

Among other things, the full reality of Christ’s human nature (united with His divine nature) confers an infinitely higher significance on what we humans do (insignificant as we would otherwise be in a vast universe, let alone in comparison to Infinity Himself).

Moreover, as ultimately mysterious as these truths may be, the unity of the human and divine natures of Christ and the unity of the Person of Christ with the Father and Holy Spirit in One God makes possible the hope for eternal happiness and fulfillment that is extended to all people through that one man who walked for a brief time on this earth in a small land two hundred decades years ago.

And now, children, remain in him,
so that when he appears we may have confidence
and not be put to shame by him at his coming.