Sunday, January 30, 2011
Blog # 109 Emmanuel
Blog # 109 Emmanuel Genesis, the first book of the Bible and the Gospel of St. John, the last book of the four Gospels begin in the same way: In the beginning... Moses tells of God the Creator. St. John tells of Emmanuel, God-Among-Us. With Moses God comes on the scene with nothing there but God. The entire scene is created by God. With St.John God comes into our world already formed, as one of us. (Heb 4:15; 2:17f; 5:7). John refers to God 'in the beginning', that is before the Incarnation as the Word. Afterthe Incarnation the child born of Mary is called Jesus. Mat 1: 21,25; Luke 1:31; 2:21. These are essential facts to realize and remember if we are to understand the true complete identity of Jesus as Emmanuel, promised in Isaiah and proclaimed in Matthew.(Isaiah 7: 14; Mat 1: 23). In the story of the Incarnation the terms Word and Jesus refer to one single divine person! The Word, revealed as one of three in the divine Godhead of the Blessed Trinity,IS GOD. AS GOD. the Word is equal to the Father and the Holy Spirit. This is a supernatural mystery for us of course, but if it were not true we would be confronted with the problem of more than one God. "...this is my beloved Son". ( Mat 17: 5; Mark 9: 6; Luke 9: 35; 2 Peter 1 17). "Philip, if you see me you see the Father." (Jn 14: 9 - 11). The word was sent to earth with a mission to accomplish that required a single person who was both human and divine. As one of us in every way but sin ,the Word did not abandon His eternal identity as the Son of God. We firmly believe Jesus was God on earth, Emmanuel in its strictest sense. We believe as well Jesus was born the son of Mary. I helped clarify this for myself with the following illustration. A blind man cannot see, A man who can see and closes his eyes does not see. The Word of God in the Incarnation voluntarily submitted Himself to the laws, limitations, temptations and opportunities that are native to our human experience. Apart from the Incarnation the Word had none of these limits. On earth the Word was limited, 'blind', like us in every but sin except when in obedience to the Father He was to 'open His eyes' and speak and act as God. Then in the Resurrection and Ascension the picture changes. The physicl mission of Jesus in history was finished.(Jn 17:4; 19:30). The salvation of all the world was accomplished. The work of salvation was accomplished. The work of applying it remained and will remain untl the end of time. The divine Jesus was is and will be the single shepherd's gate, the Way the Truth and the Life, and the Bread of Life. The Word of God Who was called Jesus while among us in history continues on in the everlasting union of the divine and human natures of the Resurrected Jesus ! Our faith in the divinity of Jesus undergirds our faith in the efficacy of His death on the Cross in history and Sacramentally at the last supper and in the Sacrifice of the Mass. Because Jesus continues on as God He has the power to say of the bread and wine we brought to the altar this morning "This is my body given for you...This is my blood poured out for you" and it happens. Our gifts are transformed by His total unconditional love on Calvary into worship of the Father in our name. In His divinity Jesus has the power to forgive sins and share that power with the Church His Mystical Body on earth in the Sacramanent of Reconciliation. Because Jesus is divine we have confidence in our ability to pray in Jesus' name. Because Jesus is divine we are not called merely to imitate Him as we are invited to do in the case of other holy men and women, but to share within us by faith His divine life! "Anyone who loves me...my Father will love him; we will come to him and make our dwelling place with him." (Jn 14: 23). "I pray for those who will come to believe in me... That they may be on as we are one...so that Your love may live in them and I may live in them" (Jn 17: 20,23,26.) Thank You, Jesus!