TOM LEAVENS ASKED ME TO WRITE “WHO IS JESUS?” Every Catholic knows who Jesus is. That’s why I didn’t suggest writing about Him. (About Jesus, not Tom, who would have a lower case h.)
But Tom Leavens likes “finishing” things correctly. “God the Father, God the Holy Spirit….Jesus is just logical for this month,” he said.
So I tried to come up with some things about Jesus (“the God–Man”) that you may not know—for example, things you think you “must” believe, but you don’t have to, plus some things you should believe but don’t think you can.
Remember that line from theologian Fr. Michael Himes (from St Luke, Whitestone): “Theology tries to say the least wrong things about God.” Jesus is God, after all. So we can expect that there‘ll be some mystery. Some things we can’t prove—not sure—et cetera. But confirmed Catholics are expected to have decided to believe (say YES to) the Creed we say every Sunday:
I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ . . . true God from true God,
begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father . . .
For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven,
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.
That’s what we’re talking about– true God and incarnate (which means REALLY human)
After hundreds of years of debating about the meaning of “Jesus is both God and man,” Catholic theology officially declared that Jesus was 100% human and 100% God. (Council of Chalcedon, 451 A.D.) It’s not mathematical or scientific, of course. We’re talking theology–MYSTERY—here. . . Ordinary Christians had believed that Jesus was the God-Man (with unscientific faith) since His Resurrection in the 1st century (around 29 A.D. scholars say).
Here is what it means to really believe what the Council of Chalcedon says:
|Things you may think you “must” believe, but you don’t have to believe||Things you should believe but don’t think you’re allowed to believe
|· Jesus was born in the year 1 A.D.
· Baby Jesus knew he was God from the time he was born
· Jesus disliked Jews, especially the Pharisees
· Jesus predicted the future better than any other human ever
· Crucified Jesus was sure He would rise again
· Jesus feels physically wounded whenever you commit a sin.
|· Baby Jesus needed diapers & had to learn to talk
· Teen Jesus was attracted to pretty girls & thought His parents didn’t understand Him
· Adult Jesus asked questions because He didn’t know the answers & could not read minds any more than poker players or psychiatrists can
· Crucified Jesus felt lonely and afraid
· Jesus still loves you whatever you did
How does this chart make you feel? However you feel, Jesus knows NOW and loves you.
How does THAT make you feel?