In the days when Christ Jesus was in the flesh…and made perfect… 18Mar2018

Today’s second reading from the Letter to the Hebrews is packed with some interesting thoughts on the dual nature of Jesus Christ. We are not sure if St. Paul wrote this or one of his followers but it contains some interesting Theology. What does the author mean by the phrase, and when He was made perfect? If Jesus is the Son of God, is He and was He not perfect from all eternity? Yes, God is eternally perfect and that includes all three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, but, because of His perfection there was one thing that God had never experienced: Death. God knew our human nature better than we do but He had never experienced it until He joined His divinity to our humanity. In Christ Jesus, He now experiences struggles and can bring them to perfection. Now He can restore to us what Adam lost. Jesus refers to this in today’s Gospel when He says, “I am troubled now. Yet what should I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour?’ But it was for this purpose that I came to this hour.” Through Christ’s death and resurrection, His human body is gloriously perfected and He can now offer to us a Union with God that Adam and Eve could have never enjoyed, even had they not sinned.

Our first parents had a limited human perfection. Death was not present to them until, as a result of their limitation, they disobeyed God. Their communion with God was also limited. Christ, on the other hand, had no human limitation. Even though He struggled, humanly, He still obeyed God’s Will and rescued us from our fallen human nature, restoring to us what Adam lost but, more so, He gave us something that Adam never had: full communion with God, IF we choose His way over our materialistic human inclinations.

There is a special prayer during Mass, which reflects this truth. The Priest or Deacon pours wine into the chalice and then adds a drop of water while praying, “By the mystery of this water and wine may we come to share in the divinity of Christ who humbled Himself to share in our humanity.” The mystery of Jesus’ dual nature is at the heart of Christianity. He took our human nature, joined it inseparably to His divine nature and offers to us a union with God our first parents did not have.

“O truly necessary sin of Adam, destroyed completely by the Death of Christ! O happy fault, that earned so great, so glorious a Redeemer!” (from the Easter Vigil’s Exsultet)

Deacon Richard


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