Sunday, April 8, 2012

Mediation of Christ’s Humanity

Christ taking on human flesh is not incidental to the economy of salvation. It was not just a way of speaking to us, but it is through his humanity that He communicates grace and merits His resurrection and ours as well.

"If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God." (Colossians 3:1)

We are raised with Christ. What God has done for Jesus Christ, He has accomplished in us through our baptism, in which the seeds of divine life (faith, hope, and charity) were planted in us. This new life is what enables us to "seek what is above." Faith enables us to know the Father as Christ knows the Father. Hope enables us to participate in Christ's own trust in the Father's goodness, and charity enables us to love the Father as Christ loves the Father. Truly we can seek what is above in a transformed, supernatural way!

"Think of what is above, not of what is on earth." (Colossians 3:2)

For this reason, the Apostles directs us to look to Heaven! Focus on the supernatural life and not our earthly trials. The Lord Jesus could suffer and die on the Cross because His mind was filled with the victory to be won and the promise of glory. We also should be focused with hope on the eternal reward and the promise that all things work for the good of the one who loves the Lord.

For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God." (Colossians 3:3)

This is to say, that it is Christ's own life, His divine life which courses through you, for you are intimately hidden with Him! Let yourself be like a grain of wheat who dies so that you may bear much fruit. Let yourself die, so that Christ may live in you. When the Father sees you so hidden in Christ Jesus, He will look on you with love for He will see His own true Son! He will see a man humble. A man willing to go to confession regularly. A woman who builds up her friends, not gossiping and slandering. A man who combats impure thoughts. A child obedient to his Father and mother. A woman who does not boast of her sanctity but who cries out: have mercy on me Lord in your kindness!

"When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory." (Colossians 3:4)

Indeed, Christ is your life now. We have been brought together to form His body. He directs our lives and animates us with His Holy Spirit. This transformed life turns our measly human actions into divine actions. While our natural actions could never merit eternal life, our supernatural acts merit eternal beatitude. Let Christ Jesus reign in your life, "then you too will appear with him in glory."

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Psalm 21 and the Pascal mystery

It has been a consistent observation in the tradition of the Church that the Psalms portray Christ. This short article will help to make this more obvious by interpreting Psalm 21 in light of the resurrection of Christ.

"O Lord, your strength gives joy to the king; how your saving help makes him glad!"

    If one replaces 'the Lord' and 'Most High' with the Father and 'the king' with 'Jesus,' one reads a beautiful Psalm about Christ's filial devotion to the Father. The king, Jesus, enjoys the Father's strength. He knows how good His Father is and that His Father will save Him in His time of need. Importantly, He loves to rely on this saving help; it makes Him glad when He is saved! He is willingly dependant on the Father.

"You have granted him his heart's desire; you have not refused the prayer of his lips."

    Jesus beseeches the Father in prayer, confident that the Father will answer His heart's desire. Indeed the Father sees the purity of Christ's heart and will not refuse His Son. Christ's love for the Father makes Jesus irresistible to the Lord. God cannot help but love the infinite goodness in Christ. The Father is like a husband who answers every desire of His beloved.

"You came to meet him with the blessings of success, you have set on his head a crown of pure gold."

    Upon the resurrection all power and dominion was given over to the Son. After the victory of the Cross, the Father perfected Christ's humanity as the blessings due to His success. How pleased the Father must have been! After watching His Son die on the Cross, He couldn't wait to meet Him so that the Father 'came to meet him.'

"He asked you for life and this you have given, days that will last from age to age."

Christ was dead, but He asked the Father for eternal life. No longer can Christ die for He has been given a glorified body. In the depths of His despair He turned to the Father; He gave everything to the Father, trusting in Him. "Into your hands, Father, I commend my Spirit." He clung to the Father in love, and then asked for life when He descended into Hell. On the third day, He rose and was glorified.

As we journey through Lent, we are called to a deeper imitation of Christ by forsaking the goods of this world and placing our hope in the Father. Know the Father's love for you! In the Father, truly, can hope. Psalm 20 says "Some trust in chariots or horses, but we in the name of the Lord. They will collapse and fall, but we shall hold and stand firm." Only by trusting in the Lord will we make it through this life alive. It is from the Father that we derive our being. If we seek life, we should follow Christ and ask the Father who will not refuse those with a pure heart.