Hitting the Heresies, Part Two

What spiritual goal do we strive after for the next 2 ½ weeks?

Seems to me that we want to focus, as best we can, on the experiences of the heroes of the original Holy Week—primarily, of course, our Lord Himself.

To do this, we have to lay hold of the truth about the Person of Christ. Heresies only lead us away from what really happened in Jerusalem.

Last week someone mentioned the heresy that we could probably call the NCAA Champion of all heresies. The ancient error that made Christianity meaningless in the name of making it more respectable. Right: Arianism.

“The Son cannot do anything on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing.”

We have been baptized in the name of the Blessed Trinity. Our hope for eternal life rests on the divinity of the Son. When Jesus died on the cross, it was not simply a matter of unjust government crushing an innocent citizen—though it was that. It was not just a matter of the noblest man who ever lived dying peacefully for the highest imaginable ideals—though it was that, too. If it were only these things, then the death of Christ would be beautiful and admirable, but it could offer no enduring hope. His death would simply be the most painful of all the human tragedies that make up our history.

The Son cannot do anything on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing.

Arius regarded this statement as clear evidence that Jesus is not equal to the Father. But, with these words, the Lord does not indicate that at all.

We do not understand the mystery of the tri-unity of God. But we do know what the Son has revealed to us. The Father begets the Son by giving Him everything—the infinity of divinity. The Holy Spirit proceeds by the Son giving it back.

The Son does only what the Father does, but this does not make the Son any less divine, since what the divine Father does is: give everything to the Son.

The Trinity is not the Trinity because of us. The Trinity has been and always will be. We are what we are because the Trinity has willed it so.

Jesus died on the cross as the Son of God made man. By His obedient death, Christ gave to the Father the infinite divine love—as a man, on our behalf. From this single act of infinite love, all our hope springs. Any hope we had would be altogether shaky if it rested on any other foundation. But as it is, our hope is certain, because it rests on God.

One thought on “Hitting the Heresies, Part Two

  1. Father Mark,

    The God-part of Jesus’ act of sacrifice was perfect, as was the creation of the Body of Christ, The Church. Mankind took a good 400 years to largely work out the details of what had really transpired, and to give it form and substance on Earth. The process of heresy and correction was carried out repeatedly; and we stand as the benefactors of this history. It is ongoing today.

    Any agglomeration worthy of the name (Church, Nation, Organization) will have gone through this process, and survived it strengthened. It is the “living” part of truly successful association that makes it grow, flourish, and endure. It is the surest sign that the association inculcates values that last.

    We can only strive and hope that we, too, carry out this process, to our own betterment, and to the glory of God’s Plan. To do so within, and with a firm sense of companionship with the Church is all the more proper and fitting (dignum et justum est).



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