Not Necessary, But Beautiful

God, the eternal Son of the Almighty Father, became man, suffered, died, and rose from the dead.  In doing so, He revealed to us the Father’s love, and He gave us a model of life to imitate.  And He redeemed us, satisfying divine justice for all our sins, so that we don’t have to.

aquinas

h/t the Angelic Doctor

Facts.  This is what has happened.  But let’s ask this question:  Did He have to do all this?  Of course not.  He could have left us to fend for ourselves and languish in misery forever.

Even if we presuppose God’s infinite love, and His will to redeem us and offer us heaven, He still would not have had to do it the way He did—suffering so excruciatingly for us.  God could have forgiven our sins without any satisfaction having been made for them.

But then He would have failed to execute perfect justice! you say.  No, not true.  Because the only one to whom He owes a debt of justice, when it comes to mankind’s sins against Him, is Himself.  So, He could have let it all go, without doing an injustice to anyone.  And Christ would not have suffered and died and rose again, as He did.

In other words, it all could have been different.  But the omnipotent One designed, in the inscrutable brilliance of His Wisdom, the plan of salvation as it has, in fact, come to pass.

Here we find what I think is the most convincing aspect of our holy faith.  Christ’s Paschal Mystery does not proceed from necessity.  It’s not like gravity.  Gravity necessarily results in pollen covering your windshield in the morning sometimes.

But what we believe in—the Paschal Mystery of Christ—it proceeds not from necessity, but from beauty.  Divine beauty.  Beauty that teaches us what beautiful really is.

Nothing could be more beautiful than Jesus Christ in His Passover.  This beauty, more than anything else, is what makes it all-but-impossible not to believe in Him.

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2 thoughts on “Not Necessary, But Beautiful

  1. How challenging to my presumptuous way of ‘thinking’! Thankyou Fr. Mark. “He didn’t have to,,,” I like that part.

  2. True beauty, a concept that challenges and comforts our souls. Thanks for the refreshing thoughts.

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