Sunday, August 21

I knew him, Horatio.

I was minding my own business, reading on Colkoch's blog about the whole World Youth Day and what Benny's homilies are about and the thrust of her comments were about the Holy Father's emphasis of Christ's sacrifice to the near total exclusion of the resurrection.  This got me thinking...which got me blogging.  You've been warned.

I swear, this wasn't my idea.

Ever since I was little, it's been all about the sacrifice, pain, suffering and death.  The more I look at it, I think folks have it all wrong.  Don't misunderstand, I recognize the importance of the Passion, but it's like reading Hamlet and saying that the only part that matters is a single soliloquy.  Without context, without the rest, it's pointless.

Christ's ministry was about teaching others how to be like God, how to reunite with the Diving in a deep, personal way that defies structure and hierarchy.  The core of this is to love G-d and to love others.  In brief, to be a self-less, love-filled person who sees the face of the Divine in all they meet. The ultimate expression of that love, the ultimate proof of practicing what you preach, was the Passion.  The climax of the story is the resurrection where Christ returns in glory as fulfillment and proof of God's promise.

Without the resurrection, the Araians would have been right in denying the Divinity of Christ and he would have been not unlike Hilel or Shammai, a great teacher and prophet of the Jewish people who taught the world how to live closer to God, eventually showing by the Passion the depth of his own understanding of the teachings.

Without the Passion, the teachings may have rung hollow, with the Rabbi not wishing to take the final step to do what was needed to show people the bottomless nature of his love. His resurrection would prove his favour with G-d, but it wouldn't be the proof of Salvation which is central to the teachings.

Without the ministry, his death and resurrection would have happened as a footnote to the final destruction of the Jewish temple and the Diaspora.  None would know that the prophesy was fulfilled and the flame of Christianity would never have been sparked.

All of the parts are integral to the overall message, just as all three acts are important to the story arc of Hamlet.

Augustine said, "God became man so that man may become God".  Because God became flesh and dwelt amoung us, we may know how to follow Him back to the Divinity.  Through his ministry, He has taught us the Way. Through the Passion He has shown us the Truth. In his resurrection, He has demonstrated the promise of the Life everlasting.


  1. Glad I could inspire you Tim. Jesus certainly taught us the Way. Now if we only believed what else He said about the Way--all that stuff about doing as He did and more than he did. It's hard to imagine a world where millions we able to do as He did, love as He did, work with divinity as He did. On Earth as it is in Heaven would indeed be a reality.

  2. Sorry for not getting back with you sooner, but the busy season is upon me.

    I think the largest problem with not following along as you mention is that we have been convinced that we can't. That, somehow, we are fundamentally incapable of doing good, loving others and doing the Good Work. If we do, in fact, believe that we are created in Her image, then to say we cannot be like Him is counter-intuitive.

    I am not saying we won't make mistakes, for we all do, but to argue that lack of perfection equals total depravity of man and that because we aren't perfect means we shouldn't even try is the best being the enemy of the good.

    The trouble isn't a lack of Grace, but of imagination...not a lack of the Divine, but us not believing in Him and in ourselves.