Romans 1:8

Brothers and Sisters,

In the Gospel According to Saint John, the apostle gives an introduction that is usually made a big-deal-of in the Advent and Christmas seasons as well as around the time of the Feast of the Annunciation.  He writes that “In the beginning,” sounds familiar so far, “was the Word, and the Word was with God – and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God” (John 1:1-2).  These words of introduction to the story of the Earthly life of Christ tell mountains and miles about Who Christ actually is.  He is not someone who came into existence in the year that we now call 1AD or sometime around that point – no, Christ existed even before time began to roll by; He was there “in the beginning.”

This is so important!  We know Christ is fully human; the Bible goes out of its way to say that He is one of us in all things, save for sin.  It is absolutely necessary that He be human – the axiom for salvation is “only that which was actually assumed is actually saved.”  It means that humanity is saved because He is human (dogs and other pets, bugs, whales, all other animals were not saved because Christ did not “assume” the form of them).

That’s the first half of the story.  Here’s the second part of the story:  no human can save him- or herself, much less all of humanity.  Therefore Christ needs to also be fully divine as well as fully human.  Without mixing or confusing the two, Christ is both fully human and fully divine at the same time.  That is how He is able to save humanity – He became human at His conception in Blessed Mother and He is and always has been fully divine (one of the persons of the Most Holy Trinity).  We need Christ to be both human and divine for Him to be able to accomplish salvation.

Interesting, right, but what am I supposed to do with this information?  Well, it is important to correct others who are mistaken about this.  Saint Paul is proud of all Christians who are able to do this very thing.  He writes about it at the very beginning of the first letter that comes in the Bible after Acts of the Apostles.  In his letter to the Romans, Saint Paul writes:  “First I give thanks to God through Christ Jesus for all of you, because your faith is heralded throughout the whole world” (Romans 1:8).

That’s a huge thing that most of us shy away from in our lives.  Saint Paul gives thanks to God and congratulates the Church in Rome because they “herald” their faith in Christ to others – the “speak” the Holy Faith, they tell other people about the Church and Christ.  It is my hope, that Saint Paul can be equally proud of our parishes because we will each be able to speak to others about the Holy Faith and Christ Himself.

God be near,

Father Jeremy