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Our faith in Jesus is based on God’s revelation, not on our individual impressions about him






FROM YOU SHEPHERD AND TEACHER
ARCHBISHOP ELDEN FRANCIS CURTISS

                  


Our faith in Jesus is based on God's revelation, not on our individual impressions about him 

            The 'Constitution on Divine Revelation" (Dei Verbum, nos. 3-4), from the Second Vatican Council, begins by explaining the unique role of Jesus Christ in salvation history.

            Paragraph #3 explains the ways that God has revealed himself to mankind: first of all, through His creation that is observable by us creatures; second, through His recorded revelation with our first human parents; third, through Abraham and Moses and all the prophets who encountered Him personally. They reveal God as the one, living and true God, and as a provident Father and just judge. They kept alive through the centuries the promise of a savior to come into the world. Consequently they prepared the way for the Gospel to be proclaimed.

            Then in paragraph #4 comes Jesus on the scene: 'After speaking at various times and in different ways through the prophets, God has finally spoken to us in these days through the Son" (Heb 1:1).

Father sends His own Son into the world

            Dei Verbum reiterates the ancient doctrine that the Father sent His Son, the eternal Word, into our lives because of His love for the human family. We human beings have God's own spirit in us, a soul. And because of this spirit that constitutes us, along with our bodies, as living human beings, we hunger for truth and love and beauty. This makes us different from all the animals with whom we share the earth. But since only God, the perfect Being, has the fullness of truth and love and beauty, only He can satisfy completely this hunger and thirst in the human mind and heart.

            Because of this, God was willing to send His Son into the world to help the human family discover the source of love and truth and beauty. It was obvious from human experience that, left to our own devices, we humans tend to settle for lesser goods. But nothing short of God can satisfy totally this basic hunger in the human soul. This is the reason that our destiny is to be with God for all eternity "“ but we cannot achieve the purpose of our lives by ourselves "“ we need help from God.

Jesus reveals His Father's plan for us

            By his words and actions and life, Jesus revealed to us that he was, in the words of St. John, the eternal Word of God made flesh in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. He was, as he said, sent to us by the Father as one like us in everything but sin. He was, then, a man sent by God who spoke the words of God in a human language that people could understand. He often used parables, stories from their own experience, to teach profound truths. He led people to experience the love of his Father as he did, with complete trust and devotion. He had come into the world to complete the saving work the Father had given him, to lead people to the Father as the source of all truth and love and beauty.

            Jesus made it clear to his disciples that to see him and listen to him is to see the Father and to hear the voice of the Father speaking in human language through him. He is the final revelation of the Father about His plan of salvation for all mankind. This is the reason that the Fathers of Vatican Council II were able to declare that:

            'By his whole presence and self-revelation, by words and actions, by signs and miracles, especially by his death and glorious resurrection from the dead, and finally by sending the Spirit of truth, Jesus completes revelation and brings it to perfection, sealing by divine testimony its message that God is with us to free us from the darkness of sin and death, and to raise us up to eternal life" (Dei Verbum  no. 4).

 Jesus is our definitive covenant with God

            Consequently, in Christ we have a new and definitive covenant with God, inaugurated and brought to perfection through the saving death of the Son of God made man. This covenant signed in his blood will never pass away. There will be no further public revelation of God to His people, until the manifestation in glory of Jesus Christ at the final judgment of all mankind.

            These teachings of the Church through the centuries were reiterated and strengthened by the Second Vatican Council. They give us the assurance of faith that is possible only through God's revelation to us that we recognize and accept.

            We know that our faith is anchored in the person and teaching of Jesus, and in the testimony and lived experiences of the apostles and first disciples of Jesus, and in those who succeeded them as leaders of the Church he founded. This means that our beliefs are rooted in God's revelation to us through the prophets of old, and especially through Jesus. We believe that Jesus is the way and the truth and the life, and that he continues to guide us and enlighten us to this very day.

            When we live in faith because of what we have heard and seen and experienced through Jesus, then we are able to rejoice always that God has revealed to us His plan for our salvation. We are convinced of His incredible love for us. The coming of Jesus as man is proof of that love.

            Praised be Jesus Christ now and forever!




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