Thursday, May 22, 2008

The "Makings" of Course on Salvation and Redemption (in progress)

The Supreme Principle of Creation and Redemption: To-Be Is To-Be-in-Relation:

(Ąγάπη-έρος as Receptivity and As Gift)

“Humans are dependent. They cannot live except from others and by trust. But there is nothing degrading about dependence when it takes the form of love, for then it is no longer dependence, the diminishing of self through competition with others. Dependence in the form of love precisely constitutes the self as self and sets it free, because love essentially takes the form of saying, ‘I want you to be.’ It is creativity, the only creative power, which can bring forth the other as other without envy or loss of self. Human are dependent – that is the primary truth about them. And because it is, only love can redeem them, for only love transforms dependence into freedom. Thus human beings will only succeed in destroying their own redemption, destroying them selves, if they eliminate love ‘to be on the safe side.’ For humans, the crucified God is the visible certainty that creation is already an expression of love: we exist on the foundation of love. It is therefore a constitutive part of Christian faith to accept mystery as the center of reality, that is to say, to accept love, creation as love, and to make that love the foundation of one’s life.”[1]

Class 1 Outline: Salvation, Ontological Yearning, Divine Gift. The human desire for salvation is the constant of the whole of history. Salvation is the initiative of the God of the Alliance. Christ is universal savior.

Did God become man as the “prototype” of man (Adam being only a “type”), and therefore the very meaning of man? Or did God become man in order to save him from sin? Or did God become man to do both, as in doing one He did the other? And in that case, which came first, the divinizing Prototype or the Savior?

Creation -- Divinization
Sin -- Redemption

St. Thomas Aquinas: (12225-1274): Summa Theologiae III, 1, 3, “I answer that, There are different opinions about this question. For some say that even if man had not sinned, the Son of Man would have become incarnate. Others assert the contrary, and seemingly our assent ought rather to be given to this opinion.

“For such things as spring from God’s will, and beyond the creature’s due, can be made known to us only through being revealed in the Sacred Scripture, in which the Divine Will is made known to us. Hence, since everywhere in the Sacred Scripture the sin of the first man is assigned as the reason of the Incarnation, it is more in accordance with this to say that the work of the Incarnation was ordained by God as a remedy for sin; so that, had sin not existed, the Incarnation would not have been. And yet the power of God is not limited to this; even had sin not existed, God could have become incarnate.”

Duns Scotus: (1265-1308):

“The Incarnation is the model for creation: there is a creation only because of the Incarnation. In this schema, the universe is for Christ and not Christ for the universe. Scotus finds it inconceivable that the ‘greatest good in the universe’ i.e. the Incarnation, can be determined by some lesser good i.e. Man’s redemption. This is because such a sin-centred view of the Incarnation suggests that the primary rôle of Christ is as an assuager of the universe’s guilt. In the Absolute Primacy, Christ is the beginning, middle and end of creation. He stands at the centre of the universe as the reason for its existence. In this sense the universe has realised its creational potential more than Man, since it is created with the potential to bear the God-Man and the Incarnation has taken place historically and existentially. Man, as yet, has failed to reach his potential to ‘love one another as I have loved you’.

Scotus argues that the reason for the Incarnation is Love. The Love of God in himself and the free desire that God has to share that love with another who can love him as perfectly as he loves himself, i.e. the Christ. Scotus says that all the souls that were ever created and about to be created could not, cannot and never will measure up to the supreme love that Christ has for the Trinity. The very fact of the preconception of the Incarnation in Scotus’s thought means that we are co-heirs to this Trinitarian love that Christ has. The Incarnation, then in Duns Scotus, becomes the unrepeatable, unique, and single defining act of God’s love. God, says Scotus, is what he is: we know that God exists and we know what that existence is: Love. Thus, if Man had not sinned Christ would still have come, since this was predetermined from all eternity in the mind of God as the supreme manifestation of his love for the creation he brings about in his free act. The Incarnation is the effect of God freely choosing to end his self-isolation and show who and what He is to that creation. The Incarnation, therefore, in Franciscan spirituality is centred on Love and not sin.

Sin has been given too much prominence in contemporary soteriology: God redeems from sin because he loves us?: no, says the Scotist, God loves us and then redeems us. Redemption is an act of love first and foremost, not an act of saving us from sin, and the first act of redemption is the Incarnation. God foresees us in union with him before he sees how sin disrupts that relational dynamic between He and us. Scotus makes it clear that the first movement is from God, a revelatory movement wherein God freely chooses to move beyond his own self-loving and share that loving with something other than himself – namely creation, and this process is epitomised in the Incarnation.

What the Incarnation shows us is not primarily the need for redemption, but the need that is in each one of us for love. That love which is so utterly free and unmerited that it embraces our own limitations, our own failures, our own hopes and longings and in uniting itself to us in the Incarnate Word in the person of Jesus of Nazareth elevates the human project to that which it always was in the mind of God. Scotus begins with Love, that love which is the very being of God himself, he travels the road of Love, which is made manifest in the Incarnation, and he ends with love, that love so hard to see in the misery of the abandoned Jesus on the cross, that Love which glorifies the whole creational project in the Resurrection.
Franciscan Spirituality sees the Incarnation as the guarantee of union with God. It is not something to be hoped for or to be looked forward to – it is something, which is happening NOW. God is Love and that Love is our redemption and redemption is not primarily being saved from sin, but is rather the gift of the possibility of openness to the experience of the divine Other in our life. How can it be otherwise when we posit the notion of the divine and human in Jesus? Scotus’s doctrine of the absolute centrality of Love is both timely and profoundly needed by our world. Men and women cry out for an experience of hope in a world which has lost direction – in the teaching of Duns Scotus, Franciscan Spirituality has within its hand that hope-filled experience and the end of that longing. For if God willed the Incarnation from all eternity, then it was always his intention to become part of sinful creation – sin determines the manner of that becoming, but it does not determine the fact that it was going to be.” (By Seamus Mulholland OFM: Internet)

Maximus, the Confessor: “St. Maximus the Confessor (580-662) seems to be the only Father who was directly concerned with the problem, although not in the same setting as the later theologians in the West. He stated plainly that the Incarnation should be regarded as an absolute and primary purpose of God in the act of Creation. The nature of the Incarnation, of this union of the Divine majesty with human frailty, is indeed an unfathomable mystery, but we can at least grasp the reason and the purpose of this supreme mystery, its logos and skopos. And this original reason, or the ultimate purpose, was, in the opinion of St. Maximus, precisely the Incarnation itself and then our own incorporation into the Body of the Incarnate One…:"This is the blessed end, on account of which everything was created. This is the Divine purpose, which was thought of before the beginning of Creation, and which we call an intended fulfillment. All creation exists on account of this fulfillment and yet the fulfillment itself exists because of nothing that was created. Since God had this end in full view, he produced the natures of things. This is truly the fulfillment of Providence and of planning. Through this there is a recapitulation to God of those created by Him. This is the mystery circumscribing all ages, the awesome plan of God, super-infinite and infinitely pre-existing the ages. The Messenger, who is in essence Himself the Word of God, became man on account of this fulfillment. And it may be said that it was He Himself Who restored the manifest innermost depths of the goodness handed down by the Father; and He revealed the fulfillment in Himself, by which creation has won the beginning of true existence. For on account of Christ, that is to say the mystery concerning Christ, all time and that which is in time have found the beginning and the end of their existence in Christ. For before time there was secretly purposed a union of the ages, of the determined and the Indeterminate, of the measurable and the Immeasurable, of the finite and Infinity, of the creation and the Creator, of motion and rest — a union which was made manifest in Christ during these last times." (M., P.G., XC, 621, A-B.) One has to distinguish most carefully between the eternal being of the Logos, in the bosom of the Holy Trinity, and the ‘economy’ of His Incarnation. ‘Prevision’ is related precisely to the Incarnation: "Therefore Christ was foreknown, not as He was according to His own nature, but as he later appeared incarnate for our sake in accordance with the final economy." (M., P.G., XC, 624D (George Florovsky: internet).

Christ (not Sin): Constitutive of Man

It belongs to Catholic Faith that the meaning of man is Jesus Christ – the incarnate Logos of the Father - before the foundation of the world, i.e., before sin. It is scriptural revelation that “God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ… has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. He chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him” (Eph. 1, 33-4). This means that the Incarnation of the Logos “precedes” – in the “intention” of the Father - the fall into sin which consequently would not be the cause of the Incarnation. It means that God did not become man because of sin. It means that man would be divinized in the flesh – not just created in the image of God, but also actualized as His likeness (as some Fathers of the Church say it[2]), but not saved from sin, because there would have been no sin. It also means – once man has sinned - that we should not be surprised that Jesus Christ as prototype has taken the sin on as his own and pays for it by the obedience of the gift of himself to death. Since Christ is revelation of man before sin, He is also the revelation of man after sin – now repaired by the Cross of the God-man. After sin, the Cross of Christ reveals the kind and intensity of Love with which God has loved man. But this love is antecedent to the Cross.

John Paul II

“The reality of the creation of man was already permeated by the perennial election of man in Christ: called to holiness through the grace of adoption as sons.”[3]

The human person is ordained to fulfillment in Jesus Christ not because of sin but because of the original intention of the Creator at the moment of creation before sin. The meaning of every man, then, is Jesus Christ, and the anthropology that grounds every human action for every man is that of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is, then, the meaning of every man “before” the salvation from sin. To this effect, John Paul II, in his exegesis of Ephesians, chapters1,[4]-5 distinguishes between the “sacrament of creation” (“the sacramental `beginning’ of man and of marriage in the state of original justice [or innocence”] marriage”[5]) and the “sacrament of redemption.” They are two moments of “gracing.”

With regard to the first, John Paul says: “This salvific initiative comes forth from God, the Creator, and its supernatural efficaciousness is identical with the very act of the creation of man in the state of original innocence. In this state, already beginning with the act of the creation of man, his eternal election in Christ has borne fruit. In this way, one must recognize that the original sacrament of creation draws its efficaciousness from the `beloved Son’ (see Eph. 1, 6, where the author speaks about `his grace, which he has given to us in is beloved Son’). As for marriage, one can deduce that – instituted in the context of the sacrament of creation in its totality, or in the state of original innocence – it was to serve not only to extend the work of creation, or procreation, but also to spread the same sacrament of creation to further generations of human beings, that is, to spread the supernatural fruits of man’s eternal election by the Father in the eternal Son, the fruits man was endowed with by God in the very act of creation.
“Ephesians seems to authorize us to understand Genesis in this way, and the truth about the `beginning’ of man and marriage contained in it.”[6]

With regard to the second, he says: “In Ephesians 5, 31, when the author appeals to the words of the institution of marriage in Genesis 2, 24 (`For this reason a man will leave his father and his mother and unite with his wife, and the two will be one flesh’), and immediately after this declares, `This mystery is great; I say this with reference to Christ and the Church’ (Eph. 5, 32), he seems to point out not only the identity of the Mystery hidden in God from eternity, but also the continuity of its realization between the primordial sacrament connected with man’s supernatural gracing [that is, endowment with grace] in creation itself and the new gracing – which was brought about when `Christ loved the Church and gave himself for her, in order to make her holy’ (Eph. 5, 25-26) – an endowment with grace that can be defined in its entirety as the sacrament of redemption. This redemptive gift of self `for’ the Church also includes – according to Pauline thought – Christ’s gift of self to the Church, in the image of the spousal relation that unites husband and wife in marriage. In this way, the sacrament of redemption clothes itself, so to speak, in the figure and form of the primordial sacrament. To the marriage of the first husband and wife, as a sign of the supernatural endowment of man with grace in the sacrament of creation, corresponds the marriage, or rather the analogy of the marriage, of Christ with the Church, as the fundamental `great’ sign of man’ supernatural gracing in the sacrament of redemption, of the gracing in which the covenant of the grace of election that was broken in the `beginning’ by sin is renewed in a definitive way.

“The image contained in the passage quoted from Ephesians seems to speak above all about the sacrament of redemption as the definitive realization of the Mystery hidden from eternity in God. Indeed, in this mysterium magnum, everything that Ephesians talks about in chapter 1 is definitively realized. It says, in fact, as we remember, not only that `in him [that is, Christ] he has chosen us before the creation of the world to be holy and immaculate before him’ (Eph. 1, 4); John Paul II’s addition), but also, `in whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our sins, according to the riches of his grace. He has abundantly poured it out on us’ (Eph. 1, 7-8). Man’s new supernatural endowment with the gift of grace in the `sacrament of redemption’ is also a new realization of the Mystery hidden from eternity in God, new in comparison with the sacrament of creation. At this moment, endowment with grace is in some sense a `new creation.’ It differs, however, from the sacrament of creation inasmuch as the original gracing, united with the creation of man, constituted that man `from the beginning’ through grace in the sate of original innocence and justice. Man’s new gracing in the sacrament of redemption, by contrast, gives him above all the `forgiveness of sin.’ Still, even here `grace’ can `superabound’ as St. Paul expresses himself elsewhere: `Where sin abounded, grace superabounded’ (Rom. 5, 20).

“On the basis of Christ’s spousal love for the Church [the original sacrament of creation], the sacrament of redemption – fruit of Christ’s redeeming love – becomes a permanent dimension of the life of the Church herself, a fundamental and life giving dimension. It is the `Mysterium magnum of Christ and the Church, the eternal mystery realized by Christ, who `gave himself for her’ (Eph. 5, 25), uniting with her with an indissoluble, just as spouses, husband and wife, unite in marriage. In this manner, the Church lives from the sacrament of redemption and on her part completes this sacrament, just as the wife in virtue of spousal love, completes her husband, which was in some way already brought out `at the beginning’ when the first man found in the first woman `a help similar to himself’ (Gen. 2, 20).”[7]

Redemption is, then, a restoring of man as “ipse Christus.” Man was created in Christ – “Ipse Christus” - before sin. Therefore, there is no such thing as “natural” man. To be truly man is to be Christ.


It seems in the Magisterium of John Paul II, there are two moments of gracing: 1) the sacrament of creation that is matrimony; and 2) the sacrament of redemption. By “grace” Benedict XVI clarifies that it is “relation.”[8]

Sacrament of Creation: Matrimony and Original Innocence (Before Sin)

John Paul says: “Ephesians leads ut to approach this situation – man’s state before original sin – from the point of view of the mystery hidden from eternity in God. In fact, at the beginning of the letter we read, `God, the Father our Lord Jesus Christ… has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavens in Christ. In him he has chosen us before the creation of the world [underline mine] to be holy and immaculate before him in love’ (Eph 1, 3-4)

“3. Ephesians opens before us the supernatural world of the eternal mystery, of the eternal plans of God the Father in regard to man. These plans precede the `creation of the world’ and thus also the creation of man. At the same time, these divine plans begin to be realized already in the whole reality of creation. If also the state of original innocence of man created, as male and female, in the image of God belongs to the mystery of creation, this means that the primordial gift given to man by God already included within itself the fruit of election, about which we read in Ephesians: `He has chosen us…to be holy and immaculate before him’ (Eph. 1, 4)…. Only after sin, after the breaking of the original covenant with the Creator, does man feel the need of hiding `from the Lord God:’ `I heard the sound of your step in the garden, and I was afraid, because I am naked, and I hid myself’ (Gen. 3, 10).

“4. Before sin [underline mine], by contrast, man carried in his soul the fruit of eternal election in Christ, the eternal Son of the Father. Through the grace of this election, man, male and female, was `holy and immaculate’ before God. This primordial (or original) holiness and purity expressed itself also in the fact that, though both were `naked… they did not feel shame’ (Gen. 2, 25), as we tried to show in the earlier analyses. When we compare the testimony of the `beginning’ reported in the first chapter of Genesis with the testimony of Ephesians, we must deduce that the reality of the creation of man was already permeated by the perennial election of man in Christ: called to holiness through the grace of adoption as sons, `predestining us to be his adopted sons through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise and glory of his grace, which he has given to us in his beloved Son (Eph. 1, 5-6).

“5. From’ the `beginning,’ man, male and female, shared in this supernatural gift. This endowment was given in view of him, who from eternity was `beloved’ as Son, although – according to the dimensions of time and history – it preceded the Incarnation of this `beloved Son’ and also the `redemption’ we have in him `through his blood’ (Eph. 1, 7) [my underline].

“Redemption was to become the source of man’s supernatural endowment after sin and, in a certain sense, despite sin [my underline].This supernatural endowment, which took place before original sin [my underline], that is, the grace of original justice and innocence – an endowment that was the fruit of man’s election in Christ before the ages – was brought about precisely out of regard for him, that one and only Beloved, while chronologically anticipating his coming in the body [my underline]. In the dimensions of the mystery of creation, election to the dignity of adoptive sonship was proper only to the `first Adam,’ that is, to man created in the image and likeness’ of God as male and female.”[9]

Christopher West

Christopher West comments: “It seems that John Paul cannot stress this point enough. Comparing the testimony of the ‘beginning’ with the testimony of Ephesians, he says that ‘one must deduce that the reality of man’s creation was already imbued with the perennial election of man in Christ…. Man, male and female, shared from the “beginning” in this supernatural gift.’ And again he says that this supernatural endowment in Christ ‘took place before original sin’ (334-335). Rereading the account of creation in light of the New Testament, we realize that man’s destiny in Christ is already implied in his creation in the image of God. For it is Christ who ‘is the image of the invisible God.’ Thus, it is in Christ that we image God right from the beginning (see Col. 1, 15-16).”[10]

CCC #280: “Creation is the foundation of ‘all God’s saving plans,’ the ‘beginning of the history of salvation’ that culminates in Christ. Conversely, the mystery of Christ casts conclusive light on the mystery of creation and reveals the end for which ‘in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth:’ from the beginning, God envisaged the glory of the new creation in Christ.”

CCC #1701: “Christ… in the very revelation of the mystery of the Father and of his love, makes man fully manifest to himself and brings to light his exalted vocation.’ It is in Christ, ‘the image of the invisible God,’ that man has been created ‘in the image and likeness’ of the Creator. It is in Christ, Redeemer and Savior, that the divine image, disfigured in man by the first sin, has been restored to its original beauty and ennobled by the grace of God” (Gaudium et Spes #22).

Christopher West continues: “With these statements, the Holy Father appears to be adding his input to a centuries-old theological debate: Would Christ have come had man not sinned? In any case, this pope’s opinion on the matter seems clear. For him, Jesus Christ – the incarnate Christ – ‘is the center of the universe and of history.’ For him, it seems even to entertain the idea of a universe without an incarnate Christ is to miss a central point of the ‘great mystery’ of God’s love for humanity.

Christ is ‘first-born of all creation’ (Col. 1, 15). Everything – especially man in his original unity yas male and female – was created for him, through him, and in expectation of him. When we reread man’s beginning in view of the ‘great mystery’ of Ephesians, we can see that Christ’s incarnate communion with the Church is already anticipated and in some sense ‘contained’ in the original incarnate communion of man and woman. And this original unity in ‘one flesh’ was constituted by God before sin. Man and woman’s original unity, therefore, was a beatifying participation in grace (see #20). This grace made original man’ holy and blameless’ before God. Here John Paul reminds us that their primordial (or original) holiness and purity were also expressed in their being naked without shame. The Holy Father then asserts that this original bounty was granted to man in view of Christ, who from eternity was ‘beloved’ as Son, ‘even though – according to the dimensions of time and history – it had preceded the Incarnation.’ (334).”[11]

Sacrament of Redemption:

“2. In Ephesians 5, 31, when the author appeals to the words of the institution of marriage in Genesis 2, 24 (`For this reason a man will leave his father and his mother and unite with his wife, and the two will become one flesh’), and immediately after this declares, `This mystery is great; I say this with reference to Christ and the Church’ (Eph. 5, 32), he seems to point out not only the identity of the Mystery hidden in God from eternity, but also the continuity of its realization between the primordial sacrament connected with man’s supernatural gracing (that is endowment with grace) in creation itself and the new gracing – which was brought about when `Christ loved the Church and gave himself for her, in order to make her holy’ (Eph. 5, 25-26) – an endowment with grace that can be defined in its entirety as the sacrament of redemption. This redemptive gift of self `for’ the Church also includes – according to Pauline thought – Christ’s gift of self to the Church, in the image of the spousal relation that unites husband d and wife in marriage. In this way, the sacrament of redemption clothes itself, so to speak, in the figure and form of the primordial sacrament. To the marriage of the first husband and wife, as a sign of the supernatural endowment of man with grace in the sacrament of creation, corresponds the marriage, or rather the analogy of the marriage, of Christ with the Church, as the fundamental `great’ sign of man’s supernatural gracing in the sacrament of redemption, of the gracing in which the covenant of grace of election that was broken in the `beginning’ by sin is renewed in a definitive way.

The Same Thesis Obtains in Considering the Church “Catholic”

“All things are yours, and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s” (1 Cor. 3, 23).

What does this mean? It means that the humanity _ “Jesus of Nazareth” [no human person] that has been assumed by the Logos – is the image of God that is equally in all men.

Cardinal de Lubac comments: “(T)he doctrine of Gregory of Nyssa… makes a distinction between the first individuals of our kind, coming forth ‘as by degrees’ from their causes, in their time, ‘by a natural and necessary genesis’ in the fashion of all other living creatures, and Man made according to the Image, the object of a direct creation out of time, who is in each one of us and who makes us so entirely one that we ought not to speak of man in the plural any more than we speak of three Gods. For ‘the whole of human nature from the first man to the last is but one image of him who is.’ That is a doctrine which, in broad outline, was not to remain only Gregory’s but to be the inspiration of a whole tradition and which is still reproduced in the fourteenth century by Ruysbroeck, for example, who writes in his wonderful Mirror of Eternal Salvation:

‘‘The heavenly Father created all men in his own image. His image is his Son, his eternal Wisdom… who was before all creation. It is in reference to this eternal image that we have all been created. It is to be found essentially and personally in all men; each one possesses it whole and entire and undivided, and all together have no more than one. In this way we are all one, intimately united in our eternal image, which is the image of God and in all of us the source of our life and of our creation.’”[12]

“So when pagan philosophers jeered at what they considered the extravagant claim put forward by the Christians, those latest of the barbarians, of uniting all men in the same faith, it was easy for the Fathers to answer them that this claim was not, after all, so extravagant, since all men were made in the one image of the one God. It was a sort of divine monogenism, forging the link between the doctrine of divine unity and that of human unity, the foundation in practice of monotheism and its full significance. In the language of the first centuries Adam was not generally called the ‘father of the human race;’ he was only the ‘first made,’ ‘the first begotten by God,’ as is recalled by the final sentences, so solemn in their simplicity, of the genealogy of Jesus according to Luke: ‘who was of Henos, who was of Seth, who was of Adam, who was of God.,’ To believe in this one God was, therefore, to believe at the same time in a common Father of all: unus Deus et Pater omnium. The prayer taught us by Christ makes clear in its very first phrase that monotheism postulates the brotherhood of all men. It implied that he assumed the original unity of all men and that he was effectively to re-unite them all in one same worship: adunare ad unius Dei cultum. Since he who dwells in us is one only, everywhere he joins and binds together those who are in the bond of unity.’

“Again and again Irenaeus dwells on this dual correspondence:
“there is but one God the Father, and one Logos the Son, and one Spirit, and one salvation only for all who believe in him… There is but one salvation as there is but one God… There is one only Son who fulfills the will of the Father, and one only human race in which the mysteries of God are fulfilled.

“In these conditions, all infidelity to the divine image that man bears in him, every breach with God is at the same time a disruption of human unity. It cannot eliminate the natural unity of the human race – the image of God, tarnished though it may be, is indestructible – but it ruins the spiritual unity which, according to the Creator’s plan, should be so much the closer in proportion as the supernatural union of man with God is the more completely effected. Ubi peccata, ibi multitudo”[13]

Benedict XVI’s Thesis on “Hope:”

The supreme topic for the pope is God. The human person is ontologically oriented (“hard-wired”) for the absolute. God is that absolute. To not perceive Him in the world is to frustrate the ontological orientation of the person and to lose hope. Therefore, in line with what is being presented here, Benedict’s theology of Advent is apposite. “Advent tells us that the presence of the Lord has already begun but also that it has only begun. This means that the Christian looks snot only to the past and what has been but also to what is coming. Amid all the catastrophes of this world he has a transcendent certainty that the seed of the light is growing in secret, until some day the good achieves a definitive victory and all else is made subject to it. On that day Christ will come again. The Christian knows that the presence of God which has now only begun will some day be a full and complete presence. This knowledge sets him free and gives him a basic security.”[14]

Already From the Beginning: The Genealogies of Matthew and Luke (Advent):

The point: 1) the God-man did not drop from heaven as a meteor. Ratzinger says: “The man Jesus stands at the beginning of the New Testament, but as one who emerges from the history of mankind. In his genealogy Matthew carefully plots the transition from the long and bewildering history set down in the Old Testament to the new reality that has begun with Jesus Christ. He sums up, as it were, this entire history in three sets of fourteen names and brings it down to him for whose sake alone, in the last analysis, it had existed. He shows that as it traveled its many ways and byways this history was, in the a hidden manner, already bringing forth Christ; that during those centuries it was already, and at every point, one and the same God who was visiting his people and who now, in Jesus Christ, had become a brother to the human race. He brings out the inherent finality of history, which in the last analysis had no higher purpose than to produce this man Jesus. Mankind… exists in order to bring forth Christ. It exists in order to create the context in which the union of God and the world can take place. It lives its life with the purpose of becoming one with God.” [15]

2) Incarnation from the Descent of God, Not the Ascent of Man: “We are tempted to ask: Is that the context into which the Son of God could be born? And the scriptures answer: Yes. But all this is a sign for us. It tells us that the incarnation of God does not result from an ascent on the part of the human race abut from the descent of God. The ascent of man, the attempt to bring forth God by his own efforts and to attain the status of superman – this attempt failed wretchedly back in Paradise [and Babel]. The person who tries to become God by his own efforts, who highhandedly reaches for the stars, always ends up by destroying himself. Thus the wretched course of Israelite history is a sign for us: a sign that it is not through arrogance and self-exaltation that human beings are delivered, but through humility, self-surrender, and service…. Christianity represents a dethronement of religious figures. The thing that counts in Christianity is obedience, humility in the face of God’s word.”

The Genealogy of Luke: “Luke traces Christ’s ancestry back not simply to Abraham but to Adam... He thus makes it clear that the community Jesus has established is not simply a new Israel, a people whom God gathers for himself in this world, but that the mission of Jesus embraces instead the whole of the human race. His mission is not aimed at salvation for one group, one set of people alone, but is directed to the whole race, the entire world. In Jesus Christ the creation o man first attains its true goal; in him the Creator’s conception of man finds its full expression… The face of Jesus Christ shows us clearly what God is, and it also makes visible what man is.”[16]

The Unity of the Old and New Testaments is Jesus Christ: “It becomes clear to us that we Christians do not read the Old Testament for its own sake but always with Christ and through Christ. Consequently the law of Moses, the rituals of purification, the regulations concerning food, and all other such tings are not to be carried out by us; otherwise the biblical Word would be senseless and meaningless. We read all of this not as if it were something complete in itself. We read it with him in whom all things have been fulfilled and in whom all of its validity and truth are revealed. Therefore we read the law, like the creation account, with him; and from him… we know what God wished over the course of centuries to have gradually penetrate the human heart and soul. Christ frees us from the slavery of the letter, and precisely thus does he give back to us, renewed, the truth of the images.

“The ancient church and the church of the Middle Ages also knew this. They knew that the Bible is a whole and that we only understand its truth when we understand it with Christ in mind – with the freedom that he bestowed on us and with the profundity whereby he reveals what is enduring through images. Only at the beginning of the modern era was this dynamic forgotten – this dynamic that is the living unity of Scripture, which we can only understand with Christ… The new historical thinking wanted to read every text in itself, it in its bare literalness… that is, with a view not to Christ but to the probable origins of those texts.”[17]

Hope: The constant thesis of Benedict is that hope emerges when we are able to “see” the face of Christ behind and within the empirically sensible appearance of the secular world. He is present and has always been present. But He is not perceptible except to one who has the inner sensibility that comes from conversion from self to become gift.

John Paul II’s TOB cont’d:

“3. The image contained in the passage quoted from Ephesians seems to speak above all about the sacrament of redemption as the definitive realization of the Mystery hidden from eternity in God. Indeed, in this Mysterium magnum, everything that Ephesians talks about in chapter 1 is definitively realized. It says, in fact, as we remember, not only that `in him (that is, Christ) he has chosen us before the creation of the world to be holy and immaculate before him (Eph 1, 4) John Paul II’s addition), but also, `in whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our sins, according to the riches of his grace. He has abundantly poured it out on us’ (Eph. 1, 7-8). Man’s new supernatural endowment with the gift of grace in the `sacrament of redemption’ is also a new realization of the Mystery hidden from eternity in God, new in comparison with the sacrament of creation. At this moment, endowment with grace is in some sense a `new creation.’ It differs, however, from the sacrament of creation inasmuch as the original gracing, united with the creation of man, constituted that man `from the beginning’ through grace in the state of original innocence and justice. Man’s new gracing in the sacrament of redemption, by contrast, gives him above all the `forgiveness of sins.’ Still, even here `grace’ can `superabound’ as St. Paul expresses himself elsewhere: `Where sin abounded, grace superabounded (Rom. 5, 20).

“4. On the basis of Christ’s spousal love for the Church, the sacrament of redemption – fruit of Christ’s redeeming love – becomes a permanent dimension of the life of the Church herself, a fundamental and life-giving dimension.”[18]

Ratzinger Rejects that Jesus Christ is “Exception” to Man:

Ratzinger points out: “Scholastic theology developed categories of existence out of this contribution given by Christian faith to the human mind [the existential dimension and therefore relation in itself as category of being]. Its defect was that it limited these categories to Christology and to the doctrine of the Trinity and did no make them fruitful in the whole extent of spiritual reality. This seems to me also the limit of St. Thomas in the matter, namely, that within theology he operates… on the level of existence, but treats the whole thing [Trinitarian theology and Christology] as theological exception (my underline), as it were. In philosophy, however, he remains faithful to the different approach of pre-Christian philosophy [the philosophy of substance]. The contribution of Christian faith to the whole of human thought is not realized; it remains at first detached from it as a theological exception, although it is precisely the meaning of this new element to call into question the whole of human thought and to set it on a new course” (underline and bold mine ).

“This brings us to the second misunderstanding that has not allowed the effects of Christology to work themselves out fully. The second great misunderstanding is to see Christ as the simply unique ontological exception, which must be treated as such. This exception is an object of highly interesting ontological speculation, but it must remain separate in its box as an exception to the rule and must no be permitted to mix with the rest of human thought…. This seeming exception is in reality very often the symptom that shows us the insufficiency of our previous schema of order, which helps us to break open this schema and to conquer a new realm of reality. The exception shows us that we have built our closets too small, as it were, and that we must break them open and go on in order to see the whole” [19] (underline mine).

All the theories of redemption don’t get into this atonement from within because they are working with a Greek metaphysic that is static and individualistic. Being has to be understood as “Love” – Agape. In order to be “knowledge” it must first be experience. That is Ratzinger’s core meaning of “for.” To be = to be for – the “pro” – character of existence that is the meaning of Trinity, but also of Christ, and therefore of man. The “analogy of being” stands here as the ground of predicating of Trinity, Christ and man.[20]

If Jesus Christ is the revelation of the meaning of man, then He cannot be an “exception” to man. As we will see below, Jesus Christ has been considered as Trinitarian relation “from above” while man has been considered as individual substance of a rational nature “from below.” As Christ has been considered on the side of the Trinity, He is Subsistent Relation. As man is considered as rational animal, he is substance. Instead of being constitutively relational as image of the divine Persons, man has been considered an individual substance to whom supernatural life as “grace” is added, and thus “elevated.” The lie to this is given in the opening question of both the CCC and the Compendium that speaks of man’s “Capacity for God.” The CCC quotes GS #19: “The dignity of man rests above all on the fact that he is called to communion with God. This invitation to converse with God is addressed to man as soon as he comes into being.” As image of the divine Persons, the human person has “an inner ontological tendency… toward the divine.”[21] The orientation toward the transcendent divine Trinity does not come from grace, but from the ontological structure of having been made in the image of the divine Person, Grace is the affirmation and Love of God that affirms us and gives us the capacity to turn that orientation into act.

Class 2: Errors Concerning the Nature of Salvation/Redemption

I. Gnosticism:[22]

Two Fundamental Options: Gnosticism and Christianity (Creationism)

“(T)he mystery of suffering, of love, of substitutionary redemption, is rejected in favor of a control of the world and of life through knowledge. Love appears too insecure a foundation for life and world. It means one has to depend on something unpredictable and unenforceable, something we cannot certainly make for ourselves, but can only await and receive. What is awaited may fail to appear. It makes me permanently dependent. It seems like a permanent risk factor, a source of insecurity over which I have no control… (L)ove becomes an unbearable feeling of dependence, of subjection. The risk factor must be eliminated…. All we can rely on is what we can control, knowledge, which gives us power over the world”[23] [underline mine].

Knowledge and Power: “The Gnostic option aims at knowledge and at power through knowledge, the only reliable redemption of humankind. Gnosticism will not entrust itself to a world already created, but only to a world still to be created. There is no need for trust, only skill.”[24]

1) Individualism: One saves one’s soul through the exercise of “power” understood as dominion over creation. Knowledge is not to know Being as created by divine Reason and Truth but as a function of art. If one is able to do it, one should do it. Power and its function of dominion becomes the arbiter of good and evil. The great lapsus here is the loss of the sense of creation (Being) and “evidential character” that it imparts to one who can hear it in the experience of the self as being.[25]

a) “Adam reaches for the fruit that promises to give him knowledge of good and evil. The crucial point here is that he is not interested in knowledge as knowledge, as perceiving the real in order to subject himself to it and live from this perception, that is, in accordance with it. The will formed in the conversation with the serpent is turned in just the opposite direction: Adam is looking for knowledge as power. He is not looking for knowledge to understand the language of being better or to listen more accurately and thus be able to obey more faithfully; instead he seeking it because God’s power has become suspicious and because he wants to counter it with equivalent power. He is seeking knowledge because he thinks that only in rebellion will human be free. He himself wants to be a god, and by that he no longer understands having to listen, but only exercising power. Knowledge serves the purpose of taking hold, of dominating. It is purely functional, geared to use and domination. Such power does not entail responsibility, but in only being able and being in charge. Its nature appears to be nothing short of having no one over oneself and referring everything to oneself and one’s own use so that power may become the ‘splendor of power’ [as opposed to the ‘splendor of truth’].”[26]

b) Spe Salvi (#17) “Anyone who reads and reflects on these statements attentively will recognize that a disturbing step has been taken: up to that time, the recovery of what man had lost through the expulsion from Paradise was expected from faith in Jesus Christ: herein lay “redemption”. Now, this “redemption”, the restoration of the lost “Paradise” is no longer expected from faith, but from the newly discovered link between science and praxis. It is not that faith is simply denied; rather it is displaced onto another level—that of purely private and other-worldly affairs—and at the same time it becomes somehow irrelevant for the world. This programmatic vision has determined the trajectory of modern times and it also shapes the present-day crisis of faith which is essentially a crisis of Christian hope. Thus hope too, in Bacon, acquires a new form. Now it is called: faith in progress. For Bacon, it is clear that the recent spate of discoveries and inventions is just the beginning; through the interplay of science and praxis, totally new discoveries will follow, a totally new world will emerge, the kingdom of man.16 He even put forward a vision of foreseeable inventions—including the aeroplane and the submarine. As the ideology of progress developed further, joy at visible advances in human potential remained a continuing confirmation of faith in progress as such.
18. At the same time, two categories become increasingly central to the idea of progress: reason and freedom. Progress is primarily associated with the growing dominion of reason, and this reason is obviously considered to be a force of good and a force for good. Progress is the overcoming of all forms of dependency—it is progress towards perfect freedom. Likewise freedom is seen purely as a promise, in which man becomes more and more fully himself. In both concepts—freedom and reason—there is a political aspect. The kingdom of reason, in fact, is expected as the new condition of the human race once it has attained total freedom. The political conditions of such a kingdom of reason and freedom, however, appear at first sight somewhat ill defined. Reason and freedom seem to guarantee by themselves, by virtue of their intrinsic goodness, a new and perfect human community. The two key concepts of “reason” and “freedom”, however, were tacitly interpreted as being in conflict with the shackles of faith and of the Church as well as those of the political structures of the period. Both concepts therefore contain a revolutionary potential of enormous explosive force.”

Ratzinger’s preliminary conclusion on Gnostic autonomous salvation:

“Humans are dependent. They cannot live except from others and by trust. But there is nothing degrading about dependence when it takes the form of love, for then it is no longer dependence, the diminishing of self through competition with others. Dependence in the form of love precisely constitutes the self as self and sets it free, because love essentially takes the form of saying, ‘I want you to be.’ It is creativity, the only creative power, which can bring forth the other as other without envy or loss of self. Human are dependent – that is the primary truth about them. And because it is, only love can redeem them, for only love transforms dependence into freedom. Thus human beings will only succeed in destroying their own redemption, destroying them selves, if they eliminate love ‘to be on the safe side.’ For humans, the crucified God is the visible certainty that creation is already an expression of love: we exist on the foundation of love. It is therefore a constitutive part of Christian faith to accept mystery as the center of reality, that is to say, to accept love, creation as love, and to make that love the foundation of one’s life.[27]

II. Redemption to Restore Justice: Anselm’s “Satisfaction Theory”

The “satisfaction theory” “was developed by St. Anselm of Canterbury on the threshold of the Middle Ages and moulded the Western consciousness more and more exclusively. Even in its classical form it is not devoid of one-sidedness, but when contemplated in the vulgarized form which has extensively moulded the general consciousness it looks cruelly mechanical and less and less feasible.


“Anselm of Canterbury (c. 1033-1109) had been concerned to deduce the work o Christ by a train of necessary reasons (rationibus necessaries) and thus to show irrefutably that this work had to happen in the precise way I which it in fact did. His argument may be roughly summarized like this: by man’s sin, which was aimed against God, the order of justice was infinitely damaged and God infinitely offended. Behind this is the idea that the measure of the offence is determined by the status of the offended party; if I offend a beggar the consequences are not the same as they would be if I offended a head of state. The importance of the offence varies according to the addressee. Since God is infinite the offence to him implicit in humanity’s sin is also infinitely important. The right thus damaged must be restored, because God is a God order and justice; indeed, he is justice itself. But the measure of the offence demands infinite reparation, which man is not capable of making. He can offend infinitely – his capacity extends that far – but he cannot produce an infinite reparation; what he, as a finite being, gives will always be only finite. His powers of destruction extend further than his capacity to reconstruct. Thus between all the reparations that man may attempt and the greatness of his guilt there remains an infinite gulf which he can never bridge. Any gesture of expiation can only demonstrate his powerlessness to close the infinite gulf which he himself opened up.

“Is order to be destroyed for ever, then, and man to remain eternally imprisoned in the abyss of his guilt? At this point Anselm hits on the figure of Christ. His answer runs thus: God himself removes the injustice; not (as he could) by a simple amnesty, which cannot after all overcome from inside what has happened, but by the infinite Being’s himself becoming man and then as a man – who thus belongs to the race of the offenders yet possesses the power, denied to man, of infinite reparation – making the required expiation. Thus the redemption takes place entirely through grace and at the same time entirely as restoration of the right. Anselm thought he had thereby given a compelling answer to the difficult question of `Cur Deus homo,’ the wherefore of the incarnation and the cross. His view has put a decisive stamp on the second millennium of Western Christendom, which takes it for granted that Christ had to die on the cross in order to make good the infinite offence which had been committed and in this way to restore the damaged order of things.

“Now it cannot be denied that this theory takes account of crucial biblical and human perceptions; anyone who studies it with a little patience will have no difficulty in seeing this. To that extent it will always command respect as an attempt to synthesize the individual elements in the biblical evidence in one great all0embracing system. Is not hard to see that in spite of all the philosophical and juridical terminology employed, the guiding thread remains that truth which the Bible expresses in the little word `For,’ in which it makes clear that we as men live not only directly from God but from one another, and in the last analysis from the One who lived for all. And who could fail to see that thus in the schematization of the `satisfaction’ theory the breath of the biblical idea of election remains clear, the idea that makes election not a privilege of the elected but the call to live for others? It is the call to that `For’ in which man confidently lets himself fall, ceases to cling to himself and ventures on the leap away from himself into the infinite, the leap through which alone he can come to himself. But even if all this is admitted it cannot be denied on the other hand that the perfectly logical divine-cum-human legal system erected by Anselm distorts the perspectives and with its rigid logic can make the image of God appear in a sinister light. We shall have to go into this in detail when we come to talk about the meaning of the cross. For the time being it will suffice to say that things immediately look different when, in place of the division of Jesus into work and person, it becomes clear that with Jesus Christ it is not a question of a piece of work separate from himself, of a feat which God must demand because he himself is under and an obligation to the concept of order; that with him it is not a question… of having, but of being human. And how different things look further on when one picks up the Pauline key, which teaches us to understand Christ as the `last man (’έσχατος Άδάμ: 1 Cor. 15, 45) - the final man, who takes man into his future, which consists of his being not just man but one with God.”[28]

The Cross and Atonement: The New (intrinsic) Priesthood of Jesus Christ.

“What position is really occupied by the cross within faith in Jesus as the Christ… As we have already established, the universal Christian consciousness in this matter is extensively influenced by a much coarsened version of St. Anselm’s theology of atonement, the main lines of which we have considered in another context. To many Christians, and especially to those who only know the faith from a fair distance, it looks as if the cross is to be understood as part of a mechanism of injured and restored right. It is the form, so it seems, in which the infinitely offended righteousness of God was propitiated again by means of an infinite expiation. It thus appears to people as the expression of an attitude which insists on a precise balance between debit and credit; at the same time one gets the feeling that this balance is based on a fiction. One gives first secretly with the left hand what one takes back again ceremonially with the right. The `infinite expiation’ on which God seems to insist thus moves into a doubly sinister light. Many devotional texts actually force one to think that Christian faith in the cross visualizes a God whose unrelenting righteousness demanded a human sacrifice, the sacrifice of his own Son, sinister wrath makes the message of love incredible.

Salvation: If there is nothing in God that is not personal, and the divine Persons are pure relations, then, salvation for man must consist in being in relation. Divinization understood as “salvation” will consist in becoming relational in one’s entire self.

The Metaphysic of “Salvation”

(Joseph Ratzinger)

“(A)t the turn of the fifth century, Christian theology reached the point of being able to express in articulated concepts what is meant in the thesis: God is a being in three persons. In this context, theologians argued, person must be understood as relation. According to Augustine and late patristic theology, the three persons that exist in God are in their nature relations. They are, therefore, not substances that stand next to each other, but they are real existing relations, and noting besides. I believe this idea of the late patristic period is very important. In God, person means relation. Relation, being related, is not something superadded to the person, but it is the person itself. In its nature, the person exists only as relation. Put more concretely, the first person does not generate in the sense that the act of generating a Son is added to the already complete person, but the person is the deed of generating, of giving itself, of streaming itself forth. The person is identical with this act of self-donation.

“One could tus define the first person as self-donation in fruitful knowledge and love; it is not the one who gives himself, in whom the act of self-donation is found, but it is this self-donation, pure reality of act. An idea that appeared again in our century in modern physics is here anticipated: that there is pure act-being. We know that in our century the attempt has been made to reduce matter to a wave, to a pure act of streaming. What may be questionable idea in the context of physics was asserted by theology in the fourth and fifth century about the persons in God, namely, that they are nothing but the act of relativity toward each other. In God, person is the pure relativity of being turned toward the other; it does not lie on the level of substance – the substance is one – but on the level of dialogical reality, of relativity toward the other. In this matter could, Augustine could attempt, at least in outline, to show the interplay between threeness and unity by saying, for example: in Deo nihil secundum accidens dicitur, sed secundum substantiam aut secundum relationem (in God there is nothing accidental, but only substance and relation). Relation is here recognized as a third specific fundamental category between substance and accident, the two great categorical forms of thought in Antiquity. Again we encounter the Christian newness of the personalistic idea in all its sharpness and clarity. The contribution offered by faith to human thought becomes especially clear and palpable here. It was faith that gave birth to this idea of pure act, of poure relativity, which does not lie on the level of substance and does not touch or divine substance; and it was faith that hereby brought the personal phenomenon into view….

“In Johannine theology we find… the formula, ‘The Son cannot do anything of himself’ (5, 19). However, the same Christ who says this says, ‘I and the Father are one’ (10, 30). This means, precisely because he has nothing of himself alone, because he does not place himself as a delimited substance next to the Father, but exists in total relativity toward him, and constitutes nothing but relativity toward him that does not delimit a precinct of what is merely and properly its own – precisely because of this they are one….

“I believe a profound illumination of God as well as man occurs here, the decisive illumination of what person must mean in terms of Scripture: not a substance that closes itself in itself, but the phenomenon of complete relativity, which is, of course, realized in its entirety only in the one who is God, but which indicates the direction of all personal being. The point is thus reached here at which … there is a transition from the doctrine of God into Christology and into anthropology.”

Salvation is Social

(Spe Salvi #13-14)

The Denunciation of Individualism:

The hope of “Heaven” “has been subjected to an increasingly harsh critique in modern times: it is dismissed as pure individualism, a way of abandoning the world to its misery and taking refuge in a private form of eternal salvation. Henri de Lubac, in the introduction to his seminal book Catholicisme. Aspects sociaux du dogme, assembled some characteristic articulations of its viewpoint, one of which is worth quoting: ‘Should I have found joy? No… only my joy, and that is something wildly different… The joy of Jesus can be personal. It can belong to a single man and he is saved. He is at peace… now and always, but he is alone. The isolation of this joy does not trouble him. On the contrary: he is the chosen one! In his blessedness he passes through the battlefields with a rose in his hand.’”

The Apologetic:
“Against this, drawing upon the vast range of patristic theology, de Lubac was able to demonstrate that salvation has always been considered a “social” reality. Indeed, the Letter to the Hebrews speaks of a “city” (cf. 11:10, 16; 12:22; 13:14) and therefore of communal salvation. Consistently with this view, sin is understood by the Fathers as the destruction of the unity of the human race, as fragmentation and division. Babel, the place where languages were confused, the place of separation, is seen to be an expression of what sin fundamentally is. Hence “redemption” appears as the reestablishment of unity, in which we come together once more in a union that begins to take shape in the world community of believers. We need not concern ourselves here with all the texts in which the social character of hope appears. Let us concentrate on the Letter to Proba in which Augustine tries to illustrate to some degree this “known unknown” that we seek. His point of departure is simply the expression “blessed life”. Then he quotes Psalm 144 [143]:15: “Blessed is the people whose God is the Lord.” And he continues: “In order to be numbered among this people and attain to ... everlasting life with God, ‘the end of the commandment is charity that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and sincere faith' (1 Tim 1:5).” 11This real life, towards which we try to reach out again and again, is linked to a lived union with a “people”, and for each individual it can only be attained within this “we”. It presupposes that we escape from the prison of our “I”, because only in the openness of this universal subject does our gaze open out to the source of joy, to love itself—to God.”

“This picture is as false as it is widespread [my emphasis]. In the Bible the cross does not appear as part of a mechanism of injured right; on the contrary, in the Bible the cross is quite the reverse: it is the expression of the radical nature of the love which gives itself completely, of the process in which one is what one does, and does what one is; it is the expression of a life that is completely being for others. To anyone who looks more closely, the scriptural theology of the cross represents a real revolution as compared with the notions of expiation and redemption entertained by non-Christian religions, though it certainly cannot be denied that in the later Christian consciousness this revolution was largely neutralized and its whole scope seldom recognized. In other world religions expiation usually means the restoration of the damaged relationship with God by means of expiatory actions on the part of men. Almost all religions center round the problem of expiation; they arise out of man’s knowledge of his guilt before God and signify the attempt to remove this feeling of guilt, to surmount the guilt through conciliatory actions offered up to God. The expiatory activity by which men hope to conciliate the divinity and to pout him in a gracious mood stands at the heart of the history of religion.

“In the New Testament the situation is almost completely reversed. It is not man who goes to God with a compensatory gift, but God who comes to man, in order to give to him. He restores disturbed right on the initiative of his own power to love, by making unjust man just again, the dead living again, through his own creative mercy. His righteousness to grace; it is active righteousness, which sets crooked man right, that is, bends him straight, makes him right. Here we stand before the twist which Christianity put into the history of religion. The New Testament does not say that men conciliate God, as we really ought to expect, since after all it is they who have failed, not God. It says on the contrary that `God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself’ (2 Cor. 5, 19). This is truly something new, something unheard of – the starting-point of Christian existence and the center of New Testament theology of the cross: God does not wait until the guilty come to be reconciled; he goes to meet them and reconciles them. Here we can see the true direction of the incarnation, of the cross.

“Accordingly, in the New Testament the cross appears primarily as a movement from above to below. It does not stand there as the work of expiation which mankind offers to the wrathful God, but as the expression of that foolish love of God’s which gives itself away to the point of humiliation in order thus to save man; it is his approach to us, not the other way about. With this twist in the idea of expiation, and thus in the whole axis of religion, worship too, man’s whole existence, acquires in Christianity a new direction. Worship follows in Christianity first of all in thankful acceptance of the divine deed of salvation. The essential form of Christian worship is therefore rightly called `Eucharistia,’ thanksgiving. In this form of worship human achievements are not placed before God; on the contrary, it consists in man’s letting himself be endowed with gifts; we do not glorify God by supposedly giving to him out of our resources – as if they were not his already! – but by letting ourselves be endowed with his own gifts and thus recognizing him as the only Lord. We worship him by dropping the fiction of a realm in which we could face him as independent business partners, whereas in truth we can only exist at all in him and from him. Christian sacrifice does not consist in a giving of what God would to have without us but in our becoming totally receptive and letting ourselves be completely taken over by him. Letting God act on us – that is Christian sacrifice.”[29]

Class III: The Mediation of Christ: Prophet, Priest, King
Jesus Christ is God and man in one Person. He mediates between Himself and the Father by assuming the human nature of Jesus of Nazareth as His own. That nature has a human soul endowed with a human intellect, a human will– that becomes laden with all sin (2 Cor. 5, 21) and a human body. There is no human person. The divine Person lives out his ontological relation to the Father through His own human will and obeys to death on the Cross. In this way, we can say that He mediates between Himself and the Father.
We are ontologically gifted to replicate this self-mediation by self-mastery and self-possession in order to make the gift of self (as we have seen in human spousal love).

Priesthood of Christ (Ratzinger)
(In the Trinitarian Metaphysics of Relationality)
“We must acknowledge the novelty of the New Testament to understand the Gospel as Gospel, as Good News; but it is also necessary to learn to perceive properly the unity of salvation history as it progresses in the Old and New Covenants. In its very novelty, the message of Christ and His works together fulfill everything that went before and forma visible center which brings God’s action and us together. If we week the true novelty of the New Testament, Christ Himself stands before us. This novelty consists not so much in new ideas or conceptions – the novelty is a person: God, who becomes man and draws human beings to Himself.
“Even the question regarding what the New Testament has to say about priesthood should begin with Christology. The so-called Liberal Age interpreted the figure of Christ on the basis of its own presuppositions. According to its interpretation Jesus set up pure ethics in opposition to ritually distorted religion; to communal and collective religion He contrasted the freedom and responsibility of the individual person. He Himself is portrayed as the great Teacher of morals who frees man from the bonds of occult and of rite and without other mediations sets him before God alone with his personal conscience. In the second half of our century such views have become wedded to the ideas diffused by Marx: Christ is now described as a revolutionary who sets himself against the power of institutions which lead people into slavery and in this conflict – primarily against the arrogance of the priests – He dies. In this way He is seen primarily as the Liberator of the poor from the oppression of the rich, one who wants to establish the ‘kingdom,’ that is the new society of the free and equal.
“The image of Christ which we encounter in the Bible is a very different one. IPt is clear that we can consider here only those elements which immediately pertain to our problem. The essential fact or in the image of Christ as handed on by the writings of the New Testament consists in His unique relationship with God. Jesus knows that He has a direct mission from God; God’s authority is at work in Him (cf. Mt. 7, 29; 21. 23; Mk. 1, 27; 11, 28; Lk. 20, 2; 24; 24, 19, etc.). He proclaims a message which HE has received from the Father; He has been ‘sent’ with an office entrusted to Him by the Father.
“The Evangelist John clearly presents this theme of the ‘mission’ of the Son who proceeds from the Father – a theme which is always present, however, even in the so-called Synoptic Gospels. A ‘paradoxical’ moment of this mission clearly appears in the formula of John which Augustine so profoundly interpreted: My doctrine is not mine… (7, 16). Jesus has nothing of his own except the Father. His doctrine is not His own, because even He Himself is not His own, but in His entire existence He is, as it were, Son from the Father and directed towards the Father. But for the same reason, because He has nothing of His own, everything that the Father has belongs to Him as well: ‘I and the Father are one’ (10, 30). The giving back o f His whole existence and activity to the Father, an act through which He did not seek His own will (5, 30), made Him credible, because the word of the Father shone through Him like light. Here the mystery of the divine Trinity shines forth which is also the model for our own existence.
“Only from this Christological center can we understand the ministry of the Apostles to which the priesthood of Christ’s Church traces it origin. Towards the beginning of His public life, Jesus created the new figure of 12 chosen men, a figure which is continued after the Resurrection in the ministry of the Apostles – that is, of the ones sent. Of great importance for our question is the fact that Jesus gave His power to the Apostles in such a way that He made their ministry, as it were, a continuation of His own mission. ‘He who receives you receives me,’ He himself says to the Twelve (Mt. 10, 40; cf. Lk. 10, 16; Jn. 13, 100. 6, 7; 13, 34. Many other texts in which Jesus gives His power to the disciples could here be cited: Mt 9:8: 10:1: 21:23; Mk 6:7: 13:34; Lk 4:6: 9:1; 10:19. The continuity between the mission of Jesus and that of the apostles is once again illustrated with great clarity in the Fourth Gospel: "As the Father has sent me, even so I send you" (20:21: cf. 13:20; 17:18).
“The weight of this sentence is evident if we recall what we said above concerning the structure of the mission of Jesus. As we saw, Jesus Himself, sent in the totality of His person, is indeed mission and relation from the Father and to the Father. In this light the great importance of the following parallelism appears: "The Son can do nothing of His own accord" (Jn 5:19-30). "Apart from Me you can do nothing" (Jn 15:5).
“This "nothing" which the disciples share with Jesus expresses at one and the same time both the power and the infirmity of the apostolic ministry. By themselves, of their own strength, they can do none of those things which apostles must do. How could they of their own accord say, "I forgive you your sins"? How could they say, "This is my body"? How could they perform the imposition of hands and say, "Receive the Holy Spirit"? None of those things which constitute apostolic activity are done by one's own authority. But this expropriation of their very powers constitutes a mode of communion with Jesus, who is wholly from the Father, with Him all things and nothing without Him. Their own "nihil posse", their own inability to do anything, draws them into a community of mission with Jesus. Such a ministry, in which a man does and gives through a divine communication what he could never do and give on his own is called by the tradition of the Church a "sacrament".
“If Church usage calls ordination to the ministry of priesthood a "sacrament", the following is meant: This man is in no way performing functions for which he is highly qualified by his own natural ability nor is he doing the things that please him most and that are most profitable. On the contrary, the one who receives the sacrament is sent to give what he cannot give of his own strength; he is sent to act in the person of another, to be his living instrument. For this reason no human being can declare himself a priest; for this reason, too. no community can promote a person to this ministry by its own decree. Only from the sacrament, which belongs to God, can priesthood be received. Mission can only be received from the one who sends, from Christ in His sacrament, through which a person becomes the voice and the hands of Christ in the world. This gift of himself, this renunciation and forgetfulness of self does not however destroy the man; rather, it leads to true human maturity because it assimilates him to the Trinitarian mystery and it brings to life the image according to which we were created. Since we were created in the image of the Trinity, he who loses himself will find himself. But here we have got somewhat ahead of ourselves. In the meantime we have acquired a number of conclusions of great importance. According to the? Gospels, Christ Himself handed on the essential structure of His mission to the apostles, to whom He grants His power and whom He associates with His power. This association with the Lord, by which a man receives the power to do what he cannot do alone is called a sacrament. The new mission created in the choosing of 12 men has a sacramental nature. This structure flows, therefore, from the centre of the biblical message.
“It is obvious that this ministry created by Christ is altogether new and is in no way derived from the Old Testament, but arises from Jesus Christ with new power. The sacramental ministry of the Church expresses the novelty of Jesus Christ and His presence in all phases of history.”[30]

The Asceticism of Christian Priesthood: “Priestly Soul”

The Experience of St. Josemaria Escriva:

Alvaro del Portillo suggested this same theological anthropology on the occasion of the beatification of Josemaria Escriva. Pointing toward the identification with Christ, he cited Furrow (809), “Look – we have to love God not only with our heart but with his,” and then went on to declare, “The identification of his very self with his foundational activity implied that Mons. Escriva perfected himself as a subject – up to the point of living the virtues to a heroic degree – in the measure in which he carried out Opus Dei….”[31] This blends with the constant implicit and explicit teaching of our Father: “Christ’s life is our life, just as he promised his Apostles at the last supper: `If anyone love me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him’ (Jn. 14, 23). That is why a Christian should live as Christ lived, making the affections of Christ his own, so that he can exclaim with St. Paul: `It is now no longer I that live, but Christ lives in me” (Gal. 2. 20).[32] And then more radically: “In the spiritual life, there is no new era to come. Everything is already there, in Christ who died and rose again, who lives and stays with us always. But we have to join him through faith, letting his life show forth in ours to such an extent that each Christian is not simply alter Christus: another Christ, but ipse Christus: Christ himself!”[33] At the same time, this blends with his call to us “hacer el Opus Dei en la tierra, siendo tu mismo Opus Dei.”[34]

The Priestly Soul:

The Overriding vision of our Father: Quiero que todos mis hijos, sacerdotes y seglares, grabéis firmemente en vuestra cabeza y en vuestro corazón algo que no puede considerarse en modo alguno como cosa solamente externa, sino que es, por el contrario, el quicio y el fundamento de nuestra vocación divina.
En todo y siempre hemos de tener – tanto los sacerdotes como los seglares – alma verdaderamente sacerdotal y mentalidad plenamente laical para que podamos entender y ejercitar en nuestra vida personal aquella libertad de que gozamos en la esfera de la Iglesia y en las cosas temporales, considerándonos a un tiempo ciudadanos de la ciudad de Dios (cfr. Ephes. II, 19) y de la ciudad de los hombres.”[35]

The sharing in the priesthood of Christ for our Father pertains to the interiority of being to such an extent that the “mystery of Jesus Christ (is) something which continues to work in our souls. The Christian is obliged to be alter Christus, ipse Christus: another Christ, Christ himself.” [36] He then says: “Through baptism all of us have been made priests of our own existence... Everything we do can be an expression of our obedience to God’s will and so perpetuate the mission of the God-man.”[37]

The Lay Mentality: Freedom
The priestly soul that is self-gift is already the lay mentality that is the freedom of self-determination as we will see below when presenting the anthropology of kingship. To master self is to be liberated from cosmic causalities that would determine me necessarily. The priestly soul is to decide about oneself. That decision to about oneself is the lay mentality. They are two sides of the same coin. See Gaudium et spes #36 on the nature of true autonomy (or “theonomy”): “if by the autonomy of earthly affairs is meant that gradual discovery, exploitation, and ordering of the laws and values of matter and society, then the demand for autonomy is perfectly in order: it is at once the claim of modern man and the desire of the creator.” Secularity is the result of this freedom of autonomy which derives from the assumption of an integral human nature by the divine Logos. The entire Church is then said to be “secular” as dimension. The laity are “secular” as characteristic in that they achieve this freedom of autonomy precisely in the act of self-determination in the exercise of work and family affairs in the world: “The ‘world’ thus becomes the place and the means for the lay faithful to fulfill their Christian vocation because the world itself is destined to glorify God the Father in Christ.” [38] The laity instantiate the Kingdom of God in the world in that they become “Christ Himself” by the free self-determination to be self gift in the exercise of secular work. I would dare say that this is the supreme point disclosure of the mind of Benedict XVI: The Kingdom of God is the Person of Christ and those who have become “other Christs.” As they are in the world in an autonomous and secular mode as “other Christ” (because they are living the gift of self precisely on the occasion and in the exercise of secular work), they are the Kingdom of God that is present in a hidden way and perceptible only by one who is “like” the Christ Who is pure relation to the Father. To pray the work as self gift centered in the Mass as instantiation of Calvary is to be Christ crucified within the world.
Prophet: The prophetic character of Christ is the identification of His Word with Himself (Who is Word of the Father). Ratzinger said: “Jesus did not leave behind him (again as the faith expressed in the Creed understood it) a body of teaching that could be separated from his ‘I,’ as one can collect and evaluate the ideas of great thinkers without going into the personalities of the thinkers themselves. The Creed offers no teachings of Jesus; evidently no one even conceived the – to us – obvious idea of attempting anything like this, because the operative understanding pointed in a completely different direction. Similarly, as faith understood the position, Jesus did not perform a work that could be distinguished from his ‘I’ and depeicted separately. On the contrary, to understand him as the Christ means to be convinced that he has put himself into his word. Here he has identified himself so closely with his word that ‘I’ and word are indistinguishable: he is word. In the same way, to faith, his work is nothing else than the unreserved way in which he merges himself into this very work; he performs himself and gives himself; his work is the giving of himself.”[39]

The Word of Christ (Ratzinger)

“But we must go a step further. Jesus does not convey a knowledge that is independent from his own person, as any teacher or storyteller would do. He is something different from, and more than, a Rabbi. As his preaching unfolds, it becomes ever clearer that his parables refer to himself, that the “Kingdom” and his person belong together, that the Kingdom comes in his person. The decision that he demands is a decision about how one stands toward him, as with Peter, who said, “You are the Christ” (Mark 8:29). Ultimately, the message of his preaching about the Kingdom of God turns out to be quite clearly Jesus’ own Paschal mystery, his destiny of death and resurrection. We see this, for example, in the parable of the murderous vine-dressers (Mark 12:1-11). Word and reality are here intertwined in a new way: the parable arouses the anger of his adversaries, who do everything the parable says. They kill the son. This means that the parables would be void of meaning, were it not for the living person of the incarnate Son who has “come out [ex¯elthon] for this” (Mark 1:38), who “was sent” from the Father (Mark 12:6). The parables would be empty without a confirmation of his word by the Cross and the Resurrection. We now understand that Jesus’ preaching can be called “sacramental” in a deeper sense than we could have seen before. His word contains in itself the reality of the Incarnation and the theme of the Cross and the Resurrection. It is “deed/word” in this very profound sense, instructing the Church in the mutual dependence of preaching and the Eucharist, and in the mutual dependence, as well, of preaching and an authentic, living witness.
We take yet another step forward with the Paschal vision St. John presents us in his Gospel. Peter had said that Jesus is the Christ. John now adds that Jesus Christ is the Logos. He himself is the eternal Word of the Father, who is with God and who is God (John 1:1). In him, this Word became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14). In Christian preaching, one is not dealing with words, but with the Word. “When we speak of the ministry of the word of God, the inter-Trinitarian relation is also understood.” 3 Yet at the same time, “this ministry participates in the function of the Incarnation.” 4 It has rightly been pointed out that the fundamental difference between the preaching of Jesus and the lessons of the Rabbis consists precisely in the fact that the “I” of Jesus—that is, he himself—is at the center of his message. 5 But we must also remember that Jesus himself understood that what especially characterized his speaking, was that he was not speaking “in his own name” (cf. John 5:43 & 7:16). His “I” is totally open to the “Thou” of the Father; it does not remain in itself, but takes us inside the very life of the Trinity. This means that the Christian preacher will not speak about himself, but will become Christ’s own voice, by making way for the Logos, and leading, through communion with the Man Jesus, to communion with the living God.
This brings us back to the Vatican II Decree on the Priesthood. It emphasizes a common characteristic found in all forms of preaching. The priest should never teach his own wisdom. What always matters is the word of God that impels towards truth and holiness (no. 4). With St. Paul as a model, the ministry of the word demands that the priest divest himself profoundly of his own self: “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Gal. 2:20).
I would like to recall now an episode from the early days of Opus Dei, which illustrates the point. A young woman had the opportunity to listen for the first time to a talk given by Fr. Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei. She was very curious to hear a famous preacher. But after participating in a Mass he celebrated, she no longer wanted to listen to a human orator. She recounted later that from that moment on, her only interest was to discover the word and will of God.
The ministry of the word requires that the priest share in the kenosis of Christ, in his “increasing and decreasing.” The fact that the priest does not speak about himself, but bears the message of another, certainly does not mean that he is not personally involved, but precisely the opposite: it is a giving-away-of-the-self in Christ that takes up the path of his Easter mystery, and leads to a true finding-of-the-self, and communion with him who is the Word of God in person. This Paschal structure of the “not-self” that turns out to be the “true self” after all, shows, in the last analysis, that the ministry of the Word reaches beyond all “functions” to penetrate the priest’s very being, and presupposes that the priesthood is a sacrament.”[40]

Christ as King

What is Kingship in Christ and therefore in us?

“One element seems to stand out in the midst of all these riches: the sharing in Christ’s kingly mission, that is to say the fact of rediscovering in oneself and others the special dignity of our vocation that can be described as `kingship.’ This dignity is expressed in readiness to serve, in keeping with the example of Christ, who came not to be served but to serve.’ If, in the light of this attitude of Christ’s, `being a king’ is truly possible only by `being a servant,’ then `being a servant’ also demands so much spiritual maturity that it must really be described as `being a king.’ In order to be able to serve others worthily and effectively we must be able to master ourselves, possess the virtues that make this mastery possible. Our sharing in Christ’s kingly mission – His `kingly function’ (munus) – closely lined with every sphere of both Christian and human morality…. It is precisely the principle of the `kingly service’ that imposes on each one of us, in imitation of Christ’s example, the duty to demand of himself exactly what we have been called to, what we have personally obliged ourselves to by God’s grace, in order to respond to our vocation.”[41]

The Dynamic of Kingship must first be exercised in the self as self-mastery. This is Kingship. Only he who can master self owns self, and is therefore capable of the gift of self, since you can’t give what you don’t have. The following is the anthropological dynamic of John Paul II:

“In Vatican II's Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes, we read that "the human being, who is the only creature on earth that God willed for itself, cannot fully find himself or herself except through a disinterested gift of himself or herself" (24)….

“As I said earlier, in the experience of self-determination the human person stands revealed before us as a distinctive structure of self-possession and self-governance. Neither the one nor the other, however, implies being closed in on oneself. On the contrary, both self-possession and self-governance imply a special disposition to make a "gift of oneself," and this a "disinterested" gift. Only if one possesses oneself can one give oneself and do this in a disinterested way. And only if one governs oneself can one make a gift of oneself, and this again a disinterested gift. The problematic of disinterestedness certainly deserves a separate analysis, which it is not my intention to present here. An understanding of the person in categories of gift, which the teaching of Vatican II reemphasizes, seems to reach even more deeply into those dimensions brought to light by the foregoing analysis. Such an understanding seems to disclose even more fully the personal structure of self-determination.

“Only if one can determine oneself—as I attempted to show earlier—can one also become a gift for others. The Council's statement that "the human being...cannot fully find himself or herself except through a disinterested gift of himself or herself" allows us to conclude that it is precisely when one becomes a gift for others that one most fully becomes oneself. This "law of the gift," if it may be so designated, is inscribed deep within the dynamic structure of the person. The text of Vatican II certainly draws its inspiration from revelation, in the light of which it paints this portrait of the human being as a person. One could say that this is a portrait in which the person is depicted as a being willed by God "for itself" and, at the same time, as a being turned "toward" others. This relational portrait of the person, however, necessarily presupposes the immanent (and indirectly "substantial") portrait that unfolds before us from an analysis of the personal structure of self-determination….

“I have attempted, however, even in this short presentation, to stress the very real need for a confrontation of the metaphysical view of the person that we find in St. Thomas and in the traditions of Thomistic philosophy with the comprehensive experience of the human being. Such a confrontation will throw more light on the cognitive sources from which the Angelic Doctor derived his metaphysical view. The full richness of those sources will then become visible. At the same time, perhaps we will better be able to perceive points of possible convergence with contemporary thought, as well as points of irrevocable divergence from it in the interests of the truth about reality.”[42]

In a word, one can become ipse Christus-Rex by the exercise of self-mastery whereby one exercises kingship over self and therefore freedom: “The Crucified Christ reveals the authentic meaning of freedom; he lives it fully in the total gift of himself and calls his disciples to share I his freedom.”[43] It is the same dynamic that is the mediation of priesthood: mediation by self-mastery, self-possession, self-gift.

Catechism of the Catholic Church:
1548 “Christ is the source of all priesthood: the priest of the old law was a figure of Christ, and the priest of the new law acts in the person of Christ.”[44]
1544 The revelation of priesthood is mediation: “Everything that the priesthood of the Old Covenant prefigured finds its fulfillment in Christ Jesus, the `one mediator between God and men’ (1 Tim 2, 5).”
Mediation: The topic of mediation and the anthropology explaining it is decisive in understanding the meaning of priesthood in the Old Law and in the New Law. St. Paul works up the contrast between the Levitical priesthood that is by carnal descent and the priesthood of Christ that points beyond the Mosaic Law to its origin in the priesthood of Melchisedech. “Christ is like Melchizedek in having no human father, for no genealogy is given of Melchizedek (Heb certainly did not intend to imply that Melchizedek was unbegotten, but seizes upon this external similarity as a point of illustration). Therefore Christ, unlike priests of the line of Aaron, is priest by divine appointment and not by descent. But Abraham, the carnal ancestor of Aaron, recognized the priesthood of Melchizedek by giving him tithes and receiving his blessing; therefore the priesthood descended from Abraham had to await the greater priesthood which its ancestor had recognized. This priesthood is that of Christ.”[45] This priesthood as mediation is presented by St. Paul as being intrinsic to Christ as offering or giving Himself, rather than extrinsic as between individual entities.[i]
The Intrinsic Mediation that is Christology
“The Logos adopts the being of the man Jesus into his own being and speaks of it in terms of his own I: `For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me’ (Jn. 6, 38). In the Son’s obedience, where both wills become one single Yes to the will of the Father, communion takes place between human and divine being. The `wondrous exchange,’ the `alchemy of being,’ is realized here as a liberating and reconciling communication, which becomes a communion between Creator and creature. It is in the pain of this exchange, and only here, that the fundamental change takes place in man, the change that alone can redeem him and transform the condition of the world. Here community is born, here the Church comes into being. The act whereby we participate in the Son’s obedience, which involves man’s genuine transformation, is also the only really effective contribution toward renewing and transforming society and the world as a whole.”[46]
Magisterium (forging a new metaphysics: “The Parrhesia of faith must be matched by the boldness of reason:” Fides et ratio #48)

The text of Chalcedon (451):

“Therefore, following the holy fathers, we all teach that with one accord we confess one and the same son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in human nature, truly God and the same with a rational soul and a body truly man, consubstantial with the Father according to divinity, and consubstantial with us, according to human nature, like unto us in all things except sin,; indeed born of the Father before the ages according to divine nature, but in the last days the same born of the virgin Mary, Mother of God according to human nature; for us and for our deliverance, one and the same Christ only begotten Son our Lord, acknowledged in two natures, without mingling, without change, indivisibly, undividedly, the distinction of the natures nowhere removed on account of the union but rather the peculiarity of each nature being kept, and uniting in one person and substance, not divided or separated into two persons, but one and the same son only begotten God Word, Lord Jesus Christ, just as from the beginning the prophets taught about Him and the Lord Jesus Himself taught us, and the creed of our fathers has handed down to us.”

The Text of Constantinople III (680-681):

“And we proclaim equally two natural volitions or wills in him and two natural principles of action which undergo no division, no change, no partition, no confusion, in accordance with the teaching of the holy fathers. And the two natural wills not in opposition, as the impious heretics said, far from it, but his human will following, and not resisting or struggling, rather in fact subject to his divine and all powerful will. For the will of the flesh had to be moved, and yet to be subjected to the divine will, according to the most wise Athanasius. For just as his flesh is said to be and is flesh of the Word of God, so too the natural will of his flesh is said to and does belong to the Word of God, just as he says himself: I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of the Father who sent me, calling his own will that of his flesh, since his flesh too became his own. For in the same way that his all holy and blameless animate flesh was not destroyed in being made divine but remained in its own limit and category, so his human will as well was not destroyed by being made divine, but rather was preserved, according to the theologian Gregory, who says: "For his willing, when he is considered as saviour, is not in opposition to God, being made divine in its entirety"… Therefore, protecting on all sides the "no confusion" and "no division", we announce the whole in these brief words: Believing our lord Jesus Christ, even after his incarnation, to be one of the holy Trinity and our true God, we say that he has two natures [naturas] shining forth in his one subsistence[subsistentia] in which he demonstrated the miracles and the sufferings throughout his entire providential dwelling here, not in appearance but in truth, the difference of the natures being made known in the same one subsistence in that each nature wills and performs the things that are proper to it in a communion with the other; then in accord with this reasoning we hold that two natural wills and principles of action meet in correspondence for the salvation of the human race.

The key to understanding the unity of the divine and human in Christ is to understand that there is one divine Person Who has taken the humanity of the man Jesus of Nazareth epitomized in the human will as His own. It is critical to understand that it is not the will that wills, but the person. That is, the divine Person wills with His own human will. Only this can make sense of Jn. 6, 38: “For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me.” The divine “I” does not do His own human will, but that of the Father. The dynamic of self-mastery consists in the Person subduing the human will that has been “made to be sin” (2 Cor. 5, 21). [47] In a word, this is the radical self-gift of the Son as God-man.
Put more clearly, the relation of the divine and the human in Christ is not a parallelism of two natures bound together by the commonality of a Person as substance in itself. Rather, it is the compenetration of the divine and the human by the fact that the divine Person has taken the human will as His own and He, the divine Person, wills with the human will. The result is the “compenetration” of the two “wills,” the divine and the human because it is one and the same Person doing the willing.
And yet, the human will does not lose its autonomy and freedom, but rather has it radically enhanced by the fact that it is a divine Person living out the Trinitarian relation to the Father, now as man with a human will.

The Metaphysics of Mediation: Jesus of Nazareth is Jesus the Christ

The enfleshed Logos – the Person of Christ - is pure relation to the Father. If extended to anthropology, this would mean that the enfleshed Logos in the exercise of activity such as speaking doing would be word and deed. He would not act and speak as “accidental” performances extrinsic to His Being, but would be His very “substantial” Being. He Himself would be His word and deed. He would speak Himself and perform Himself; which is another way of saying that He is Self-gift. The truth of Christ is this divine, relational-mysterious Person Who cannot be divided up conceptually.[48]

Priest, Prophet and King: Since the Person of Christ is pure relation to the Father, his work and his word are his very Self.

Person as Self-gift:

As we saw in the notion of “person” in the Trinity, the Greek metaphysic of “substance” and “accident” was exploded in the uptake of conceptual thought into the Christian consciousness of the Person of Christ. This was already the work of the Council of Nicea (325) in its struggle with Gnostic Arianism where the Father and the Son were irreducibly distinct persons but equal in the dignity of God. They are equal, but not the same.

Such a state of affairs could be explained by recourse to a metaphysic other than substance which is available to us in the experience of spousal self-giving where the very “I” of husband and wife are given away in the uniqueness of spousal love.[49] This has not been able to be appreciated until now due to the undisclosed ontological density of the irreducible “I.” The “I” has been masked throughout modern thought as consciousness and hence having no ontological density. It was not until the discovery and turn to the phenomenological method that internal experiences were evaluated to be no less objective than sensible experience. It was Karol Wojtyla who crafted precisely a description of the experience of the “I” as being in his “Acting Person.”

When this notion of self-gift is applied to Christ, we find the very name Jesus Christ is already a melding of being and function. The word “Christ” is not a name but title. Ratzinger says that “the Christian community at Rome, which formulated our Creed, was still completely aware of the significance of the of word’s content. The transformation into a mere proper name, which it is for us today, was certainly complete at a very early period, but here ‘Christ’ is still used as the definition of what this Jesus is. The fusion with the name Jesus is well advanced, it is true; we stand here at the last stage, so to speak, in the change of meaning of the word Christ.”[50]
The Present Figure of Christ:

Keep in mind that “the question of Jesus is really the question on which the Church stands or falls, that that Man is the center of everything. It means to know that the figure of Jesus is in danger, in the sense that, on one hand, there is a faith that tends to obscure His true identity (think of the protests aroused by Dominus Jesus, not outside the Church, but within), and, on the other hand, a manifest refusal. The Pope felt the dramatic urgency expressed in these attitudes. He wanted to tackle them head-on, presenting Jesus in His essentials. He did this with a book, a universal instrument that can reach everyone, without filtering and mediation.”[51]

Distortion of the Figure of Christ (Benedict XVI): “(I)t is disturbing to note that, within Christianity itself, Christology has been losing its meaning. It started with the effort to rediscover the man Jesus behind the gilded background of dogma [the modernist crisis], to return to the simplicity of the Gospels. Of course, it quickly became evident that the figure of Jesus in the Gospels cannot be reduced to that of a bland philanthropist – that precisely the Jesus of the Gospels, too, bursts open the framework of what is merely human, posing questions and demanding decisions that challenge man to the very depths of his soul. And so it became necessary then to pick and choose even in the Gospels themselves, in order to find a little consolation and not be exposed to any disturbance of one’s own world view., Today in broad circles, even among believers, an image has prevailed of a Jesus who demands nothing, never scolds, who accepts everyone and everything, who no longer does anything but affirm us; the perfect opposite of the Church, to the extent that she still dares to make demands and regulations….

“The presence of the figure of Jesus itself is becoming diminished – also with regard to the non-Christian contemporaries who surround us; the figure is transformed from the ‘Lord’ (a word that is avoided) into a man who is nothing more than the advocate of all men. The Jesus who makes everything okay for everyone is a phantom, a dream, not a real figure. The Jesus of the Gospels is certainly not convenient for us. But it is precisely in this way that he answers the deepest question of our existence, which – whether we want to or not – keeps us on the lookout for God, for a gratification that is limitless, for the infinite. We must again set out on the way to this real Jesus.”[52]

The way to set out to find the real living Jesus is to live Him. In 2000, Ratzinger wrote “The New Evangelization” wherein he spelled out: “There is no access to Jesus without the Baptist; there is no possibility of reaching Jesus without answering the call of the precursor” to convert. “The Greek word for converting means: to rethink – to question one’s own and common way of living; to allow God to enter into the criteria of one’s life; to not merely judge according to the current opinions. Thereby, to convert means: not to live as all the others live…to look for a new style of life, a new life… all this does not simply imply moralism; reducing Christianity to morality loses sight of the essence of Christ’s message: the gift of a new friendship, the gift of communion with Jesus and thereby with God. Whoever converts to Christ does not mean to create his own moral autarchy for himself, does not intend to build his own goodness through his own strengths.
‘Conversion’ (metanoia) means exactly the opposite: to come out of self sufficiency to discover and accept our indigence – the indigence of others and of the Other, his forgiveness, his friendship. Unconverted life is self-justification (I am not worse than the others); conversion is humility in entrusting oneself to the love of the Other, a love that becomes the measure and the criteria of my own life.”[53]

[1] J. Ratzinger, “‘In the Beginning…’” Eerdmans (1995) 98-99.
[2] “In recording the first creation of man, Moses before all others says, `And God said, Let us make man in our own image and likeness.’ Then he adds afterwards, `And God made man; in the image of God made he him; male and female made he them, and he blessed them.’ Now the fact that he said `he made him in the image of God’ and was silent about the likeness points to nothing else but this, that man received the honor of God’s image in his first creation, whereas the perfection of God’s likeness was reserved for him at the consummation. The purpose of this was that man should acquire it for himself by his own earnest efforts to imitate God, so that while the possibility of attaining perfection was given to him in the beginning through the honor of the `image,’ he should in the end through the accomplishment of these works obtain for himself the perfect likeness;” Origen, On First Principles 3, 6, 1 (244).
[3] John Paul II, “The Theology of the Body, A New Translation Based on the John Paul II Archives” by Michael Waldstein, #96, “Marriage as te Primordial Sacrament” Pauline Books and Media (2006) 505.
[4] “Blessed by God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens. In him he has chosen us before the foundation of the world to be holy and immaculate in his sight in love, predestining us to be his adoptive sons through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise and glory of his grace that he gave us in his beloved Son
[5] John Paul II, TOB op. cit. 507.
[6] Ibid. 506-507.
[7] Ibid. 507-509.
[8] “What is grace? This question thrusts itself upon our text [Our Lady, “full of grace”]. Our religious mentality has reified this concept much too much; it regards grace as a supernatural something we carry about in our soul. And since we perceive very little of it, or nothing at all, it has gradually become irrelevant to us, an empty word belonging to Christian jargon, which seems to have lost any relationship to the lived reality of our everyday life. In reality, grace is a relational term: it does not predicate something about an I, but something about a connection between I and Thou, between god and man;” Hans Urs von Balthasar, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, “Mary at the Source of the Church,” Ignatius (2005) 67.
[9] John Paul II, “The Theology of the Body,” op. cit. 504-507.
[10] Christopher West, “The Theology of the Body Explained,” Pauline Books and Media (2003) 347.
[11] Ibid 348.
[12] Henri de Lubac, “Catholicism” Sheed and Ward (1958) 5.
[13] Ibid 5-6
[14] J. Ratzinger, “Dogma and Preaching,” Franciscan Herald Press (1985) 72-73.
[15] Ibid 19-20.
[16] Ibid 22-23.
[17] J. Ratzinger, “ ‘In the Beginning…’” Eerdmans (1990) 16-17.
[18] John Paul II, “The Theology of the Body,” op. cit. 507-509.
[19] J. Ratzinger, “Concerning the Notion of Person in Theology,” op. cit. 17 (Fall 1990) 449.
[20] Ponder this observation of von Balthasar: “It might … seem that it would be getter to abandon any attempt to speak and think of God if he always remains – even when he reveals himself – a wholly and then most truly unknown. But we no longer have authority to do this, for he came to us in an event – which had its climax in Jesus Christ – of such self-giving, defenseless, inviting power (or powerlessness) that we understand at least so much: he wants to be for us, he wants to gather us into the abyss of his own inner Trinitarian love. We do know that this love is in no sense the I itself, that it is also not the We of fellow humanity; we experience, further, that it addresses me and us as you; it is indisputable that Jesus teaches us to reply to this address of love also with you; that we may and must entrust ourselves to it unconditionally is the mounting demand of the whole Bible and this demand is justified with the `proof’ which God has given of his love to the world (Jn. 3, 16; 1 Jn. 4, 9).” Further on, he said: “(Christians today) may neither on the one hand push God away into a realm of inaccessible transcendence which then ultimately becomes a matter of indifference for them, nor on the other hand so draw the human being into the historicity of the world that freedom over the world is forfeited and they fall victim to human gnosis” The von Balthasar Reader, Crossroad (1997) 186-187.
[21] J. Ratzinger, “Conscience and Truth,” Proceedings of the Tenth Bishops’ Workshop, Dallas, Texas , The Pope John Center, (1991) 20.
[22] The foundations of modernity according to Ratzinger: Renaissance as the restoration of the Greek: 1) Giordano Bruno: that the world depend on creation deprives it of “power” and therefore an impediment to freedom; 2) Galileo: restoration of the platonic mathematical as the meaning of the real. Nature is mathematics. Nature (mathematics) replaces creation and is the object of science. The self and everything else is subjective, and is arbitrary, private and unworthy of knowledge. God dwindles as mere first cause; 3) Luther: get rid of the Greek. Therefore get rid of “being” and creation. Redemption takes place when there is liberation from being. Ratzinger sums up: “for the modern age, the dualism becomes typically one between ‘divine geometry, on the one hand, and a world of intrinsic corruption, on the other.”
[23] J. Ratzinger, “‘In the Beginning…’” Eerdmans (1995) 96-97.
[24] Ibid 97.
[25] There was a conviction “that was common to almost the whole of mankind before the modern period, the conviction that man’s Being contains an imperative; the conviction that he does not himself invent morality on the basis of calculations of expedience but rather finds it already present in the essence of things. Log before the outbreak of terrorism and the invasion by drugs, the English author and philosopher C.S. Lewis pointed to the fatal danger of the abolition o man that lies in the collapse of the foundations of our morality, emphasizing the evidential character of mankind as a whole on which the existence of man qua man rests. He reviews all the great cultures to show the existence of the evidential character…. ‘This thing which I have called for convenience the Tao, and which others may call Natural Law or Traditional Morality or the First Principles of Practical Reason or the First Platitudes, is not one among a series of possible systems of value. It is the sole source of all value judgements. If it is rejected, all value is reject4ed. If any value is retained, it is retained. The effort to refute it and raise a new system of value in its place is self-contradictory’ (Lewis, “The Abolition of Man” 56);” J. Ratzinger, “Turning Point For Europe,” Ignatius (1994) 29-31.
[26] J. Ratzinger, “God’s Power, Our Hope,” in A New Song for the Lord, Crossroad (1996) 43-44.
[27] J. Ratzinger, “‘In the Beginning…’” Eerdmans (1995) 98-99.
[28] J. Ratzinger, “Introduction to Christianity,” op. cit. 172-174.
[29] J. Ratzinger, “Introduction…” op. cit. 213-215.
[30] J. Ratzinger, Given at the Synod of Bishops, October 1, 1990.
[31] Alvaro del Portillo, L’Osservatore Romano, N. 21 – 27 May 1992, 6.
[32] Josemaria Escriva, Christ is Passing By, Scepter (1990) #103.
[33] Ibid. #104.
[34] Prologue to the Catecismo de la Obra.
[35] Carta, 2-II-1945, n. 1 in Cronica II- 1993, 69.
[36] Josemaria Escriva, Christ is Passing By, Scepter (1982) #96: Todos, por el Bautismo, hemos sido constituidos sacerdotes de nuestra propia existencia. The English translation says, “life,” but “existencia” in the Spanish implies the entire self.
[37] Ibid
[38] Christifideles Laici #15.
[39] Ibid. 149-150.
[40] J. Ratzinger, “The Ministry and Life of Priests” October 1995, 1.2; reprinted in Homileticand Pastoral Review, August-September 1997.
[41] Redemptor Hominis #21.
[42] Karol Wojtyla, “The Personal Structure of Self-Determination “ in Person and Community Lang (1993) 193-195.This paper was presented by then-Cardinal Karol Wojtyla at an international conference on St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome and Naples, 17-24 April 1974.
[43] Veritatis Splendor #85.
[44] St. Thomas Aquinas, S. Th. III, 22, 4c.
[45] John L. McKenzie, Dictionary of the Bible, Bruce Publishing. Co. (1965) 563.
[46] J. Ratzinger, “Behold the Pierced One,” Ignatius (1986) 92-93.
[47] “Made to be sin” is to enter into the loneliness of sin as the rejection of the Triune God, and therefore of the others. This is Benedict’s interpretation of Jesus death cry, `My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ (Mark 15, 34) which is the first and only time that Jesus refers to the Father as “El” and not as “Abba.” Benedict says: “In this last prayer of Jesus , as in the scene on the Mount of Olives, what appears as the innermost heart of his passion is not any physical pain but radical loneliness, complete abandonment;” “Introduction to Christianity,” op. cit 227.
[48] Sandro Magister reported that “Benedict XVI proposed that Christianity is so divided because of a rivalry expressed in ‘prophetic actions’ that tend to distinguish and divide the communities from ‘communion with the Church in every age,’ and because of ‘a relativistic approach to Christian doctrine similar to that found in secular ideologies.’
“So instead of preaching Jesus Christ ‘and him crucified’ (1 Cor. 2, 2) – meaning the ‘objective truth’ of the apostolic faith – many Christians of the various denominations prefer to urge each one to follow his own conscience and choose the community that best meets his personal tastes. In the judgment of Benedict XVI, this reluctance to assert the centrality of doctrine ‘for fear that it would only exacerbate rather than heal the wounds of division’ is also present within the ecumenical movement.
“On the contrary, this is the appeal of the Pope: ‘Only be “holding fast” to sound teaching (2 Thess. 2, 15; cf. Rev. 2, 12-29) will we be able t respond to the challenges that confront us in an evolving world. Only in this way will we give unambiguous testimony to the truth of the Gospel and itrs moral teaching. This is the message which the world is waiting to hear from us.’ This appeal is relevant ‘at a time when the world is losing its bearings and needs a persuasive common witness to the saving power of the Gospel (cf. Rom. 1, 18-23);” Inside the Vatican May 2008, 29.
[49] “Spousal love differs from all the aspects or forms of love analyzed hitherto. Its decisive character is the giving of one’s own person (to another). The essence of betrothed love is self-giving, the surrender of one’s ‘I.’ This is something different from and more than attraction, desire or even goodwill. These are all ways by which one person goes out towards another, but none of them can take him as far in his quest for the good of the other as does spousal love. ‘To give oneself to another’ is something more than merely ‘desiring what is good’ for another – even if as a result of this another ‘I’ becomes as it were my own, as it does in friendship. Spousal love is something different from and more than all the forms of love so far analyzed, both as it affects the individual subject, the person who loves, and as regards the interpersonal union which it creates. When betrothed love enters into this interpersonal relationship something more than friendship results: two people give themselves each to the other;” Karol Wojtyla, “Love and Responsibility,” Ignatius (1990) 96.
[50] J. Ratzinger, “Introduction to Christianity,” Ignatius (1990) 149.
[51] Sandro Magister, “He Reminds Me of St. Augustine,” Traces No. 4, 2008, 19.
[52] J. Ratzinger, “On the Way to Jesus Christ,” Forward, 7-8.
[53] J. Ratzinger, “Address to Catechists and Religion Teachers,” Jubilee of Catechists, 12 December 2000.
[i] Hebrews Chapter 7: The priesthood of Christ according to the order of Melchisedech excels the Levitical priesthood and puts an end both to that and to the law. 7:1. For this Melchisedech was king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him: 7:2. To whom also Abraham divided the tithes of all: who first indeed by interpretation is king of justice: and then also king of Salem, that is, king of peace: 7:3. Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but likened unto the Son of God, continueth a priest for ever. Without father, etc. Not that he had no father, etc., but that neither his father, nor his pedigree, nor his birth, nor his death, are set down in scripture. 7:4. Now consider how great this man is, to whom also Abraham the patriarch gave tithes out of the principal things. 7:5. And indeed they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is to say, of their brethren: though they themselves also came out of the loins of Abraham. 7:6. But he, whose pedigree is not numbered among them, received tithes of Abraham and blessed him that had the promises. 7:7. And without all contradiction, that which is less is blessed by the better. 7:9. And (as it may be said) even Levi who received tithes paid tithes in Abraham: 7:10. For he was yet in the loins of his father when Melchisedech met him. 7:11. If then perfection was by the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need was there that another priest should rise according to the order of Melchisedech: and not be called according to the order of Aaron? 7:12. For the priesthood being translated, it is necessary that a translation also be made of the law, 7:13. For he of whom these things are spoken is of another tribe, of which no one attended on the altar. 7:14. For it is evident that our Lord sprung out of Juda: in which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priests. 7:15. And it is yet far more evident: if according to the similitude of Melchisedech there ariseth another priest, 7:16. Who is made, not according to the law of a law of a carnal commandment, but according to the power of an indissoluble life. 7:17. For he testifieth: Thou art a priest for ever according to the order of Melchisedech. 7:18. There is indeed a setting aside of the former commandment, because of the weakness and unprofitableness thereof: 7:19. For the law brought nothing to perfection: but a bringing in of a better hope, by which we draw nigh to God. 7:20. And inasmuch as it is not without an oath (for the others indeed were made priests without an oath: 7:21. But this with an oath, by him that said unto him: The Lord hath sworn and he will not repent: Thou art a priest forever). 7:22. By so much is Jesus made a surety of a better testament. 7:23. And the others indeed were made many priests, because by reason of death they were not suffered to continue: Many priests, etc... The apostle notes this difference between the high priests of the law, and our high priest Jesus Christ; that they being removed by death, made way for their successors; whereas our Lord Jesus is a priest for ever, and hath no successor; but liveth and concurreth for ever with his ministers, the priests of the new testament, in all their functions. Also, that no one priest of the law, nor all of them together, could offer that absolute sacrifice of everlasting redemption, which our one high priest Jesus Christ has offered once, and for ever. 7:24. But this, for that he continueth for ever, hath an everlasting priesthood: 7:25. Whereby he is able also to save forever them that come to God by him; always living to make intercession for us. Make intercession... Christ, as man, continually maketh intercession for us, by representing his passion to his Father. 7:26. For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners, and made higher than the heavens: 7:27. Who needeth not daily (as the other priests) to offer sacrifices, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, in offering himself. 7:28. For the law maketh men priests, who have infirmity: but the word of the oath (which was since the law) the Son who is perfected for evermore. Hebrews Chapter 8: More of the excellence of the priesthood of Christ and of the New Testament. 8:1. Now of the things which we have spoken, this is the sum: We have such an high priest who is set on the right hand of the throne of majesty in the heavens, 8:2. A minister of the holies and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord hath pitched, and not man. The holies... That is, the sanctuary. 8:3. For every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is necessary that he also should have some thing to offer. 8:4. If then he were on earth, he would not be a priest: seeing that there would be others to offer gifts according to the law. If then he were on earth, etc... That is, if he were not of a higher condition than the Levitical order of earthly priests, and had not another kind of sacrifice to offer, he should be excluded by them from the priesthood, and its functions, which by the law were appropriated to their tribe. 8:5. Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things. As it was answered to Moses, when he was to finish the tabernacle: See (saith he) that thou make all things according to the pattern which was shewn thee on the mount. Who serve unto, etc... The priesthood of the law and its functions were a kind of an example and shadow of what is done by Christ in his church militant and triumphant, of which the tabernacle was a pattern. 8:6. But now he hath obtained a better ministry, by how much also he is a mediator of a better testament which is established on better promises. 8:7. For if that former had been faultless, there should not indeed a place have been sought for a second. 8:8. For, finding fault with them, he saith: Behold the days shall come, saith the Lord: and I will perfect, unto the house of Israel and unto the house of Juda, a new testament: 8:9. Not according to the testament which I made to their fathers, on the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt: because they continued not in my testament: and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. 8:10. For this is the testament which I will make on the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord: I will give my laws into their mind: and in their heart will I write them. And I will be their God: and they shall be my people. 8:11. And they shall not teach every man his neighbor and every man his brother, saying: Know the Lord. For all shall know me, from the least to the greatest of them. They shall not teach, etc... So great shall be light and grace of the new testament, that it shall not be necessary to inculcate to the faithful the belief and knowledge of the true God, for they shall all know him. 8:12. Because I will be merciful to their iniquities: and their sins I will remember no more. 8:13. Now in saying a new, he hath made the former old. And that which decayeth and groweth old is near its end. A new... Supply `covenant'. Hebrews Chapter 9: The sacrifices of the law were far inferior to that of Christ. 9:1. The former indeed had also justifications of divine service and a sanctuary. 9:2. For there was a tabernacle made the first, wherein were the candlesticks and the table and the setting forth of loaves, which is called the Holy. 9:3. And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holy of Holies: 9:4. Having a golden censer and the ark of the testament covered about on every part with gold, in which was a golden pot that had manna and the rod of Aaron that had blossomed and the tables of the testament. 9:5. And over it were the cherubims of glory overshadowing the propitiatory: of hich it is not needful to speak now particularly. 9:6. Now these things being thus ordered, into the first tabernacle, the priests indeed always entered, accomplishing the offices of sacrifices. 9:7. But into the second, the high priest alone, once a year: not without blood, which he offereth for his own and the people's ignorance: 9:8. The Holy Ghost signifying this: That the way into the Holies was not yet made manifest, whilst the former tabernacle was yet standing. 9:9. Which is a parable of the time present: according to which gifts and sacrifices are offered, which cannot, as to the conscience, make him perfect that serveth, only in meats and in drinks, 9:10. And divers washings and justices of the flesh laid on them until the time of correction. Of correction... Viz., when Christ should correct and settle all things. 9:11. But Christ, being come an high Priest of the good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hand, that is, not of this creation: 9:12. Neither by the blood of goats or of calves, but by his own blood, entered once into the Holies, having obtained eternal redemption. Eternal redemption... By that one sacrifice of his blood, once offered on the cross, Christ our Lord paid and exhibited, once for all, the general price and ransom of all mankind: which no other priest could do. 9:13. For if the blood of goats and of oxen, and the ashes of an heifer, being sprinkled, sanctify such as are defiled, to the cleansing of the flesh: 9:14. How much more shall the blood of Christ, who by the Holy Ghost offered himself unspotted unto God, cleanse our conscience from dead works, to serve the living God? 9:15. And therefore he is the mediator of the new testament: that by means of his death for the redemption of those transgressions which were under the former testament, they that are called may receive the promise of eternal inheritance. 9:16. For where there is a testament the death of the testator must of necessity come in. 9:17. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is as yet of no strength, whilst the testator liveth. 9:18. Whereupon neither was the first indeed dedicated without blood. 9:19. For when every commandment of the law had been read by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people. 9:20. Saying: This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you. 9:21. The tabernacle also and all the vessels of the ministry, in like manner, he sprinkled with blood. 9:22. And almost all things, according to the law, are cleansed with blood: and without shedding of blood there is no remission. 9:23. It is necessary therefore that the patterns of heavenly things should be cleansed with these: but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 9:24. For Jesus is not entered into the Holies made with hands, the patterns of the true: but into Heaven itself, that he may appear now in the presence of God for us. 9:25. Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the Holies every year with the blood of others: Offer himself often... Christ shall never more offer himself in sacrifice, in that violent, painful, and bloody manner, nor can there be any occasion for it: since by that one sacrifice upon the cross, he has furnished the full ransom, redemption, and remedy for all the sins of the world. But this hinders not that he may offer himself daily in the sacred mysteries in an unbloody manner, for the daily application of that one sacrifice of redemption to our souls. 9:26. For then he ought to have suffered often from the beginning of the world. But now once, at the end of ages, he hath appeared for the destruction of sin by the sacrifice of himself. 9:27. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this the judgment: 9:28. So also Christ was offered once to exhaust the sins of many. The second time he shall appear without sin to them that expect him unto salvation. To exhaust... That is, to empty, or draw out to the very bottom, by a plentiful and perfect redemption.

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