The following is by Father Valentine Young, OFM, a faithful Catholic priest who died on 17 January 2020. It was delivered sometime between 2013 and 2020. To learn more about Father Valentine, please scroll to the bottom of the page.
HEN JESUS predicted what was going to happen to Him when He went up to Jerusalem this time, His predictions—down to the finest detail—all proved to be true. For those of us who believe Jesus was truly divine and human, this is not hard to accept. We believe that the Divine Nature and the human nature were united in the one person: JESUS CHRIST. The theological term used to describe this is called “the hypostatic union” of the two natures.
A Mystery: This belief is a fundamental belief of our Catholic Religion. Throughout history there have been many heresies which denied this truth. Any number of the Councils, especially the earlier ones, were called to combat this heresy or denial. Unfortunately this heresy tried to pop its ugly head again—especially after the II Vatican Council—by those who claimed: “Jesus was divine, but He didn’t know it, or He only gradually began to be aware of it.” This was just, so they thought, a clever way of denying Christ’s Divinity without coming out and saying so.
Believers: I take for granted that I am speaker to a congregation of believers, so don’t have to spend much time refuting such nonsense. After all, if Jesus is not divine, then the whole Catholic religion falls apart, and we may as well pack up our belongings and go home.
Mystery: This is not to deny the fact that this belief about Jesus is a MYSTERY. It is something that we poor, limited creatures cannot fully understand. And if we get to the point where we think we understand it, we are going to find ourselves in some kind of theological trouble. We are going to be believing something about Jesus that we should not be believing.
Mysteries in life: But the fact that we say that this belief is a MYSTERY should not frighten us. I don’t know about you, but I am faced with many mysteries every day. I’ll admit that a lot of them are due to my lack of education or training in some particular thing. But the simple fact of how an acorn can develop into an Oak tree is really a mystery. We know it happens, but we don’t really completely understand how.
No surprise: So it should not surprise us, or make us turn away, if we discover there are things about God that we cannot fully understand. In the case of Christ fore-knowing His sufferings and death, it is just one more sign of His great love for us, and the terribleness of sin, which caused Him to undergo that suffering.
Too smart: Sometimes I think we humans are becoming too smart, perhaps too smart for our own good. Yes, we have developed means whereby we can probably blow up the world or at least a good portion of it. It seems many acts of legislation are trying to “out-smart” or “out-do” God. That’s what these permissive abortion laws are doing. And in case you don’t know it, we old people are going to be next.
Hope in Jesus: At times we can’t but wonder: How much worse do things have to get, before they will start getting better? I doubt if we want to be around to really find out. On the other hand, as Lent is approaching, each and every one of us can decide what we are going to do to make the situation better. The days of doing the minimum requirements are over, I’m afraid. Make that Ash Wednesday, those First Fridays and Saturdays mean something again. And even if not prescribed or mandated, remember fasting and abstinence are still good ways of doing penance. And always linked to that is extra praying. St. Paul said, “If God is for us, Who can be against us?” We have to start becoming serious about getting God on our side. +
INTROIT: “Be Thou my hill-fastness, my stronghold of defence, to save me from peril.”