Fr Michael's Thoughts on Biblical Imagery: He Was There

FR MICHAEL BIBLICAL IMAGERY

(Fr Michael Boakye Yeboah: Vice Rector of St Gregory Seminary, Kumasi-Ghana)

HE WAS THERE

            In the ancient church, one of the most divisive doctrines of Christianity was the divinity of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the soul and DNA of Christianity but some Christians in the ancient church doubted whether Jesus has the same substance with God the Father. The divisive lines were drawn by a certain Egyptian priest by name Arius. Arius was of the view that Jesus has a substance that is similar or is like the substance of God the Father and not the same substance with God the Father. Arius went to the extreme by stating that Jesus cannot be described as “eternally generated” – meaning that at one point in time Jesus did not exist.

            The heretical teachings of Arius and the confusion that it created for the early church occasioned the First Ecumenical Council at Nicaea in the year 325. Some of the biblical passages that have been used over the centuries to defend the doctrine that Jesus shares the same substance with the Father and shares eternal generation with the Father is today’s first reading. The author to today’s passage chose his words apologetically. He states: “Thus says the wisdom of God: The Lord possessed me beginning of his ways, the forerunner of his prodigies of long ago; from of old I was poured forth, at the first, before the earth. When there were no fountains or springs of water; before the mountains were settled into place before the hills, I was brought forth; while as yet the earth and fields were not made, nor the first clods of the world.”

            The emphatic statement that the author employed was: “When the Lord established the heavens I was there, when he marked out the vault over the face of the deep; when he made firm the skies above, when he fixed fast the foundations of the earth; when he set for the sea its limit, so that the waters should not transgress his command; then was I beside him as his craftsman…” Jesus is the Christian’s only way to the Father. St Paul in the second reading placed much emphasis on the importance of Jesus when he declared that: “…we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith to this grace in which we stand, and we boast in hope of the glory of God.” When one comes to know Jesus and believe in him, Jesus also gifts the person with the presence of the Holy Spirit in the believer’s life. St Paul concluded today’s second reading by stating that: “…the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.”

            The importance of the third person in the Holy Trinity is the Holy Spirit our gift from Jesus. In today’s Gospel, Jesus states that “I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth.” It is my prayer that the Holy Spirit, our teacher will guide us to a strong faith in the Holy Trinity. May the Holy Spirit that lives in us inspire us to faith in Christ Jesus; and may our faith in Jesus Christ lead us to the Father. Amen. OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL HELP PRAY FOR US.

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