Excerpt 5
Heart of Jesus, In Whom
Dwells the Fullness of Divinity

THE DIVINITY of Christ has been and is still denied by millions of men. The idea of a God in human form is relegated to the realm of fairy tales and poetic fiction. At the same time many of those who deny the Divinity of Christ would make Him the greatest teacher and social reformer the world has ever seen; they say His Own claim to be the Son of God is due to some mental complex for which He cannot be made responsible. It escapes their attention that one who suffers from mental aberrations cannot be a reliable leader in the field of morality or social reform. Proofs for the Divinity of Christ are contained in most of the invocations of the Litany of the Sacred Heart as we consider them. Here we wish to confine ourselves to the testimony which Christ gives of Himself and draw from it some conclusions as to the significance of Christ for the world.

Equal to the Father

Jesus claimed to have the same nature as the Father when He said, "I and the Father are one" (Jn. 10:30). He attributed eternity to Himself when He told the Jews that "Before Abraham came to be, I am" (Jn. 8:58). In both cases the Jews wanted to stone Him, because they considered Him guilty of blasphemy, thus showing that they understood Him to mean exactly what He said. His power and authority are equal to that of the Father, "For whatever He does, this the Son also does in like manner.  . . . As the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He will . . . that all may honor the Son even as they honor the Father.  . . . As the Father has life in Himself, even so He has given to the Son also to have life in Himself" (Jn. 5:19ff.).

Forgiving Sins

When Jesus was about to heal a certain paralytic, He first said to him, "Son, thy sins are forgiven thee." At once the Jews accused Him of blasphemy, for God alone can forgive sins. Thereupon Jesus asked the question, "Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, Thy sins are forgiven thee, or to say, Arise, and take up thy pallet, and walk?" Of course, neither of these is easier, for both call for the exercise of Divine power. And so Jesus continued, "But that you may know that the Son of man has power on earth to forgive sins . . . I say to thee, arise, take up thy pallet and go to thy house" (Mk. 2:4 ff.). And immediately the health of the sick man was restored.

Profession of St. Peter

Since many of the people took Jesus for one of the great prophets, He asked the Apostles on a certain occasion Whom they thought Him to be. Then Peter, in the name of the other Apostles, made this solemn declaration, "Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus accepted this clear profession of His Divinity as He answered, "Blessed art thou Simon, Bar-Jona, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to thee, but my Father in Heaven. And I say to thee, thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it . . ." (Mt. 16:13 ff.).

Before the High Priest

Jesus is brought to trial before Caiphas, the high priest. Since the testimony of the witnesses does not agree, Caiphas turns to Jesus with this solemn question, "I adjure Thee by the living God that Thou tell us whether Thou art the Christ, the Son of God." Jesus answers with equal solemnity, "Thou hast said it," which is the same as saying: I am. And enlarging on what He has said He continues, "Nevertheless I say to you, hereafter you shall see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of the Power of God and coming upon the clouds of Heaven." The words of Jesus are unmistakable and the high priest rends his garment as he cries out, "He has blasphemed; what further need have we of witnesses? . . . What do you think?" And they answered and said, "He is liable to death" (Mt. 26:63 ff.).

The strength of Christ's testimony lies in the fact that He wrought countless miracles during His life, that He rose from the dead, and that the Catholic Church in her victorious march through the centuries is a standing proof of the truth of Christ's prophecy that the gates of Hell shall not prevail against her.

If Christ is God, then His teaching is true and final. It is not theory or opinion that might be overthrown by the progress of science. But then, all views of life, all systems of philosophy contrary to the teaching of Christ, are utterly and hopelessly false.

If Christ is God, then His law is binding on all. His commandments are not mere counsels that may be accepted or rejected at pleasure. His authority is universal and every knee must bend to Him, not only the masses of the people, but also all governments and public institutions. If Christ is God, then no power on earth has the right to interfere with the work of the Church, to limit or control her in the mission given her by Him. Then the authority of the Church is supreme in all matters of faith and morals; she is the divinely established court to pronounce on the moral aspects of all human affairs and not confined to teaching a few pious practices to the faithful.

If Christ is God, then in Him alone can salvation be found. There is no other name given us by which we can be saved. No man will be forced in this life to submit to His authority; each one must make his choice for or against Him freely, but upon this choice his eternity depends.

St. Hilarion says that there is nothing more dangerous for the world than not to know and not to accept Christ. A world reduced to misery and chaos is in our days a tragic illustration of the truth of the Saint's words. Under such circumstances the task of the faithful is clear. By a fearless profession of their faith in Christ, by their living deeds of faith, they must show the world the way back to Christ. "The more Thy Divinity is attacked, the more we will profess it, O Heart of Jesus, in Whom dwells the fullness of Divinity."



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