Reflection for Saturday, May 20, 2000: 4th week in Easter.
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"He who has seen me [Jesus] has seen the Father . . ."||As Christians we believe that Jesus is "fully divine," the fullest revelation of God. We gain insight into who God is and what God is like because we know Jesus. Although in our limited capacity for understanding we can never know God completely, we look to Jesus to give us a better sense of who it is we worship: like Jesus, God loves unconditionally, forgives sins, calls us to community, forgives lavishly, and demands justice, especially for the poor. We have seen God "the Father" because we have seen Jesus.|We also believe as Christians that Jesus was fully human. This is one of the great insights of the Christian church, which is able to hold together seemingly contradictory truths, the "both/ands" of the tradition: Jesus is "fully divine AND fully human." Therefore we can look to Jesus to give us insights not only about who God is but also what a full, authentic human being is. The more like his Father Jesus became, the more fully, authentically human he became. And the more authentically human Jesus became, the more fully divine he became.|But let us not stop there. Karl Rahner, a prominent Jesuit theologian of the 20th century, challenges us to ponder this truth one step further. If Jesus becomes more fully divine as he becomes more fully human, then we also become more fully divine as we become more fully human. I am not suggesting that we are fully human and fully divine as Jesus is fully human and fully divine. But Jesus shows us that the authentically human and divine are inextricably linked and intertwined.|Paul tells us that Jesus was "human in all ways but sin." Therefore, the conclusion to be drawn here is not that we need to go out and live lecherous lives in order to become more fully human and divine! But we can look to our own lives for insights into what it is to be fully human as well as what it is to be divine. We can look to our own lives for insights about God! God is already working in our lives, in our humanity. Humanity is not a dirty or base condition but a glorious, graced, sacred being and vessel of God's presence.|This is why St. Ignatius suggests that we spend time each day looking back on what has transpired. When did we feel most alive? Least alive? When did we have the most energy? The least energy? When did we feel the most connected to life around us? The least connected? When did we feel most fully and authentically human? Least fully and authentically human? All these simple questions of the contemporary "examen" point in the same direction: When were you closest to God today? Furthest from God? In other words, when was God most clearly revealed in your human experience, and when did your experience of humanity obstruct your vision of God? We can look to our own lives for insights into these questions because Jesus and Ignatius assure us that the divine is present in our everyday humanity.|"He who has seen me [Jesus] has seen the Father . . ." And she who looks in the mirror in the morning and her soul in the evening can also see the face and presence of God.
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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