Saturday, October 31, 2015

How Does Jesus, Who Is Perfect, Become More Perfect in Sufferings?

Of course, we do not know what God feels or what He does not feel. I presume He feels because He
loves. We are also commanded to not grieve the Holy Spirit. I do not desire to delve too much into this because perhaps it is an area I should not wade into. However, the point I do want to make: God is Spirit; He cannot be tempted to sin; and perhaps He cannot suffer. The author of Hebrews tells us that Jesus was made perfect through sufferings. How does Jesus, Who is perfect, become perfect through sufferings?

We know that God knows everything, even our thoughts. He even knows our feelings. However, in the Incarnation, we know that God also feels what we feel. He knows our ignorance. In the Incarnation, God becomes acquainted with our temptations, our hunger, our thirst; He feels our disappointments, our joys, our fears, etc. In essence, God becomes Man. Because in His Incarnation Jesus took on corrupted human nature, He made Himself susceptible to all things that we are susceptible to. It is perhaps possible that His Incarnation was, in a way, the first part of His Passion.

Because of the Incarnation, Jesus, the Son of God, proves to us that “He feels our pain.” He takes our sins, which He bears as a result of His taking on human nature, and on the cross He transforms our curses, our sins, our pains, into blessings. He does not take them away, for He commands us to pick up our crosses and follow Him. When we do—because of the consequences of His Passion, death, and Resurrection—we receive blessings of eternal life.

Jesus, because He took on human nature and endured every imaginable suffering, became more perfect—because God cannot endure death, since Life and death cannot co-exist. Who is man that God would lower Himself to this extent? How does man garner, in a sense, more love than the angels—for the Son of God did not become an angel in order to redeem the fallen angels? Who is man that Jesus, the Son of God, becomes man in order to redeem Him?

--Tommy Turner

This theological reflection courtesy of the parishioners of St Paul Catholic Church in Pensacola, Florida: