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Sunday, July 31, 2016

Fr. Campbell- “I, the Lord, am your God” (Ex.20:2)

“I, the Lord, am your God” (Ex.20:2)

“He has done all things well” (Mk.7:37). What things? “He has made both the deaf to hear and the dumb to speak,” answers St. Mark (Mk.7:37). But what more has He done for us?

We must first remember Who Jesus Christ is. He is the Man, Jesus of Nazareth, born of the Blessed Virgin Mary, legally the Son of Joseph, with relatives, friends and neighbors, a carpenter by trade, but a teacher and a miracle worker by calling, perfect in His human nature, not suffering the effects of Original Sin, since in Him there is no sin.

But Jesus Christ is also God, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, one with the Father and the Holy Ghost. With the Father and the Holy Ghost He is the Creator of the angelic choirs, the galaxies and the stars, the comets and the planets, the earth and all things that live.

Not content to be our Creator only, God the Father sent His own Divine Son to be our Redeemer. When Adam and Eve sinned and lost Sanctifying Grace for themselves and their descendants, God promised to send a Redeemer to rescue us from slavery and eternal loss. It was in fulfillment of this promise that He sent His Divine Son, Who took upon Himself our humanity. And in order to spread His word and give us the true means of salvation, Our Lord also gave us the true religion, without which we would wander in the darkness of false worship and end up in Hell to be forever estranged from God. God warned the human race against the dangers of idolatry in the very first of His Ten Commandments:

“I, the Lord, am your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery. You shall not have other gods besides me. You shall not carve idols for yourselves in the shape of anything in the sky above or on the earth below or in the waters beneath the earth; you shall not bow down before them or worship them” (Ex.20:2-5a).

Jesus Christ made us truly free. But the meaning of true freedom is no longer understood even by those who should be teaching and upholding it. True freedom is freedom from sin and error, so that one is able to observe God’s Commandments and worship Him as He has chosen to be worshipped – in the Church Christ Himself founded, the Holy Catholic Church. But the contagion of heresy has seeped down to the level of the priests in the pulpit and the people in the pews. The “priests” of the Novus Ordo, following the example of their alleged “pope” Bergoglio, now tell those of other religions that it is not necessary to become Catholic, since they can find God where they are. 

But are we free to accept or reject the Gospel? People reject the Gospel because they are not free.  They are bound by sin.  They love the darkness rather than the light.  The grace of God is what makes us free to choose the truth – in this case the truth of God’s word.  When it becomes a matter of choosing between the word of God and the word of man, there can be no contest. We are bound to believe and accept the word of God. Not to accept it is to call God a liar.

And is Jesus Christ really God, the true Son of the Father, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity? We profess our faith in His Divinity when we day the Nicene Creed (Nicea, 325 A.D.) every Sunday at Holy Mass:

“I believe… in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only-begotten Son of God. Born of the Father before all ages. God of God; Light of Light; true God of true God. Begotten not made; of one being with the Father; by Whom all things were made. Who for us men, and for our salvation came down from heaven.”

The Blessed Virgin Mary became the very first believer in the Son of God when the Angel Gabriel said to her:

“The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee; and therefore the Holy One to be born shall be called the Son of God” (Lk.1:35).

We have the testimony of St. Peter, our first Holy Father, in his words to Jesus:

“‘Thou are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ Then Jesus answered and said, ‘Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to thee, but my Father in heaven’” (Mt.16:16,17).

Our Lord’s enemies wanted to put Him to death because He cured on the Sabbath. Jesus replied: “My Father works even until now, and I work.” This, then, is why the Jews were the more anxious to put him to death; because he not only broke the Sabbath, but also called God his own Father, making himself equal to God” (Jn.5:17,18).

The Pharisees were also enraged, accusing Him of blasphemy, when He said:

“It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say that he is your God. And you do not know him, but I know him. And if I say that I do not know him, I shall be like you, a liar. Bit I know him, and I keep his word. Abraham your father rejoiced that he was to see my day. He saw it and was glad,” adding, “‘Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham came to be, I am.’ They therefore took up stones to cast at him; but Jesus hid himself, and went out from the temple”

Some, like the Muslims, venerate Jesus as a prophet, but they do not believe He was God. They say this because they do not believe in the Holy Trinity, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Others, like the Jews, not only reject the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, but they condemn Jesus. But the True and Holy Catholic Church believes as Mary believed, and as the Apostles and the early Christians believed.

We, too, believe, and we say with Peter and the true Church: “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Mt.16:16).