Saturday, December 1, 2007

Advent Thoughts -- Jesus as Man

As a Catholic, I believe that Jesus is wholly God but also wholly human. Advent starts this weekend and so I was thinking about the human side of Jesus. This mystery of the Incarnation obviously is a difficult one to grasp. God became flesh, but really, what does that mean? Does that mean the agony and the Crucifixion was merely playacting, or does it heighten the power of Good Friday? Riots would break out in Byzantium over this question.

But at this time of year, I prefer to keep Good Friday a bit off center and focus instead at the miracle of the Incarnation and wonder about Jesus as a little baby. A local social club had a short concert today and one of the songs sung was about "Mary rocking her baby." The Bible is mostly silent on Jesus as an infant. There are the Nativity narratives of course, Jesus being presented in the Temple, and Jesus getting lost in the Temple sometime later. Now that I am a father, wonder what Joseph must have thought when he looked into Jesus's eyes or what Mary thought as she held him.

I tried today to explain to my children more about Christmas today. Several years ago, Alex received a Playmobil of the Nativity as a Christmas present and so my wife and I trued to use that to explain the story. Alex was a barrage of questions while Christian just wanted to play with the camel. So my attempt to explain it to two children failed. Yet if I struggle with the meaning for myself, how am I supposed to explain it to a four year old?

1 comment:

Rodak said...

Very nice post.
For my part, the thing that is most difficult for me to mentally process is neither the Incarnation, nor the Resurrection; it is the Passion.
That gods can be incarnated? Okay, other religions have had those by the dozen. That resurrections happen? Well, sure. Jesus made several of those happen, prior to his own. I don't recall if any of the Old Testament prophets raised the dead, but it wouldn't surprise me at all if they had.
But the the Passion. Wow. How does a man, who is also fully God, allow Himself to be done that way by sinful men, for the sake of sinful men? Where does He get the love? How does He resist the temptamtion to just call the whole thing off as a bad deal and go home to heaven?
Simone Weil, whose writings I've been immersed in for several years now, writes a lot about the Cross.
I also recently read a book about Martin Luther's take on the Cross, which I blogged about here.
Again, nice post, Anthony. These things are good to contemplate.